National Humanities Medal Awarded to AAS

AAS is extremely humbled and honored to be a recipient of the National Humanities Medal. President Barack Obama presented the medal to AAS president Ellen S. Dunlap at the White House on Monday, July 28, 2014.

The citation for the award states: To the “American Antiquarian Society… for safeguarding the American story. Through more than two centuries, the Society has amassed an unparalleled collection of historic American documents, served as a research center to scholars and students alike, and connected generations of Americans to their cultural heritage.”

AAS president Ellen S. Dunlap said of the award, “For over 200 years the Society has held in trust for the American people the early printed record of our nation. Collecting, preserving and making available this extraordinary material has been our collective honor. But now to be recognized by the President and the American people in such a wonderful manner is beyond our wildest dreams.”

President Obama awarded the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal to a total of 20 organizations and individuals. Ellen S. Dunlap, AAS president, Sid Lapidus, AAS Council Chair, and William S. Reese, AAS Councilor, accepted the award on behalf of the Society. AAS members David Brion Davis and Anne Firor Scott also received awards. Since its inauguration in 1997, a total of 40 AAS members have won National Humanities Awards including: Jill Ker Conway, David McCullough, Annette Gordon-Reed, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Ken Burns. Only ten other organizations have been so honored.

 
Ellen Dunlap and President Barack Obama
Jocelyn Augustino, courtesy of National Endowment for the Humanities

Ellen Dunlap in D.C.

The presentation of the medal to AAS begins at the 16:45 minute mark of this video.

Ellen Dunlap in D.C.
On Sunday, July 27, 2014, Ellen Dunlap attended the pre-award ceremony dinner in Washington, D.C.

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