The Bancroft Prizes

About the Bancroft Prizes

The Bancroft Prizes are awarded annually by Columbia University in the City of New York. Under the terms of the will of the late Fredric Bancroft, provision is made for two annual prizes of equal rank to be awarded to the authors of distinguished works in either or both of the following categories: American History (including biography) and Diplomacy.

The awards in a given year are for books published in the previous year. The competition is open to all persons whether connected with Columbia University or not and whether citizens of the United States or any other country. Announcement of the awards will be made in the spring of the prize year.

The word "American" is interpreted to include all the Americas, North, Central, and South; however, the award is confined to works originally written in English or of which there is a published translation in English. Volumes of papers, letters, and speeches of famous Americans, unless edited by the author, are not eligible. Autobiography comes within the terms of the prize, but books reporting on recent personal experiences of Americans, within a limited area both in time and geographically, are not considered eligible.

Previous winners of the Bancroft Prize are eligible for an award in a later year.


Submit a Nomination

We are now accepting submissions for works published in 2023.


  • November 1, 2023 for works published prior to that date.
  • Page-proof copy may be submitted after November 1, provided the work will be published after the date and before December 31, 2023. (Page-proof copy will not be accepted for any work that will have a publication date earlier than November 1.) If the work you are submitting will arrive after the November 1 deadline due to its publication late in 2023, please indicate this special circumstance via email prior to November 1. (This way the work can be logged prior to the deadline and still be considered eligible for jury review.)

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Submit four (4) hard copies of the text—three for the members of the jury and one for the Libraries of Columbia University—to the following address. Include a letter with the books identifying the nominated books and a contact at the publisher.

    Attention: Bancroft Prize Committee, Columbia University
    c/o The Office of the University Librarian
    517 Butler Library, Mail Code 1101
    535 West 114th St.
    New York, NY 10027
  2. In addition to four hard copies, for all works submitted, a PDF copy is also requested.
    • Send an email with the attached PDF to:
    • The subject line of the email should read:
      • Bancroft Prize Nomination: [Author Last Name, Author First Name]
    • The body of the message should include all of the following details:
      • Book Title
      • Full names of all authors
      • Year of publication
      • Name of publishing company
      • Name, email address, and phone number of contact at publishing company
    • Please send the PDF as an attachment to your nomination email. The PDF file should be named according to the example below
      • [Author last name] – [Book title].pdf
        for example:
        Brooks – Our Beloved Kin.pdf


Please contact with questions.


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Please contact with questions.