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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 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 2020 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 2020 prize will be announced in the fall of 2020.

Only books published in 2019 will be considered for the 2020 prize. Books published in 2020 will be considered for the 2021 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 Caroline Bancroft History Prize committee - which is comprised of Denver Public Library employees and volunteers - 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 May 1, 2020. 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 acknowledgment. All submitted copies will become property of the Denver Public Library.


2019 HONOR BOOK   


  • Ann Bassett: Colorado's Cattle Queen by Linda Wommack (Caxton Press)
  • Arizona's Deadliest Gunfight: Draft Resistance and Tragedy at the Power Cabin, 1918 by Heidid J. Osselaer (University of Oklahoma Press)
  • Arkansas's Gilded Age: The Rise, Decline, and Legacy of Populism and Working-Class Protest by Matthew Hild (University of Missouri Press)
  • Bitterroot: The Life and Death of Meriwether Lewis by Patricia Tyson Stroud (University of Pennsylvania Press)
  • California Greenin': How the Golden State Became an Environmental Leader by David Vogel (Princeton University Press)
  • Carleton Watkins: Making the West American by Tyler Green (J. Paul Getty Museum)
  • Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Age by Dionne Espinoza, Maria Eugenia Cotera, Maylei Blackwell (University of Texas Press)
  • The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America by Beth Lew-Williams (Harvard University Press)
  • The Commanders: Civil War Generals Who Shaped the American West by Robert M. Utley (University of Oklahoma)
  • The Denver Press Club: 150 Years of Printer's Devils, Bohemians, and Ghosts by Alan J. Kania (Xlibris)
  • The Earth Memory Compass: Dine Landscapes and Education in the Twentieth Century by Farina King (University Press of Kansas)
  • Elevations: A Personal Exploration of the Arkansas River by Max McCoy (University Press of Kansas)
  • Freedom's Racial Frontier: African Americans in the Twentieth-Century West by Herbert G Ruffin; Dwayne A Mack; Quintard Taylor (University of Oklahoma Press)
  • Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West, 1765-1776 by Patrick Spero (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • Hopi Runners: Crossing the Terrain Between Indian and American by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (University Press of Kansas)
  • How the West Was Drawn: Mapping, Indians, and the Construction of the Trans-Mississippi West by David Bernstein (University of Nebraska Press)
  • The Last Cowboys: A Pioneer Family in the New West by John Branch (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.)
  • Lest We Forget: World War I and New Mexico by David V. Holtby (University of Oklahoma Press)
  • The Life of Mark Twain: The Early Years by Gary Scharnhorst (University of Missouri Press)
  • The Light Shines from the West: A Western Perspective on the Growth of America by Robert C Baron (Fulcrum Publishing)
  • Nature Behind Barbed Wire: An Environmental History of the Japanese American Incarceration by Connie Y. Chiang (Oxford University Press)
  • Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean's Greatest Predator by Jason M. Colby (Oxford University Press)
  • Polly Pry: the Woman Who Wrote the West by Julia Bricklin (TwoDot)
  • Power and Progress on the Prairie: Governing People on Rosebud Reservation by Thomas Biolsi (University of Minnesota Press)
  • Redeeming la Raza: Transborder Modernity, Race, Respectability, and Rights by Gabriela Gonzalez (Oxford University Press)
  • The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became U.S. Property by Martin Case (Minnesota Historical Society Press)
  • Remembering Lucile: A Virginia Family's Rise From Slavery and a Legacy Forged a Mile High by Polly E. Bugros McLean (University Press of Colorado)
  • Shaped by the West Volume 1: A History of North America to 1877 by William Deverell and Anne Hyde (University of California Press)
  • Shaped by the West Volume 2: A History of North America from 1850 by William Deverell and Anne Hyde (University of California Press)
  • The Tanana Chiefs: Native Rights and Western Law by William Schneider (University of Alaska Press)
  • They Came to Toil: Newspaper Representations of Mexicans and Immigrants in the Great Depression by Melita M. Garza (University of Texas Press)
  • Untangling a Red, White, and Black Heritage by Darnella Davis (University of New Mexico Press)
  • Wanderer on the American Frontier: The Travels of John Maley, 1808-1813 by John Maley; F. Andrew Dowdy (University of Oklahoma Press)
  • White Hat: The Military Career of Captain William Philo Clark by Mark J. Nelson (University of Oklahoma Press)
  • Wildcat Women: Narratives of Women Breaking Ground in Alaska's Oil and Gas Industry by Carla Williams (University of Alaska Press)