Book Awards

Criteria for and Nomination of Book Awards

The Victorian Society in America presents three book awards, usually given annually, to books that best advance an understanding or appreciation of the decorative arts or architecture of the 19th Century.

Apart from the prestige of the Society's respected award, winners receive an illuminated manuscript presented at a dinner during the Society's Annual Meeting.  The Society also publicizes its award winners and their books on this web site.

Project criteria

  1. The book must be published in the year preceding the award.
  2. Chronology & subject should be in the period 1837-1917.
  3. Evaluation of the book will include content and the following:
  • overall design
  • Production quality
  • Editing
  • Source material (footnotes, bibliography, etc.)

In addition, the subject matter:

for the Henry-Russell Hitchcock Award, which was was named to honor one of the early presidents of the Society in recognition of his significant contributions to architectural history, shall be centered on architecture or the decorative arts but may include related topics, such as landscape, painting, interiors, biographies of designers or architects, museum or historic house exhibition catalogues.

for the Ruth Emery Award, which was named to honor one of the founders of the Society instrumental in forming The Society's London Summer School, must deal with a regional topic.

for the W.E. Fischelis Award, which was named to honor former member, writer/editor of the Society newsletter, and  managing editor of 19th Century magazine, is given occasionally to an outstanding book dealing with 19th century art and artists, in recognition of Mr. Fischelis' great contribution and interest in this field.

CLICK HERE to view Previous Book Award winners.


Nominations for the Victorian Society in America Book awards are accepted from members of the Society, in written form.

Publishers may also submit a nomination but must include a copy of the book to be considered.

The award committee finalizes its choices each year at the VSA Winter Board Meeting held early in the new year.  Therefore, the deadline for receipt of nominations is December 31st.


The Business Manager will be pleased to answer any questions regarding the criteria for the process for nominations for a book award.

Sue Verzella, Business Manager
The Victorian Society in America
1636 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Phone: 215-636-9872
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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