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The Caroline Bancroft History Prize

Winner of the 2013 Prize:

After Camp: Portraits in Mid Century Japanese American Life and Politics

After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics
by Greg Robinson

2013 Honor Books:

Wild Horse Annie

Wild Horse Annie: Velma Johnston and her Fight to Save the Mustang
by Alan J. Kania


The Allotment Plot

The Allotment Plot: Alice C. Fletcher, E. Jane Gay, and Nez Perce Survivance
by Nicole Tonkovich

Description and Guidelines for the 2014 Prize

The Western History/Genealogy Department of the Denver Public Library awards the Caroline Bancroft Prize annually. According to the terms of the will of the late Caroline Bancroft, provision is made for an annual prize "to be awarded to the author of the best book on Colorado or Western American History published during the current year, to be known as the Caroline Bancroft History Prize." The 2014 prize will be in the amount of $3,000. Honor books may be named but will not receive a monetary prize.

The competition is open to all persons, whether connected with the Denver Public Library or not and whether citizens of the United States or any other country. The winner of the 2014 prize will be announced in the fall of 2014.

Only books published in 2013 will be considered for the 2014 prize. Books published in 2014 will be considered for the 2015 prize.

"Colorado or Western American History" is defined geographically as being inclusive of the trans-Mississippi West from prehistoric times to the present. This includes all states west of the Mississippi River, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Canadian and Mexican borderlands.

In defining the term "best book," the staff of the Western History/Genealogy Department will consider books that make significant contribution to historical knowledge, that present thorough and original research, that bring a new perspective to some well-known question, and that are of a high literary quality. The winning book/author will be selected by employees of the Western History/Genealogy Department.

Publishers and authors can submit entries to:
The Caroline Bancroft Prize
Western History/Genealogy Department,
Denver Public Library
10 West Fourteenth Avenue Parkway
Denver, CO 80204
preferably as soon as they are published, but not later than May 1, 2014. The Denver Public Library requests two copies of each book along with a letter that states that they are for the Caroline Bancroft Prize competition so that the Library can send an acknowledgement. All submitted copies will become property of the Denver Public Library.

Questions regarding the process used by the Library for prize selection can be addressed to Jim Kroll, Manager of the Western History/Genealogy Department, jkroll@denverlibrary.org.

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Past Winning Books

(Past Honor Books below)
2012 Valentine T. McGillycuddy: Army Surgeon, Agent to the Sioux
by Candy Moulton
2011 Down Country: The Tano of the Galisteo Basin, 1250-1782
by Lucy R. Lippard
2010 The Garden of Invention: Luther Burbank and the Business of Breeding Plants
by Jane S. Smith
2009 Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War
by Thomas G. Andrews
2008 Bound in Twine: The History and Ecology of the Henequen-Wheat Complex for Mexico and the American and Canadian Plains, 1880-1950
by Sterling Evans
2000 Jefferson and the Indians: The Tragic Fate of the First Americans
by Anthony F.C. Wallace
1999 The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, and the Rush to Colorado
by Elliott West
1998 Dust Bowl Migrants in the American Imagination
by Charles J. Shindo
1997 Big Bluestem: Journey into the Tall Grass
by Annick Smith
1996 Independent Spirits: Women Painters of the American West, 1890 – 1945
Edited by Patricia Trenton
1995 Antigua California: Mission and Colony of the Peninsular Frontier, 1697 – 1768
by Harry W. Crosby
1994 Trials and Triumphs: A Colorado Portrait of the Great Depression with FSA Photographs
by Stephen J. Leonard
1993 The Spanish Frontier in North America
by David J. Weber
1992 When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away
by Ramón A. Gutiérrez
1991 Thomas O. Larkin: A Life of Patriotism and Profit in Old California
by Harlan Hague and David J. Langum
1990 Growing Up with the Country: Childhood on the Far Western Frontier
by Elliot West
1990 A Story that Stands Like a Dam: Glen Canyon and the Struggle for the Soul of the West
by Russell Martin
1989 The Protestant Clergy in the Great Plains and Mountain West, 1865 – 1915
by Ferenc Morton Szasz
1988 The Mythic West in Twentieth-Century America
by Robert G. Athearn


Past Honor Books


In Pursuit of Gold: Chinese American Miners and Merchants in the American West
by Sue Fawn Chung

Prairie Fire: A Great Plains History
by Julie Courtwright


Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country
by Marsha Weisiger


Making Indian Law : The Hualapai Land Case and the Birth of Ethnohistory:
by Christian W. McMillen


Frontiers Past and Future: Science Fiction and the American West
by Carl Abbott


Wilderness Forever: Howard Zahniser and the Path to the Wilderness Act
by Mark Harvey

The Battle Over Hetch Hetchy: America's Most Controversial Dam and the Birth of Modern Environmentalism
by Robert W. Righter


The Nation's Crucible: The Louisiana Purchase and the Creation of America
by Peter J. Kastor

Native American Picture Books of Change: The Art of Historic Children's Editions
by Rebecca C. Benes


Bering: The Russian Discovery of America
by Orcutt Frost

Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Supression Turned Mexicans into Americans
by Benjamin Heber Johnson



Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship and Community in the Southwest Borderlands
by James F. Brooks

Diné: A History of the Navajos
by Peter Iverson



Fort Union and the Upper Missouri Fur Trade
by Barton Barbour

The Natural West: Environmental History in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains
by Dan Flores



William Henry Holmes and the Rediscovery of the American West
by Kevin Fernlund

American Alchemy: The California Gold Rush and Middle-Class Culture
by Brian Roberts

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Updated: January 14, 2014