James Ford Bell Library

Bell Library Associates Prizes

Carol Urness Student Writing Award

This annual award, which honors Carol Urness, Bell Library curator 1991-2001, is open to University of Minnesota students at all levels. For award rules and submission requirements, click here.
Application Deadline: May 15th


History Day Topical Prize

Each year, the Associates sponsor two prizes for entries in the topical prize category: The History of Exploration, 500 CE-1825 CE, as part of the Minnesota History Day competition.

Official description of topical prize category: Explorers and travelers to far-off lands through the ages have made significant contributions to the world in which they lived. In cooperation with the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota, which specializes in books, maps, and manuscripts that document the history of exploration, trade, and travel before modern times, the Associates of the James Ford Bell Library may award two prizes of $100 each to the Minnesota State History Day entrants whose outstanding work best links the year's theme to exploration and its impact between 500 CE and 1825 CE, or between the fall of the Roman Empire and the journeys of Lewis and Clark. We interpret the "impact" of exploration broadly, to include early printing, navigation, colonization, and cartography within the time frame stated above. Should no entrant meet the above-stated criteria, we may choose not to make an award in any given year.

2015 Theme: Leadership and Legacy in History.
Possible topics for this particular prize category: Famous explorers who led expeditions that had a lasting legacy, such as Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, Ferdinand Magellan, Fr. Hennepin, Sieur de la Salle, Samuel de Champlain. Lewis and Clark; people like Marco Polo who led the way for future trade and travel to Asia; Fr. Matteo Ricci, who led the first Jesuit mission to China and made a lasting impact; the many politicians and concerned citizens in Britain who led the fight against slavery in the 18th century.

The James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota has lots of primary source resources for this topic.

Direct questions about eligible topics (for this prize only) to: Dr. Marguerite Ragnow, Curator, James Ford Bell Library, ragn0001@umn.edu.


To learn more about History Day, visit the following Web sites:

2013 History Day Exhibit at the Bell Library

Jeffrey Watkins, a student at Salk Middle School, Elk River, MN, one of the winners of the Associates' topical prize in the Junior Exhibit category, has kindly lent us his winning exhibit for display during fall semester. Visit us on the 4th floor of Wilson Library at the University of Minnesota and check it out!

Writing Award Winners


Joshua Marcotte, History Matthew King, History


Brian Tridgell (undergraduate)
Bryan Karban (undergraduate)
Rachel Gibson, French and Italian


Steve Grey, History
Gabriel Hill, History
Heather McNeff, English


History Day Prize Winners

Senior Website: Cassandra Carley and Hailey Artmann, Zimmerman High School: "The Spanish Inquisition, 1492"

Junior Exhibit: Jeffrey Watkins. Salk Middle School: "The Gutenberg Press"
Junior Exhibit: Benjamin George. Parkview Center School: "The Conquest of Granada"
Senior Documentary: Carter Green and Noah Betz-Richmann. St. Louis Park High School: "The Marine Chronometer: A Revolution in Navigation."
Junior Performance:Eukariah Tabaka, Marissa Condon, Meredith Waterman, Emily Rogers, and Destany Soupir. Marshall Middle School: "Piracy: A Dark Reaction in the New World."
Senior Individual Paper: Frances Rossini, White Bear Lake Area High School: "A New Division: The Treaty of 1818"
Junior Group Exhibit: Samuel M. Shay and Craig Parker, Chaska Middle School East: "The Beaver Wars: Expansionism in Colonial America"

Senior Individual Exhibit: Kyle Klausing, St. Louis Park High School: "John Harrison and His Magic Ticking Box"
Junior Group Website: Makayla Brummer and Allegra Jones, Cyber Village Academy: "Porcelain: An Enduring Innovation"

Junior Individual Video: Nicholas Valure, St. Thomas More: "Lewis & Clark: Discoveries in Wildlife"

Junior Individual Performance: Jovan Gorman-Carter, City of Lakes/Waldorf School, "The Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire and the Conscious formation of a New National Identity"
Junior Group Documentary: Dana Perkins-Goodrie and Amber Carter, Washington Technology Magnet School, "The Peace of Pocohontas"

O. Meredith Wilson Library
309 19th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
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Phone: 612-624-1528
E-mail: jfbell@umn.edu
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