About the State Historical Society

Awards for Excellence in History

Each year, the State Historical Society of Iowa calls for nominations for its annual awards program. Through the awards program, the Society recognizes individuals, organizations, and communities who have made outstanding contributions to the study and practice of Iowa history.

There are five award categories: three that recognize outstanding publications, one that celebrates local history initiatives, and one that honors significant, long-term achievement in Iowa history.

George Mills/Louise Noun Award

The award recognizes the author of the most significant popular history article on an Iowa history topic published during the previous calendar year. The board may give one award annually. Up to two certificates of recognition may also be awarded. It is named in honor of Iowa reporter and popular historian George Mills and historian of women’s history and philanthropist Louise Noun.

To nominate an article, send a PDF or hard copy of the eligible article, along with the name of author, name and address of the publication and year of publication to Jessica Rundlett at: Jessica.Rundlett@iowa.gov or 600 East Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50319.

Aldrich Awards list Mills Noun Popular History Award - Call for Nominations

Aldrich Awards list Previous Mills Noun Award Recipients

Mildred Throne/Charles Aldrich Award

This annual award recognizes the author of the most significant article on Iowa history in a professional history journal during the previous calendar year. The board may give one award annually.  Up to two certificates of recognition may also be awarded.  It is named in honor of Mildred Throne, longtime editor of the Iowa Journal of History and Politics, and Charles Aldrich, who founded the third series of the Annals of Iowa.

Nominators shall submit the title of the article, name of author, name and address of the publication and year of publication to the Administrator, State Historical Society of Iowa, 600 East Locust, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0290.  Nominations may be submitted electronically to the staff member listed below.

Aldrich Awards list Previous Throne Aldrich Award Recipients

Benjamin F. Shambaugh Award

This annual award recognizes the author of the most significant book published on Iowa history during the previous calendar year. The board may give one award annually.  Up to two certificates of recognition may also be awarded.  It is named in honor of Benjamin F. Shambaugh, for forty years the superintendent of the State Historical Society of Iowa, professor of political economy at the University of Iowa, and one of the founders of the "new social science" at the turn of the 20th century.

Nominators shall submit the title of the book, name of author, name and address of the publisher and year of publication to the Administrator, State Historical Society of Iowa, 600 East Locust, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0290.  Nominations may be submitted electronically to the staff member listed below.

Shambaugh Awards list Previous Shambaugh Award Recipients

For more information on these publication awards contact Marvin Bergman at (319) 335-3931 or Marvin-Bergman@uiowa.edu.

Loren Horton Community History Award

This award is named in honor of Loren Horton, who represented the State Historical Society of Iowa in many capacities from 1973 until his retirement in 1996. As the Society’s field services coordinator, and later, as senior historian, Horton’s work brought him in close contact with many local historical organizations. In keeping with that legacy, this award recognizes the best project that increases awareness and participation in Iowa history on a local level. The award recognizes an individual, group, or organization whose outstanding local history project was completed during the previous calendar year.  Nominations must use the form posted on the website.  Nominations must be postmarked by February 1.

2014 Loren Horton Award Nomintation Call and Form

William J. Petersen/Edgar R. Harlan Award

The Petersen/Harlan Award recognizes an individual, group, or organization that has made significant long-term or continuing contributions to Iowa history. It is named in honor of two legends at the State Historical Society of Iowa, William J. Petersen and Edgar R. Harlan.

William Petersen, long-time curator of the State Historical Society in Iowa City, was known for his book, Steamboating on the Mississippi, thus earning the nickname "Steamboat Bill." Edgar Ruby Harlan, who served as the second director and curator of the Historical Department of Iowa, played a key role in acquiring many of the museum’s most important collections.

Nominators shall submit the name and address of the nominee and a detailed description of significant, long-term, or continuing contributions to Iowa history.  Nominations must be postmarked by February 1 and must be submitted to the Administrator, State Historical Society of Iowa, 600 East Locust, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0290.  Nominations may be submitted electronically to the staff member listed below.

Petersen/Harlan Awards list Previous Petersen/Harlan Awards Recipients

For more information on the Loren Horton Community History Award and the Petersen/Harlan Award, contact Kristen Vander Molen at (515) 281-4228 or Kristen.VanderMolen@iowa.gov.

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