HS Learning History Research and Innovation Award sponsored by Gale Cengage


The ALA RUSA History Section is offering the Learning History Research and Innovation Award sponsored by Gale Cengage.  The award will be granted to an MLS degreed librarian from an ALA accredited school to facilitate and further research relating to history and history librarianship.  An emphasis in an area reflected by the History Section’s subject-oriented committees, not excluding American history, is required.  Those committees are: Genealogy, Local History, Instruction and Research Services, and Historical Materials.

The award winner will receive a citation and $2500 which may be used at the winner’s discretion.  Examples: to offset travel expenses to consult distant materials, to pay photocopying charges, to obtain copyright permissions, to offset publication subvention costs, to buy equipment needed for the project, to purchase research-related office supplies, or like expenditures.  The individual applicant and his/her institution shall determine whether the award money will be paid directly to the librarian as an individual or to his or her institution, based on the institution’s grant recipient requirements and whether the project is for personal research unrelated to the librarian’s job or for a work-related project.  Please note in the grant submission to whom the funds should be directed and provide contact information.

*Monetary award amounts are subject to change without notice and are contingent upon donor funding supplied at the time the award is presented.


To nominate a deserving member, complete the nomination form. The nomination form can be found on the RUSA Update Resources page. Non-ALA members must submit their nominations to the committee chair.

Submission of Proposals

Candidates must submit a proposal with the following:

  • A.C.V./resume
  • A double-spaced proposal, not exceeding 1,500 words, describing the proposed research project:
    • Why the funds are needed
    • How they will help the proposed project come to fruition
    • A preliminary title
    • The time frame in which the work will be conducted
    • The intended product (for example:  website, book, digital full-text(s), article, book chapter, research guide, conference paper, etc.)
    • The name of the person or institution to whom the money will be paid
    • Affiliation of the librarian conducting the project
    • Contact information of the librarian conducting the project
    • A detailed budget

Please note, if the award winner is not a member of the RUSA History Section, he or she must be a member by the time the award is announced in March.


  • The value of the proposed research.  All applicants should provide persuasive evidence that the proposed project has practical and/or scholarly value to the history librarianship community.  The proposal should be as explicit as possible about the current state of knowledge of the subject, state the proposed objective(s), and tell what accomplishment of the project will achieve.
  • The methodology to be used.  The research design should be outlined as specifically as possible and should demonstrate why (and where) travel is necessary, if that is proposed.
  • The feasibility of the project.
  • The applicants qualifications.
  • Project timeline.

A wrap-up report submission to the History Section Executive Board is required upon completion of the project. Publication of the results is encouraged.


The project will be evaluated with the following criteria:

  • Value of the project to the history librarianship community – possible 5 points with a weighted value of 3
  • Quality, depth, comprehensiveness of the literature reviewed – possible 5 points with a weighted value of 2
  • Feasibility of the project – a combination of the appropriateness of the research method/research design and the reasonableness of the timeline – possible 4 points with a weighted value of 1
  • Applicant’s qualifications – possible 2 points with a weighted value of 1
  • Reasonableness of proposed expenditures – possible 2 points with a weighted value of 1

Proposals will be scored independently by a 4-person review team, consisting of the History Section immediate past chair and the three members at large.  Scores for each proposal will be averaged and the final figure for each proposal will be used to rank the results.


Recent Recipients

Jennifer Brannock, Curator of Rare Books and Mississippiana, University of Southern Mississippi Libraries
Jennifer McElroy, Reference Librarian, Minnesota Historical Society
Wayne A. Wiegand, author and  F. William Summers Professor Emeritus of Library and Information Studies at Florida State University
Thomas G. Padilla, Michigan State University Libraries
David J. Gary, Yale University Library
Yvonne Carignan, George Mason University
Thea Lindquist, University of Colorado at Boulder

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