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The Caroline Bancroft History Prize

Past Award Winning Books

Past Honor Books


The Western History and Genealogy Department of Denver Public Library awards the Caroline Bancroft History 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 2022 prize will be in the amount of $1,000. Honor books may be named but will not receive a monetary prize.

The competition is open to all United States and foreign citizens, except those persons directly affiliated with Denver Public Library as current employees, volunteers, or Library Commission members. The winner of the 2022 prize will be announced in December 2022.

Only books published in 2021 will be considered for the 2022 prize. Books published in 2022 will be considered for the 2023 prize. To be accepted into the competition, books must include footnotes or endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.

"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 Caroline Bancroft History Prize committee - which is comprised of Denver Public Library employees - will consider books that make a 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 high literary quality. The winning book/author will be selected by the Caroline Bancroft History Prize committee.

Publishers and authors can submit entries to:

The Caroline Bancroft Prize
Western History and Genealogy Department,
Denver Public Library
10 West Fourteenth Avenue Parkway
Denver, CO 80204

preferably as soon as they are published, but no later than June 1, 2022. Denver Public Library requests two copies of each book along with a letter stating they are for the Caroline Bancroft Prize competition so the library can send an acknowledgment. All submitted copies will become property of Denver Public Library.



Tiny You: A Western History of the Anti-Abortion Movement by Jennifer Holland (University of California Press)



  • Activist Leaders of San Jose: En Sus Propias Voces by Josie Méndez-Negrete. University of Arizona Press
  • Blood in the Borderlands: Conflict, Kinship, and the Bent Family, 1821-1920 by David C. Beyreis. University of Nebraska Press
  • Bohemians West: Free Love, Family, and Radicals in Twentieth-Century America by Sherry L. Smith
  • Butch Cassidy: The Wyoming Years by Bill Betenson. High Plains Press
  • Colorado Day by Day by Derek R. Everett. University Press of Colorado
  • The Deportation Machine: America's Long History of Expelling Immigrants by Adam Goodman. Princeton University Press
  • East of East: The Making of Greater El Monte by Romeo Guzmán, Carribean Fragoza, Alex Sayf Cummings, Ryan Reft. Rutgers University Press
  • From San Francisco Eastward: Victorian Theater in the American West by Carolyn Grattan Eichin. University of Nevada Press
  • The Hanford Plaintiffs: Voices from the Fight for Atomic Justice by Trisha T. Pritikin. University Press of Kansas
  • How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America by Heather Cox Richardson. Oxford University Press
  • Inspiring Words for Sky and Space Women: Advice from Historic and Contemporary Trailblazers by Penny Rafferty Hamilton. Mountaintop Legacy Press
  • La Gente: Struggles for Empowerment and Community Self-Determination in Sacramento by Lorena V. Márquez. University of Arizona Press
  • The Last Sovereigns: Sitting Bull and the Resistance of the Free Lakotas by Robert M. Utley. University of Nebraska Press
  • A Marriage Out West: Theresa and Frank Russell’s Explorations in Arizona, 1900–1903 by Don D. Fowler, Nancy J. Parezo, and Theresa Russell. University of Arizona Press
  • Prairie Bachelor: The Story of a Kansas Homesteader and the Populist Movement by Lynda Beck Fenwick. University Press of Kansas
  • Remembering Our Grandfathers’ Exile: US Imprisonment of Hawai‘i’s Japanese in World War II by Gail Y. Okawa. University of Hawaii Press
  • Rodeo as Refuge, Rodeo as Rebellion: Gender, Race, and Identity in the American Rodeo by Elyssa Ford. University Press of Kansas
  • Scouting with the Buffalo Soldiers: Lieutenant Powhatan Clarke, Frederic Remington, and the Tenth U.S. Cavalry in the Southwest by John P Langellier
  • Tiny You: A Western History of the Anti-Abortion Movement by Jennifer Holland. University of California Press
  • The Unsung Great: Stories of Extraordinary Japanese Americans by Greg Robinson. University of Washington Press
  • Writing Kit Carson: Fallen Heroes in a Changing West by Susan Lee Johnson. University of North Carolina Press