Wisconsin Historical Society

Guide or Instruction

About the Book Award of Merit

Submission Guidelines

About the Book Award of Merit | Wisconsin Historical Society
Enlarge Young man studying at a table in the library stacks.

Library Stacks, 1948

A young man studying at a table in the library stacks. View the original source document: WHI 26479

The Wisconsin Historical Society invites submissions for the Society's annual Book Award of Merit, to be awarded in June of each year.

The Book Award of Merit is given to the author of a book on Wisconsin history which, in the opinion of the judges, made the most valuable contribution to public understanding of Wisconsin's past during the preceding calendar year.

Authors and publishers are encouraged to nominate their own works. Genealogical books are excluded from consideration because their authors should submit them under our Genealogy-Family History Book Award category instead.


Books must meet all of the following requirements to be considered:

  • The book must have been published in the calendar year preceding the award
  • It must be commercially distributed to the public through well-established channels such as bookshops, retail stores, or Amazon.com
  • A printed edition of at least 100 copies must have been published
  • The printed volume must contain at least 50 pages
  • Its subject matter must primarily concern events from Wisconsin's past

Award Criteria

Judges will assess each book's merits according to the following criteria, so far as each may apply to the book in hand:

  • Factual accuracy and documentation
  • Quality of the writing
  • Research methodology
  • Graphic design
  • Impact on the reading public
  • Overall contribution to the printed record of Wisconsin history

Awards are reviewed by a committee of judges appointed by the Society and then approved by the Awards Committee of its Board of Curators. The judges reserve the right to make no award in any given year. The decision of the judges is final.

Due Date

March 15 of each year (postmarked or delivered)

How to Apply

Nominations must be submitted on the nomination form (PDF, 117 KB) and be accompanied by three copies of the book and three copies of any reviews that have been published. The books and reviews may not be returned to the applicant.

Send applications to:

Wisconsin Historical Society
Attention: Matt Blessing
816 State Street
Madison, WI 53706-1482

Recent Award Winner

Read about the recent Book Award of Merit winner.

Have Questions?

For more information about this award or to obtain a printed nomination form by mail, contact Matt Blessing by email, by phone at 608-264-6480 or write to the address above.