About the Prize
The Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize is awarded annually for the finest scholarly work in English on Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War soldier, or a subject relating to their era.
The $50,000 prize was co-founded and endowed by businessmen and philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, principals of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York and co-creators of the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the largest private archives of documents and artifacts in the nation.
The Institute devotes itself to history education by supporting magnet schools, teacher training, curriculum development, exhibitions, and publications, as well as endowing several major history awards.
Gilder and Lehrman established the Prize in 1990, together with Prof. Gabor Boritt, Director Emeritus of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College. Since founding the Prize in 1990, Gilder and Lehrman have bestowed some $1 million on the annual winners, including special prizes.
The Prize will generally go to a book but in rare instances an important article or essay might be honored. When studies competing for the Prize show similar scholarly merit, preference will be given to work on Abraham Lincoln, or the Civil War soldier, or work aimed at the literate general public. In harmony with the last preference, in rare instances the Prize may go to a work or works of fiction, poetry, the theatre, the arts, a film, scholarly article or editing project, provided they are true to history. In rare instances, the Prize may go to a historical project, such as an inspired conference or an editing project, such as an inspired conference or an editing project. In rare instances, the trustees may grant the award to a work or service related to Lincoln, or the Civil War soldier or their era, not included in the foregoing description. As many as two prizes may be awarded each year. It will be awarded for works published only during the designated year of the Prize.
The Prize is intended chiefly to encourage outstanding new scholarship. Each year any work that appears during the previous year may be eligible for consideration. However, facing a lean scholarly year, the Board of Trustees may request the jury to consider work from the previous two or three years.
The Prize is supervised and awarded by the five trustees. The Board of Trustees appoints a jury of three historians or qualified specialists each year. The jury will be requested to recommend three finalists and the Board of Trustees is to make a final selection of the winner.
For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.