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Society of Architectural Historians Mellon Author Awards 2017, USA


June 01, 2017

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SAH/Mellon Author Awards

In 2016, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) a grant of $60,800 to administer the SAH/Mellon Author Awards. These awards are designed to provide financial relief to scholars who are publishing their first monograph on the history of the built environment, and who are responsible for paying for rights and permissions for images or for commissioning maps, charts or line drawings in their publications. The publication of a monograph continues to be the most valued demonstration of scholarly competence for career advancement and recognition in the humanities. Unfortunately, many authors today must provide both a fully realized text and the financial resources for its image program. The cost for image rights and licensing, especially for digital publications, can be prohibitively expensive.

Through this grant, SAH will provide awards to scholars to help defray the high costs of image licensing, reproduction, and creation of original drawings and maps for monographs on the history of the built environment. This grant is intended as a seed grant to assist authors to pay for these costs and to secure other applicable grants. Awards will be made once in 2016 and once in 2017 for print (hardcover, soft cover) and digital publications (eBook, DVD). Awardees will be selected on the basis of the quality and demonstrated financial need for their project.

The SAH/Mellon Author Awards jury comprises distinguished mid-career and senior scholars who are members of SAH and whose specializations cover a broad range of scholarship on the built environment. The jury has discretion over the number of awardees and the size of the grant to be awarded, but a typical grant would be $5,000–$6,000. The grants will be made directly to authors to defray the costs of image acquisitions.

SAH is grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for supporting this award.


Applications for the SAH/Mellon Author Awards will be considered only for book-length, scholarly manuscripts on architectural history and the history of the built environment that are currently under contract with a publisher. Awards are made solely in support of image acquisition or creation, such as for reimbursement of costs for the reproduction and licensing of images in print and digital formats or the creation of original artwork such as drawings or maps. This award does not cover new photography.

Successful applicants will be first-time book authors who are under contract with a publisher for a manuscript on the history of the built environment. 

Applications are judged on two primary measures: (1) the quality of the project; and (2) the need for financial assistance on the part of the author.

Additional criteria for making awards include: (1) support will be for emerging scholars who have recently (within the last six years) been awarded a PhD, assistant professors in the tenure track, postdoctoral scholars, early-career independent scholars and/or early career scholars who are publishing a first book; (2) funds are to be used for reimbursement of anticipated expenses for rights and reproductions as well as commissioning special charts, maps and other types of didactic illustrations (not photographs); (3) books must be under contract with a publisher; (4) SAH will award grants to authors for manuscripts only on architectural history and the history of the built environment; (5) as this is an international award program, authors from anywhere in the world may apply. All applicants must be members of SAH.


  • Awards are open to authors of all nations; however, applications must be submitted in English.
  • Authors can be under contract with commercial or nonprofit publishers. Self-published books are not eligible.
  • Books covering all periods and areas in the history of architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, and related subjects are eligible, except for those about art history and visual studies (see below). Excavation or other technical reports, articles, previously published works (including collections of previously published essays), or congress proceedings are not eligible. 
  • The author will have received a PhD and must submit proof and date of PhD and current professional standing.
  • The author must be a current member of SAH.
  • A project that has been rejected for an SAH/Mellon Author Awards grant may not be resubmitted.


The application deadline is June 1, 2017. Awards are made in July, and authors receive notification of awards within four to six weeks.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Publish Date
March 03, 2017

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