Western History / Genealogy > The Caroline Bancroft History Prize

The Caroline Bancroft History Prize

Cowboys and Indians, rodeos, campfires and gunfights comprise the popular view of the Old West. The Caroline Bancroft History Prize is awarded annually by the Denver Public Library to authors of non-fiction books about Colorado or the West. Established as a bequest in 1986 in honor of Caroline Bancroft, a noted chronicler of Colorado history, the award allows the Western History/Genealogy Department to recognize authors who feature new perspectives about the West and who excel in research and writing. Honor books are also given recognition each year.

2003 Bancroft Prize Winner

Author Will Bagley is the recipient of the 2003 prize for his book Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows, University of Oklahoma Press.

Caroline Bancroft History Prize Winners

Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows
Will Bagley
A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell
Donald Worster
Pioneer Photographers of the Far West: A Biographical Dictionary, 1840 1865
Peter E. Palmquist and Thomas R. Kailbourn
2000 Jefferson and the Indians: the Tragic Fate of the First Americans Anthony F.C. Wallace
1999 The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, and the Rush to Colorado Elliott West
1998 Dust Bowl Migrants in the American Imagination Charles J. Shindo
1997 Big Bluestem: Journey into the Tallgrass Annick Smith
1996 Independent Spirits: Women Painters of the American West, 1890 1945 Edited by Patricia Trenton
1995 Antigua California: Mission and Colony of the Peninsular Frontier, 1697 1768 Harry W. Crosby
1994 Trials and Triumphs: A Colorado Portrait of the Great Depression with FSA Photographs Stephen J. Leonard
1993 The Spanish Frontier in North America David J. Weber
1992 When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away Ramon A. Gutierrez
1991 Thomas O. Larkin: A Life of Patriotism and Profit in Old California Harlan Hague and David J. Langum
1990 Growing Up with the Country: Childhood on the Far Western Frontier Elliot West
1990 A Story that Stands Like a Dam: Glen Canyon and the Struggle for the Soul of the West Russell Martin
1989 The Protestant Clergy in the Great Plains and Mountain West, 1865 1915 Ferenc Morton Szasz
1988 The Mythic West in Twentieth Century America Robert G. Athearn

Bancroft Honor Books



James F. Brooks. Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship and Community in the Southwest Borderlands. University of North Carolina Press.

Peter Iverson. Din'e: A History of the Navajos. University of New Mexico Press.



Barton Barbour. Fort Union and the Upper Missouri River Fur Trade. University of Oklahoma Press

Dan Flores. The Natural West: Environmental History of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. University of Oklahoma Press



Kevin Fernlund. William Henry Holmes and the Rediscovery of the American West. University of New Mexico Press

Brian Roberts. American Alchemy: The California Gold Rush and Middle Class Culture. University of North Carolina Press


The Caroline Bancroft Trust funds the annual cash award to the winning author.

Entries must be books copyrighted the previous year, a minimum of 100 pages in length, and written in English. We accept entries only from publishers, not authors or individuals.

The area of consideration is the trans-Mississippi West, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Mexican and Canadian borderlands, from prehistory to the recent past.

For further information contact the Western History/Genealogy Department, Denver Public Library, 14th Avenue Parkway, Denver, CO, 80204-2731. Telephone 720-865-1811.


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