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The Caroline Bancroft History Prize

Past Award Winning Books

Past Honor Books


The Western History and 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 2019 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 the Denver Public Library as current employees, volunteers, or Library Commission members. The winner of the 2019 prize will be announced in the fall of 2019.

Only books published in 2018 will be considered for the 2019 prize. Books published in 2019 will be considered for the 2020 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 and 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 and Genealogy Department and the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library.

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 not later than May 1, 2019. 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.


2018 HONOR BOOK   


  • A History of Mortgage Banking in the West: Financing America's Dreams by E. Michael Rosser and Diane M. Sanders (University Press of Colorado)
  • A Promise Fulfilled: The Kitty Anderson Diary and Civil War Texas, 1861 by Kitty Anderson and Nancy Draves (Texas Tech University Press)
  • A to Z: Your Grand County History Alphabet by Penny Rafferty Hamilton and Patricia Shapiro (Grand County Historical Association)
  • Abolitionists, Doctors, Ranchers, & Writers: A Family Journey Through American History by Lynne Marie Getz (University Press of Kansas)
  • Beautifully Grotesque fish of the American West by Mark Spitzer (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Blood Brothers: The Story of the Strange Friendship Between Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill by Deanne Stillman (Simon & Schuster)
  • Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy West by Christopher Knowlton (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Center, Colorado: Su Voto Cuenta! by Shelly Wittevrongel and Jennie Sanchez (Old John Press)
  • City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965 by Kelly Lytle Hernández (University of North Carolina Press)
  • Civil War in the Southwest Borderlands, 1861-1867 by Andrew Edward Masich (University of Oklahoma Press)
  • Colorado's Deadliest Floods by Darla Sue Dollman (The History Press)
  • Dangerous Subjects: James D. Saules and the Rise of Black Exclusion in Oregon by Kenneth R. Coleman (Oregon State University Press)
  • Dodge City and the Birth of the Wild West by Robert R Dykstra; Jo Ann Manfra (University Press of Kansas)
  • Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West by Thomas Clavin (St. Martin’s Press)
  • Frank Little and the IWW: The Blood that Stained an American Family by Jane Little Botkin (University of Oklahoma Press)
  • God's Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion and the Making of Modern America by Louis S. Warren (New York Basic Books)
  • Grass Roots: A History of Cannabis in the American West by Nick Johnson (Oregon State University Press)
  • Homesteading the Plains: Toward a New History by Richard Edwards, Jacob K. Friefeld and Rebecca S. Wingo (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Jersey Gold: The Newark Overland Company's Trek to California, 1849 by Margaret Casterline Bowen and Gwendolyn Joslin Hiles (University of Oklahoma Press)
  • Killdozer: The True Story of the Colorado Bulldozer Rampage by Patrick Brower (Deer Track Publishing)
  • Lost Homeland: the Methow Tribe and the Columbia Reservation by E. Richard Hart and Elizabeth M. Watson (Shafer Historical Museum)
  • Morta Las Vegas: CSI and the Problem of the West by Nathaniel Lewis and Stephen Tatum (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Navajo Textiles: the Crane Collection at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science by Laurie D Webster, Louise Stiver, D. Y. Begay and Lynda Teller Pete (University Press of Colorado)
  • Nuevo South Latinas/os, Asians, and the Remaking of Place by Perla M. Guerrero (University of Texas Press)
  • Of Forest and Fields: Mexican Labor in the Pacific Northwest by Mario Jimenez Sifuentez (Rutgers University Press)
  • Populism and Imperialism Politics, Culture, and Foreign Policy in the American West, 1890-1900 by Nathan Jessen (University Press of Kansas)
  • Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser (Metropolitan Books)
  • Pure Land: A True Story of Three Lives, Three Cultures, and the Search for Heaven on Earth by Annette McGivney (AUXmedia)
  • Receive Our Memories: The Letters of Luz Moreno, 1950-1952 by Jose Orozco (Oxford University Press)
  • Seismic City: An Environmental History of San Francisco's 1906 Earthquake by Joanna Leslie Dyl (University of Washington Press)
  • The American Elsewhere: Adventure and Manliness in the Age of Expansion by Jimmy L. Bryan (University Press of Kansas)
  • The Baneberry Disaster: A Generation of Atomic Fallout by Larry Charles Johns and Alan R. Johns (University of Nevada Press)
  • The Death of an Heir: Adolph Coors III and the Murder that Rocked an American Brewing Dynasty by Philip Jett (St. Martin’s Press)
  • The History of the Death Penalty in Colorado by Michael L. Radelet (University Press of Colorado)
  • The INS on the Line: Making Immigration Law on the USbyMexico Border, 1917by1954 by S. Deborah Kang (Oxford University Press)
  • The Last Stand of the Pack by Stanley Paul Young, Andrew Gulliford, Tom Wolf and Arthur Hawthorne Carhart (University Press of Colorado)
  • The Modoc War: A Story of Genocide at the Dawn of America's Gilded Age by Robert Aquinas McNally (University of Nebraska Press)
  • The New Wild West: Black Gold, Fracking, and Life in a North Dakota Boomtown by Blaire Briody (St. Martin’s Press)
  • The Powell Expedition: New Discoveries About John Wesley Powell's 1869 River Journey by Don Lago (University of Nevada Press)
  • The Salem Clique: Oregon's Founding Brothers by Barbara S. Mahoney (Oregon State University Press)
  • The Spirit and the Sky: Lakota Visions of the Cosmos by Mark Hollabaugh (University of Nebraska Press)
  • The Touch of Civilization: Comparing American and Russian Internal Colonization by Steven Sabol (University Press of Colorado)
  • Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War by Daniel J. Sharfstein (W. W. Norton & Company)
  • Troublemakers: The Story of Silicon Valley's Coming of Age by Leslie Berlin (Simon & Schuster)
  • Wild Horse Country: The History, Myth, and Future of the Mustang by David Phillips (W. W. Norton & Company)
  • Wonderlandscape: Yellowstone National Park and the Evolution of an American Cultural Icon by John Clayton (Pegasus Books)
  • Yellowstone and the Smithsonian: Centers of Wildlife Conservation by Diane Smith (University Press of Kansas)