Local History Publication & e-Publication Awards – nominations open now

It is that time of year again when the CILIP Local Studies Group start calling for submissions for the Alan Ball Award for Local History publishing. Once again there are categories for the best printed and the best digital publications released, this time published in 2015 and the first half of 2016.

Last year, we judged entries for 2013 and 2014, catching up after a hiatus in the award. There were 5 high quality entries in the hard copy category, and 16 exceptional and innovative entries in the e-publication category. The winners of the hard copy award were Martin Hayes and Emma White (ed), West Sussex Remembering 1914-18, History Press in Association with West Sussex County Council, 2014, ISBN 978-0-7509-6065-6. Joint winners of the e-publication were The Buxton Museum App, produced by Derbyshire County Council’s Buxton Museum & Art Gallery & Milford Street Bridge Project Website – produced by the Milford Street Bridge Community Project.


The Alan Ball Local History Awards were established by the Library Services Trust in 1985 to encourage local history publishing by public libraries and local authorities. The awards were named after Alan W. Ball, a former Chief Librarian of the London Borough of Harrow, and author of many local history publications.

CILIP LSG has taken on the administration, judging and promotion of the award. This has always been a prestigious award within the library and information community, especially for Local Studies services, and the LSG is honoured to be involved with it. Traditionally, the award had been for printed materials, although more recently electronic information such as websites was considered. It is now updated, with expanded the criteria, so like last year we are hoping for a bumper crop of submissions! It is a great opportunity for the heritage community to celebrate and promote so many wonderful activities and research. Last year there were no submissions from Scotland and Northern Ireland, so it would be great to see the whole of the UK represented.


Once again, there will be two awards this year, one for printed material and another for digital. Printed material might include books, pamphlets and guides etc.; while digital submission might include websites, apps, video, animation and some aspects of social media, such as blogs. We are interested in both the quality and usefulness of the content, and also how it engages the reader or user, especially new users.

The award is now be open to all heritage and community organisations involved with some aspect of Local History and who receive or have received public funding. This also includes lottery funding, e.g. Heritage Lottery Fund and Awards for All. In addition to local authority libraries, archives, museum and archaeology services; it includes small local museums, heritage centres and community history projects.

Submitting your entry

We will need submissions to be with us by 31st October 2016.

For the hard print prize, we would like a hard copy of any printed item you submit together with a paper entry form to: Terry Bracher (Chairman of CILIP LSG) c/o Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham. SN15 3QN

For online resources, please complete this e-form, or send any CDs or DVDs together with a paper entry form to Terry Bracher (Chairman of CILIP LSG) c/o Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham. SN15 3QN

The Prize

Winners will be given a certificate, the use of a winner’s logo and accorded the title of Alan Ball Award winner, which can be used on promotional material. Sadly, there is no trophy or cash prize, but as previous award winners will confirm, it is a prestigious award that is very meaningful within Local History community.

We expect judging to take place in November 2016.

Any other questions?

Contact Terry Bracher (Chairman of CILIP LSG) c/o Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham. SN15 3QN, email: terry.bracher@wiltshire.gov.uk or telephone: 01249 705515.

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