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 the official LHRT publication Libraries: Culture, History, and Society. If the winning essay is accepted for publication, additional revisions may be required.

For a list of previous winners, click here.


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.

Essays should be organized in a form similar to that of articles published in Libraries: Culture, History, and Society, 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).

Submissions and Selection

Applicants must submit their manuscripts electronically. Applications must be received by February 23, 2024. The application deadline is firm and any submissions received after the deadline will not be forwarded to the committee.

Please upload your manuscripts electronically via the web form.

Interested applicants can direct inquiries to Leah DiCiesare, Justin Winsor Award Committee Chair; please use "LHRT Winsor Award" in the subject line.

Committee Members