Outstanding Achievement Awards

Each year, the Alliance presents awards in two categories – Individual Achievement and History Outreach. Individual Achievement Awards recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to Ohio’s historical societies, history museums, or the understanding and appreciation of state and local history. History Outreach Awards recognize outstanding local history projects in the categories of public programming, media and publications, and exhibits or displays. 

Awards are presented at the Alliance Annual Meeting in October.

Past Award Winners

Nominations will open summer 2018.

General Rules

  • All nominations must pertain to Ohio state, regional, or local history.
  • Any person or project is eligible to be nominated for the program; however, the nominator (person or group) must be a member of the Ohio Local History Alliance.
  • Ohio Local History Alliance members may nominate their own projects.
  • Submitted materials become the property of the Ohio Local History Alliance unless return is requested and a self-addressed stamped envelope is provided.
  • Nominations may be described or reviewed in the newsletter and electronic publications of the Ohio Local History Alliance without specific permission.
  • Each nomination must be presented in a three-ring binder indexed into sections titled:
    1. Nomination Form
    2. Description of Project or Individual’s Contributions to Local History
    3. Budget (not applicable for Individual Achievement Awards)
    4. Letters of Support
    5. Publicity


Soon after the deadline, a group of reviewers will evaluate the nominations.  It is anticipated that the review will be completed in August and the award recipients announced by the end of the month.  The awards will be presented at the Ohio Local History Alliance annual meeting in October.  The recipients or their representatives should attend to accept the award.

OLHA Outstanding Achievement Awards Categories:

1) Individual Achievement Awards
Individual Achievement Awards recognize people who have made outstanding contributions to Ohio’s historical societies or history museums or to the understanding and appreciation of state or local history. Nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Be involved in a historical society, museum, or related organization for at least five years.
  • Demonstrate activity and excellence in more than one area of the organization’s operations.
  • If involved in teaching, demonstrate creativity in teaching methods and expertise in local and state history.

Support Material for Individual Achievement Awards
Nominations must be accompanied by letters of recommendation for the award and, for publicity purposes, one or more color or black-and-white photographs of the nominee.  Support material is very important. The review panel needs news clippings, activity information, lesson plans, publicity, and other material to help them gain a clear picture of the nominee’s contributions to local history, historical organizations, or teaching.

2) History Outreach Awards
History Outreach Awards recognize outstanding projects that have educational content, that have contributed to the promotion and understanding of local and state history, and that have had an impact on the community. In other words, projects that inspired, connected, and educated their audiences to local history. Nominations will be accepted for projects in the following categories:

  • Public Programming:
    These include, but are not limited to, school programs, workshops, tours, and lectures. Programs will be judged on their historical and educational value and on their implementation. Please include in the award nomination materials a written description and photographs of the program. The judges will determine whether your public program is award-worthy based on your nomination materials.  
  • Media and Publications:
    This is a broad category that includes local and regional history publications in the form of books, brochures, websites, newsletters, calendars, and posters, among other formats. Nominations must demonstrate that the publication accomplished its goal, reached its intended audience, and stimulated a greater interest in history.  Style, creativity, and content will be considered. Please include a copy of the publication in the nomination materials.
  • Exhibits/Displays:
    Exhibits will be judged on the basis of historical significance, factual and contextual accuracy, organization, design and “look” of the exhibit, and understandable narrative.  Please include in the nomination photographs and a physical description of the exhibit, brief excerpts from the exhibit script, and sample labels.  Keep in mind that the judges will have to decide whether your exhibit is award-worthy based on these materials without having seen the exhibit in person.

Support Material for History Outreach Awards
For all projects nominated for History Outreach Awards, please include:

  • Detailed budget with itemized expenses. These costs may include, but are not limited to, salaries, in-kind expenses (outside institution or individual volunteer costs), postage, supplies, printing, construction costs, equipment, refreshments, transportation and rentals.  Nominations will not be considered without a budget.
  • Copies of publicity: press releases, articles, and photographs of the project and public who participated in the event.
  • Letters of support from people who thought that the project benefited the community.
  • Brief narrative about the people involved in creating or implementing the project.

Download the full guidelines and last year’s nomination form.