History Awards

    These awards recognize individuals, organizations, and communities who have made outstanding contributions to the study, practice, and preservation of Iowa history. Nine distinct awards with varying criteria are presented annually by the State Historical Society of Iowa Board of Trustees.

    William J. Petersen & Edgar R. Harlan Lifetime Achievement Award

    The Petersen/Harlan Award recognizes an individual, group, or organization that has made significant long-term or continuing contributions to Iowa history. It is named in honor of two legends at the State Historical Society of Iowa, William J. Petersen and Edgar R. Harlan. William Petersen, long-time curator of the State Historical Society in Iowa City, was known for his book, Steamboating on the Mississippi, thus earning the nickname "Steamboat Bill." Edgar Harlan, who served as the second director and curator of the Historical Department of Iowa, played a key role in acquiring many of the museum’s most important collections.

    Loren Horton Community History Award

    This award is named in honor of Loren Horton, who represented the State Historical Society of Iowa in many capacities from 1973 until his retirement in 1996. As the society’s field services coordinator, and later as senior historian, Horton’s work brought him in close contact with many local historical organizations. In keeping with that legacy, this award recognizes the best project that increases awareness and participation in Iowa history on a local level. The award recognizes an individual, group, or organization whose outstanding local history project was completed during the previous calendar year.

    George Mills & Louise Noun Popular History Award

    This award recognizes the author of the most significant popular history article on an Iowa history topic published during the previous calendar year. The board may give one award and up to two certificates of recognition annually. It is named in honor of Iowa reporter and popular historian George Mills and historian of women’s history and philanthropist Louise Noun.

    Mildred Throne & Charles Aldrich Iowa History Award

    This award recognizes the author of the most significant article on Iowa history in a professional history journal during the previous calendar year. The board may give one award and up to two certificates of recognition annually.  It is named in honor of Mildred Throne, longtime editor of the Iowa Journal of History and Politics, and Charles Aldrich, who founded the third series of The Annals of Iowa.

    Benjamin F. Shambaugh Published Book Award

    This annual award recognizes the author of the most significant book published on Iowa history during the previous calendar year. The board may give one award and up to two certificates of recognition annually. It is named in honor of Benjamin F. Shambaugh, for forty years the superintendent of the State Historical Society of Iowa, professor of political economy at the University of Iowa, and one of the founders of the "new social science" at the turn of the 20th century.

    Judith A. McClure Award

    This award recognizes outstanding preservation of a residential property using State Historic Preservation and Cultural and Entertainment District Tax Credit Program incentives. For purposes of this award, a residential property shall be defined as a building with two or fewer residential units. The award is named in honor of Judith McClure, a well-respected Iowa preservation architect and pioneer in the revitalization of the Sherman Hill Historic District in Des Moines.

    Adrian D. Anderson Award

    This award recognizes outstanding preservation of a small historic preservation project using State Historic Preservation and Cultural and Entertainment District Tax Credit Program incentives. For purposes of this award, small projects are defined as those having total qualified costs of $500,000 or less. The award is named in honor of Adrian Anderson, a highly regarded Iowa archaeologist who spearheaded the creation of the State Historic Preservation Office in Iowa and served as Iowa’s first Historic Preservation Officer.

    Margaret Keyes Award

    This award recognizes outstanding preservation of a large historic preservation project using State Historic Preservation and Cultural and Entertainment District Tax Credit Program incentives. For purposes of this award, large projects are defined as those projects having total qualified costs of more than $500,000. The award is named in honor of Margaret Keyes, a University of Iowa professor and nationally recognized leader in historic preservation who led the restoration of Iowa’s original state capitol in Iowa City.

    William J. Wagner Award

    This award recognizes the historic preservation project which best exemplifies use of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation while using State Historic Preservation and Cultural and Entertainment District Tax Credit Program incentives. The award is named in honor of William Wagner, an Iowa preservation architect and pioneer in architectural preservation. He worked on such projects as Terrace Hill, Salisbury House and the Dallas County Courthouse.

    State Historic Tax Credit projects from the prior state fiscal year (July 1–June 30) will be invited to apply for consideration for these preservation awards. Contact us for more information about how to apply for a historic preservation award.

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