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October 1, 2005 Contact: James David Moran
(508) 471-2131 (office)
(508) 248-4694 (home)
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Common-place announces award for historical writing

WORCESTER–The editors and sponsors of Common-place, the online journal of American history, announce the establishment of the Uncommon Voice Prize. The award is to be given to the author of the article in each annual volume of four issues judged by a panel as demonstrating the most striking literary merit.

The Uncommon Voice Prize carries with it a cash award of $500 funded by an anonymous donor. To launch the prize, a special award will be made for the article of most striking literary merit in the first five volumes of Common-place. This award will be made at the Organization of American Historians (OAH) meeting in April 2006. The award for Volume 6 will be made at the 2007 OAH meeting.

"The generous gift that makes this prize possible comes at a crucial time in the life of Common-place," said Edward Gray, editor. "Now that the journal has demonstrated both the need and the audience for accessible but challenging writing about the American past, the prize allows us to broaden our potential pool of contributors and readers.

"Knowing that such a generous and competitive award is possible," Gray added, "we hope even more authors will be inclined to share with our readers their best historical writing."

Since it was launched in 2000, Common-place has been an "uncommon voice" amid the myriad printed and electronic journals, magazines, and weblogs competing for the attention of historically minded individuals. The goal of the journal has been to provide academics, researchers, students, teachers, and the general public with a rich array of interesting and thoughtful articles, informed by the highest standards of contemporary scholarship and written to command and hold the attention of all kinds of readers.

About Common-place

Common-place is a common place for exploring and exchanging ideas about early American history and culture. A bit friendlier than a scholarly journal, a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine, Common-place speaks—and listens—to scholars, museum curators, teachers, hobbyists, and just about anyone interested in American history before 1900. Common-place readers can join in the discussion of any of the journal's features by visiting the "Common-place Coffeeshop," a message board on the website. Common-place is sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society and the Florida State University Department of History.

About the American Antiquarian Society

The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) is a learned society and independent research library, specializing in all aspects of American history and culture through 1876. Founded in 1812 by the patriot printer and publisher Isaiah Thomas, AAS is the third oldest historical organization in the United States and the first to take the whole nation as its scope. The AAS library is the preeminent repository of pre-twentieth-century American printed materials and related manuscript and graphic arts materials in the world.

The Society also sponsors an array of programs to encourage the use of its collections and to foster a greater understanding of American history. The main office for Common-place is at AAS, 185 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609-1634; telephone (508) 755-5221.

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