The Western History/Genealogy Department of the Denver Public Library awards the Caroline Bancroft Prize annually. According to the terms of the will of the late Caroline Bancroft, provision is made for an annual prize “to be awarded to the author of the best book on Colorado or Western American History published during the current year, to be known as the Caroline Bancroft History Prize.”
The competition is open to all persons, whether connected with the Denver Public Library or not and whether citizens of the United States or any other country. “Colorado or Western American History” is defined geographically as being inclusive of the trans-Mississippi West from prehistoric times to the present. This includes all states west of the Mississippi River, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Canadian and Mexican borderlands.
In defining the term “best book,” the staff of the Western History/Genealogy Department will consider books that make significant contribution to historical knowledge, that present thorough and original research, that bring a new perspective to some well-known question, and that are of a high literary quality. The winning book/author will be selected by employees of the Western History/Genealogy Department.