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AHPCS Publication Awards: 2023 Book Award and two new Essay Awards announced

The American Historical Print Collectors Society Announces New Publication Awards
The 2023 Ewell L. Newman Book Award for 2023 recognizes Imperfect History: Curating the Graphic Arts Collection at Benjamin Franklin’s Public Library. (Philadelphia, PA: The Library Company of Philadelphia, 2021). 84 pp. Paper. The publication is free, but mailing fees will apply. To request a copy, please contact
Five essays by Sarah Weatherwax, Erika Piola, and Kinaya Hassane explore the development of the graphic arts collection within the Library Company from its founding by Benjamin Franklin in 1731 and including its role as a national library for Congress when Philadelphia was the seat of government in the United States between 1790 and 1800. By the 1850s it was the largest public library in America, and a century later it was transformed into a renowned research library. The authors consider the collection’s development in light of the historical and cultural emphases and biases within this long span of American history.
Imperfect History offers readers a rich understanding of how historical trends in the acquisition and exhibition of the graphic arts mirror attitudes about the role of visual cultural within a single collecting institution as well as American society as a whole. The book provides a timely analysis of the ways in which image-makers and collectors (and their libraries) were shaped by ever-shifting views on race, gender, urban development, and national identity.
New publication awards
The AHPCS Board has voted to add two essay awards to recognize shorter works published in journals and edited volumes, including exhibition catalogues and digital formats. Essays between 3,000 and 10,000 words will be considered. Works should be submitted in published form as a hard copy or digital attachment. The Society’s present Newman Award Committee will serve as the jury to evaluate these additional submissions. Jurors are all AHPCS members and include collectors, curators, and scholars of American prints.
The purpose of the book and essay awards is to recognize and encourage outstanding scholarship in the field, as defined in our mission statement: prints depicting or reflecting North American history and culture, made either in America or elsewhere. Original research, fresh assessments, and the fluent synthesis of known material will be taken into account. The emphasis is on quality and on making an outstanding contribution to the subject. Publications remain eligible from the year of publication through the following year, a period of approximately two years. Once a work has been reviewed by the jury, it will not be considered in a subsequent cycle except in a substantially revised edition. Submissions received by December 1st will be considered for the award announced the following spring.
Each annual cycle typically will result in one Book Award in the amount of $2,000 and two Essay Awards in the amount of $750 each. One of the essay awards will be designated for the best article in the AHPCS journal Imprint. Awards are not necessarily presented each year but are determined by the quality of available submissions. Occasionally, there may be multiple winners in an individual year.
Submissions & contact information
To submit material to the Jury for consideration, please mail a copy to:
Helena E. Wright, 4628 49th Street NW, Washington, DC 20016
For additional information, please contact the Committee chair at:
Publishers and authors, please note: if it is possible to provide multiple copies, it would facilitate distribution of the publications among the Committee and speed their work. Please contact the Committee chair for individual addresses. Thank you.
For further information about the Society, please visit our website at . A list of all Newman Book Award winners to date can be found at

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