The Bancroft Prizes are awarded annually by Columbia University in the City of New York. Under the terms of the will of the late Fredric Bancroft, provision is made for two annual prizes of equal rank to be awarded to the authors of distinguished works in either or both of the following categories: American History (including biography) and Diplomacy.
The word "American" is interpreted to include all the Americas, North, Central, and South; however, the award is confined to works originally written in English or of which there is a published translation in English. Volumes of papers, letters, and speeches of famous Americans, unless edited by the author, are not eligible. Autobiography comes within the terms of the prize, but books reporting on recent personal experiences of Americans, within a limited area both in time and geographically, are not considered eligible.