Winners of the 2010 Bancroft Prize Announced by Columbia
NEW YORK, March 17, 2010 –

The authors of three acclaimed books—a biography of Depression-era photographer Dorothea Lange, a biography of first lady Abigail Adams, and a study of the indigenous child-removal policies of the United States and Australian governments from 1880-1940—will be awarded the Bancroft Prize for 2010, Columbia University announced today.


Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits

The winners are Linda Gordon, Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009); Woody Holton, Abigail Adams (New York: Free Press, 2009); and Margaret D. Jacobs, White Mother to a Dark Race: Settler Colonialism, Maternalism, and the Removal of Indigenous Children in the American West and Australia, 1880-1940 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009).

One of the most coveted honors in the field of history, the Bancroft is awarded annually by the trustees of Columbia University to the authors of books of exceptional merit in the fields of American history, biography and diplomacy. The 2010 awards are for books published in 2009.

Columbia Provost Claude M. Steele will present the awards at a formal dinner next month at the university’s Low Memorial Library, hosted by the department of history and University Libraries. The Bancroft Prize, which includes an award of $10,000 to each author, is administered by James Neal, vice president for information services and University Librarian.

Abigail Adams

“Over 200 books were nominated for consideration by the Bancroft jury this year,” said Neal. “Once again, we were very impressed by the number of excellent submissions covering a broad range of themes, and are proud to honor this year’s winners. The Bancroft prize is a celebration and affirmation of historical scholarship, the library, the book, the academic press, and the reportedly threatened scholarly monograph.”

Linda Gordon, author of Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits, is the Florence Kelley Professor of History at New York University. She is the author of numerous books and won the Bancroft Prize for The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction.

White Mother to a Dark Race

Woody Holton, author of Abigail Adams, is Associate Professor of History and American Studies at the University of Richmond. He is the author of three books, including Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution (Hill and Wang, 2007).

Margaret D. Jacobs, author of White Mother to a Dark Race: Settler Colonialism, Maternalism, and Indigenous Child Removal in the American West and Australia, 1880-1940, is Professor of History & Director, Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is also the author of Engendered Encounters: Feminism and Pueblo Cultures, 1879-1934 (University of Nebraska Press, 1999).

The Bancroft Prizes were established at Columbia in 1948 with a bequest from Frederic Bancroft, the historian, author and librarian of the Department of State, to provide steady development of library resources, to support instruction and research in American history and diplomacy and to recognize exceptional books in the field. Click here to view a list of previous winners.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: /content/libraryweb

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03/17/10 LMK