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June 20, 2018 - Wisconsin Historical Society Announces Board of Curato | Wisconsin Historical Society

News Release

June 20, 2018 - Wisconsin Historical Society Announces Board of Curators Award Winners for 2018

For Immediate Release

June 20, 2018 - Wisconsin Historical Society Announces Board of Curato | Wisconsin Historical Society

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kara O’Keeffe

June 20, 2018

Wisconsin Historical Society Announces Board of Curators Award Winners for 2018

Madison, Wis. – Each year, the Wisconsin Historical Society’s governing Board of Curators recognizes individuals and organizations for meritorious work in areas relating to the Society’s mission.  The Board of Curators is made up of thirty-seven elected and appointed members from across the state.

“The Award recipients for the 2018 Board of Curator Awards continue to make outstanding contributions to the history field,” said Christian Overland, the Ruth and Hartley Barker Director for the Wisconsin Historical Society. “These awards are given out each year and recognize architects, archivists, authors, librarians, museum professionals and organizations who each play a crucial role in shaping and documenting our state’s rich history.”

The Board of Curators unanimously approved the following awards:

  • Book of Merit Award – There were two winners this year, Joseph Ranney, “Wisconsin and the Shaping of the American Law” (UW Press) and Richard L. Pifer,  “The Great War Comes to Wisconsin: Sacrifice, Patriotism,  and Free Speech in a Time of Crisis”
  • Genealogy Family History Book Award (in association with the Wisconsin Genealogical Society) - Du Wayne H. Hansen for his book, “There Were Giants in the Earth in Those Days: Fourteen Generations of the William Cole Family in America.”
  • Governor’s Archives Award for Archival Advocacy (in association with the Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board) – Gunderson Health Systems Corporate Archives in La Crosse and UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center.
  • Public Program Award – City of New Richmond for creating public programming whichincluded a well-conceived series of events that worked as hard on building community relationships and promoting an appreciation for the history of Civil Rights and the Watergate hearings, as it did promoting the history of one of its favorite sons, Robert Doar.
  • Historic Preservation Award – There were two winners this year, Dr. Richard Boyd for his preservation efforts which include research, fieldwork, lectures, writings, and service to the public to identify, publicize and preserve Wisconsin’s rich maritime history and Mr. Arlan K. Kay who has demonstrated how the rehabilitation of historic buildings is feasible, economical and restores communities, not just buildings. 
  • Historic Restoration Award – Daniel Wilhelm and H. Russell Zimmerman for meticulously restoring the Judge Jason Downer House in Milwaukee.
  • Museum Exhibit Award – There were two winners this year, Neenah Historical Society for their exhibit, “Making a Hometown – Life in Neenah’s Progressive Era” and the Neville Public Museum for their exhibit, “Estamos Aqui: Celebrating Latino Identity in Northeast Wisconsin”
  • Reuben Gold Thwaites Award– Juneau County Historical Society excelled in the key areas the Thwaites Award has established as most critical. These include the collecting, preserving and sharing of history.  Of particular note was the breadth of their many partnerships with other community organizations.

For information on award criteria, nominations and deadlines please visit

About Wisconsin Historical Society
The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories. The Wisconsin Historical Society serves millions of people every year through a wide range of sites, programs and services. For more information, visit