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The Western History Association announces competition for the annual Dwight L. Smith (ABC-CLIO) Award. This award for $500 ($300 to the author/editor and $200 to the publisher) will be given to an author/editor and the publisher of a significant bibliography or research tool - either a book or other bibliographic/research tool publication, electronic or otherwise - on any aspect of the history of the American West. 

All submissions must have a 2023 copyright date. Presses should submit nominations and a copy of the volume to each member of the award committee listed below. While the formal process requires presses/journals to submit the work of their authors, the WHA strongly recommends that authors check with the award committee chair a week before the deadline to see if they received a copy of their work.

-2024 Awards Cycle opens January 15, 2024

-2024 Award Submission (Postmark) Deadline: April 15, 2024

The WHA office sends notifications to selected award recipients at the end of August. 


Laurie Mercier, Chair
Washington State University Vancouver

2633 SW Hume Ct.
Portland, OR 97219

Suzanne Noruschat
University of Southern California Libraries

3550 Trousdale Pkwy
Doheny Memorial Library, Room 218
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Herbert Ruffin

Syracuse University

200 Sims Hall 

Syracuse, NY 13244



2023 | Amy Tanner Thiriot, Slavery in Zion: A Documentary and Genealogical History of Black Lives and Black Servitude in Utah Territory, 1847-1862 (University of Utah Press) |and| Thierry Veyrié, The Dakota Way of Life by Ella Cara Deloria (University of Nebraska Press, 2022)

2022 | James E. Crisp, ed. Inside the Texas Revolution: The Enigmatic Memoir of Herman Ehrenberg (Texas State Historical Association Press, 2021)

2021 | Richard Etulain for Billy the Kid: A Reader's Guide (University of Oklahoma Press, 2020)

2020 | No Award Given

2019 | Christopher D. Haveman, ed. Bending Their Way Onward: Creek Indian Removal in Documents (University of Nebraska Press, 2018) 

2018 | Raymond J. DeMallie, Douglas R. Parks, and Robert Vezina for A Fur Trader on the Upper Missouri: The Journal and Description of Jean-Baptiste Truteau, 1794-1796 (University of Nebraska Press, 2017)

2017 | Jill Mulvay Derr, Carol Cornwall Madsen, Kate Holbrook, and Matthew J. Grow for The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter Day Saint Women's History (Church Historian's Press, 2016)

2016 | Dennis Baird, Diane Mallickan, and W.R. Swagerty for Encounters with the People: Written and Oral Accounts of Nez Perce Life to 1858 (Washington State University Press, 2015)

2014 | Emily Levine for Witness: A Hunkpapha Historian's Strong-Hearted Song of the Lakotas, by Josephine Waggoner (University of Nebraska Press, 2013)

2012 | Lisbeth Haas for Pablo Tac, Indigenous Scholar: Writing Luseño Language and Colonial History c. 1840 (University of California Press, 2011)

2010 | Marsha Gallagher and Steve Witte of the Joslyn Art Museum for North American Journals of Prince Maximilian of Wied, Volume 1, May 1832-April 1833, translated by William J. Orr, Paul Schach, and Dieter Karch and published in 2008 by University of Oklahoma Press in cooperation with Durham Center for Western Studies at the Joslyn Art Museum

2008 | John W. Reps for John Caspar Wild: Painter and Printmaker of Nineteenth Century Urban America (The Missouri Historical Society Press, 2006)

2006 | Lynda Claassen and the Mandeville Special Collection Library for The Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages at the University of California, San Diego (William Reese Co. & Horden House Ltd.)

2004 | Vine Deloria, Jr., Editor and University of Oklahoma Press for The Indian Reorganization Act: Congresses and Bills (2002) 

2002 | Alice Cornell, Editor, and University of Cincinnati Digital Press, for James Otto Lewis‘ The Aboriginal Portfolio: The Complete Edition (2001)

2000 | Rolena Adorno and Patrick Charles Pautz for Álvar Núnez Cabeza de Vaca: His Account, His Life, and the expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez (University of Nebraska Press,1999)

1998 | Diana Hadley, Thomas H. Naylor, Mardith K. Schuetz-Miller for The Presidio and Militia on the Northern Frontier of New Spain: A Documentary History, Volume Two, Part Two: The Central Corridor and Texas Corridor, 1700-1765 (University of Arizona Press,1997)

1996 | David J. Whittaker, ed., Mormon Americana: A Guide to Sources and Collections in the United States (BYU Studies,1995)

1994 | Robert A. Clark and Patrick J. Brunet, eds. for The Arthur H. Clark Company: A Bibliography and History, 1902- 1992 (Arthur H. Clark, 1993)

1992 | Donald L. DeWitt for American Indian Resource Materials in the Western History Collections (University of Oklahoma Press, 1990)



Dwight L. Smith (1918-2010) After graduating from Indiana Central (the University of Indianapolis) in 1940, Dwight L. Smith went on to receive his PhD in History from Indiana University. Dr. Smith taught at Ohio State from 1949 to 1953. He then taught at Miami University of Ohio until he retired in 1984. Originally focusing on the Old Northwest, Dr. Smith later became an expert on the American West and an early advocate of studying Native American and African American history. (Courtesy of the University of Indianapolis)

Western History Association

University of Kansas | History Department

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Lawrence, KS 66045 | 785-864-0860 

The WHA is located in the Department of History at the University of Kansas. The WHA is grateful to KU's History Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their generous support!