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. Award Criteria, Submission Requirements, and Past Recipients.
Application Deadline: May 15th

History Day Topical Prize

Each year, the Associates of the James Ford Bell Library 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.

2016 Theme: Exploration, Encounter and Exchange in History.
The Bell Library collection has hundreds of books, maps, and other documents related to this year's theme! And all of them are primary sources. If you are interested in visiting the Bell Library to research your topic or to schedule a visit by a group of students, please contact us at

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


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

History Day Prize Winners

Junior Individual Performance: Patrick Stonecipher, Buffalo Community Middle School: "Letters of a Spanish Leader: How Hernan Cortes made a Legacy and Conquered the New World"
Junior Group Exhibit Mateo Peralta and Bryan Arroyo, Anwatin Middle School: "Hernán Cortés: A Legacy of Conquest"

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"