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William "Bill" Barry, NASA Chief Historian, retired

The Society is pleased to honor Dr. William Barry as the 2023 Trask Awardee, in recognition of his innumerable contributions to federal history as NASA's Chief Historian. As detailed in his award nomination, Dr. Barry brought NASA's history program "fully into the 21st century" and exhibited an "open and inviting leadership style." His innovative efforts to forge creative partnerships within NASA and with international and private entities to broadly share "the remarkable saga of space exploration" provide an excellent example of a successful federal history program. 

Vibrant federal history programs are essential if agencies are to fully understand where they have been and facilitate the application of the lessons of the past to future operations. With the Trask Award, the Society honors Dr. Bill Barry's demonstrated commitment to these principles and service to the federal history community.

Maryellen Trautman Award

Judson MacLaury, Chief Historian (retired), U.S. Department of Labor (1971-2006)

The SHFG Awards Committee is pleased to recognize Judson McLaury for the 2023 Maryellen Trautman Award for outstanding service to the society. A founding member of SHFG, Judson served two terms as editor to the Federalist in the 1980s and 1990s, and was appointed Assistant Editor of Federal History in 2011. In recent years, he has directed great energy and initiative toward promoting public awareness and understanding of federal history, and developing and creating the comprehensive History@fedgov directory of digital federal history resources. Along with a team of colleagues, he launched the Public Education Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, with several engaging and informative educational productions, which provide a remarkable service in furthering the Society's mission of supporting and sharing the importance of federal history - not just those of us who work in the field, but to all who are touched in some way by the US government.

Award for Initiatives in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

Smithsonian Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Group (SI-DEAI Group)

The Society is pleased to award its inaugural DEIA Award to the Smithsonian Institution DEAI group for developing guidelines to make all presentations accessible. The SI-DEAI group is a pan-institution group of staff from across the Smithsonian and focuses on fostering an inclusive environment that seeks to eliminate barriers to participation. The SI-DEAI presenter guidelines consist of presenter recommendations for making all meetings accessible, a list of accessibility resources, and a series of best practices for visual presentations. The Society believes that for this inaugural DEIA award, the SI-DEAI group and their accessibility guidelines are a shining example of the work all federal institutions should be doing to make their workplaces fully inclusive and accessible.


Paul Sadin: Fifty Years of Protecting Communities and Safeguarding the Nation: A History of the Los Angeles District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1966–2016

In Fifty Years of Protecting Communities and Safeguarding the Nation: A History of the Los Angeles District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1966–2016, Paul Sadin and coauthors tell a nuanced history of the Los Angeles District of the Army Corps of Engineers. The book highlights the diverse and changing work of the unit over a fifty-year period. It provides both a thorough history of work and an analysis of key themes and trends in the Corps’ work during this period, making it a particularly excellent example of federal government history. Further, it highlights both highs and lows of the agency’s history. The clear, accessible writing along with thorough research, including several original oral histories and numerous illustrative images, make this work appealing to both a general and scholarly audience.

Prize for ARTICLE Or Essay

Dr. Joel Hebert, “Our Greatest Strength: Navy Wives and the Manpower Crisis in the 1970s U.S. Navy,” published by the Naval History and
Heritage Command.

Dr. Joel Hebert’s innovative pamphlet provides a window onto an important and understudied area of U.S. naval history. It provides insight into how the U.S. Navy came to place women and families at the center of its retention policies, and the narrative addresses issues of race and gender, revealing personal stories that provide added depth. It provides a fascinating window into different levels of the Navy, from the office of the Chief of Naval Operations to enlisted men and their wives at the beginning of their careers. The pamphlet also uses records that have been underutilized, setting it apart from other contributions.


Seth C. Bruggeman, Lost on the Freedom Trail: The National Park Service and Urban Renewal in Postwar Boston (University of Massachusetts Press, 2022).

The SHFG Book Prize Committee is pleased to announce that the winner of this year's book award is Seth C. Bruggeman, Lost on the Freedom Trail: The National Park Service and Urban Renewal in Postwar Boston (University of Massachusetts Press, 2022). Using a wide array of primary sources, Dr. Bruggeman details the multi-decade attempt to "reimagine" the Revolutionary War landscape within the city of Boston. Such a "reimagining"  emphasized one dominant narrative above all others and later impacted the development of the Boston National Historic Park. Lost on the Freedom Trail is a significant contribution to the literature on historic preservation. It also illustrates the connections among federal, state, and local shareholders, demonstrating the tensions inherent in these relationships.


Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) History Office’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial program (Tomb 100)

The SHFG New Media Award committee is pleased to announce that the Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) History Office’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial program (Tomb 100) is our award recipient in 2022. ANC led the Department of Defense’s year-long commemoration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’s centennial, which included the creation of six webinars and five video events; two virtual exhibit tours; a downloadable media resource guide; dozens of social media posts; eleven blog articles; a livestreamed flower ceremony with a historian speaker; a livestreamed military procession and aerial review narrated by a historian; and three webpages produced by ANC, the U.S. Army, and DoD. Tomb 100 reflects the ANC History Office’s commitment to exploring broad historical questions, and encouraging the audience to do the same, through virtual and hybrid media formats. The breadth, complexity, and quality of these materials speaks to the ANC History Office’s mastery of a wide variety of electronic media, its scholarly expertise, and its staff’s sensitivity to the profound and nuanced meanings of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

Historic Preservation and Exhibitions Award

U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) History Office, Major General Dennis Nolan Building

The SHFG Prize for Historic Preservation and Exhibits Award Committee would like to recognize the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) History Office for the 2022 Prize. The committee chose INSCOM's project in their command headquarters, the Maj Gen Dennis Nolan Building, to utilize work spaces to interpret and display the command's history. The committee appreciated the innovative approach to present inter-connected exhibits throughout the work spaces that taken together, told the command’s story and captured its heritage through visual images, artwork, and other artifacts.


Society for History in the Federal Government
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Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044

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