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 2023 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 2023 prize will be announced in December 2023.

Only books published in 2022 will be considered for the 2023 prize. Books published in 2023 will be considered for the 2024 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 May 1, 2023. 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.



The Girl Who Dared to Defy: Jane Street and the Rebel Maids of Denver by Jane Little Botkin (University of Oklahoma Press)



  • The Apache Diaspora: Four Centuries of Displacement and Survival by Paul Conrad. University of Pennsylvania Press
  • Becoming Colorado: The Centennial State in 100 Objects by William Wei. University Press of Colorado
  • California and Hawai'i Bound: U.S. Settler Colonialism and the Pacific West, 1848-1959 by Henry Knight Lozano. University of Nebraska Press
  • Cold War Montana by Ken Robison. Arcadia
  • Confederates and Comancheros: Skullduggery and Double-Dealing in the Texas-New Mexico Borderlands by James Bailey Blackshear and Glen Sample Ely. University of Oklahoma Press
  • Country of the Cursed and the Driven: Slavery and the Texas Borderlands by Paul Barba. University of Nebraska Press
  • Driving While Brown: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Versus the Latino Resistance by Jude Joffe-Block and Terry Greene Sterling. University of California Press
  • Eben Smith: The Dean of Western Mining by David Fosyth. University Press of Colorado
  • Jim Bridger: Trailblazer of the American West by Jerry Enzler. University of Oklahoma Press
  • Historic Tales of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park by Deborah Osterberg. Arcadia
  • John P. Slough: The Forgotten Civil War General by Richard L. Miller. University of New Mexico Press
  • A Line of Blood and Dirt: Creating the Canada-United States Border Across Indigenous Lands by Benjamin Hoy. Oxford University Press
  • Public Waters: Lessons from Wyoming for the American West by Anne MacKinnon. University of New Mexico Press
  • Sally in Three Worlds: An Indian Captive in the House of Brigham Young by Virginia Kerns. University of Utah Press
  • The Settler Sea: California's Salton Sea and the Consequences of Colonialism by Traci Brynne Voyles. University of Nebraska Press
  • Something Like Treason: Disloyal American Soldiers & the Plot to Bring World War II Home by William Sonn. Sunbury Press
  • This Land is Herland: Gendered Activism in Oklahoma from the 1870s to the 2010s edited by Sarah Eppler Janda and Patricia Loughlin. University of Oklahoma Press
  • Vanished Denver Landmarks by Mark A. Barnhouse. Arcadia
  • War on the Border: Villa, Pershing, the Texas Rangers, and an American Invasion by Jeff Guinn. Simon & Schuster
  • West of Slavery: The Southern Dream of a Transcontinental Empire by Kevin Waite. University of North Carolina Press
  • You Are Not American: Citizenship Stripping from Dred Scott to the Dreamers by Amanda Frost. Beacon Press