Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award

About the Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award
The Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award is presented by the Library History Round Table of the American Library Association annually to recognize the best essay written in English on library history.  The award is named in honor of the distinguished nineteenth-century librarian, historian, and bibliographer who was also ALA's first president. It consists of a certificate and a $500 cash award, as well as an invitation to have the winner's essay considered for publication in Libraries: Culture, History, and Society. If the winning essay is accepted for publication, additional revisions may be required. 

Administered by:

Library History Round Table (LHRT) logo

Award and Frequency

An award of $500.
This award is given out on an annual basis.


Manuscripts submitted should not be previously published, previously submitted for publication, or under consideration for publication or another award. To be considered, essays should embody original historical research on a significant topic in library history, be based on primary sources whenever possible, and use good English composition and superior style. The Library History Round Table is particularly interested in works that place the subject within its broader historical, social, cultural, and political context and make interdisciplinary connections with print culture and information studies.

Application Instructions

Applicants must send five (5) copies of the manuscript electronically. The name and other information identifying the author should appear only on a separate cover letter. The application deadline is firm and any submissions received after the deadline will not be forwarded to the committee.  Receipt will be confirmed with four business days.

Submit manuscripts to:

LHRT: Justin Winsor Award Committee
Office for Research and Statistics
American Library Association
50 East Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611

Or send files electronically to:


Submissions via fax are not acceptable.

Contact Information

Leah DiCiesare (Chair, July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024)

Displaying active committee roster as of 12/04/2023. Last retrieved on 12/04/2023. Members can log in and refresh page to view full contact information for committee members.

Selection Criteria

Essays should be organized in a form similar to that of articles published in Information & Culture: A Journal of History, with footnotes, spelling and punctuation conforming to the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. Papers should not exceed thirty-five typewritten, double-spaced pages (plus footnotes and bibliography).


Decisions will be made by LHRT's Justin Winsor Prize Committee.