The Bancroft Prizes


Description & Guidelines

The Bancroft Prizes are awarded annually by Columbia University in the City of New York. Under the terms of the will of the late Frederic 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 2021 are for books published in 2020. 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 2021.

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.

The deadline has passed for submitting works published in 2020 for consideration for the Bancroft Prizes awarded in 2021. We are no longer accepting submissions. Thank you to all who submitted entries. 

Please contact bancroft-prize@library.columbia.edu with questions.