The National Humanities Medal honors individuals and organizations whose work has strengthened Americans’ understanding of or engagement with history, literature, philosophy, or other humanities subjects. The Medal was established in 1997 and is the successor to the Charles Frankel Prize in the Humanities, which was awarded from 1989 to 1996. NEH is currently accepting nominations for the Medal. NEH will accept nominations until Friday, June 26, 2009.
Individual nominees must be living U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have filed for naturalization. Nominated organizations must be established or incorporated in the United States. Self-nominations are not permitted. Past recipients are ineligible for the award, as are paid employees of the federal government and state humanities councils.
The President of the United States in consultation with NEH selects recipients of the National Humanities Medal. NEH administers the nomination and selection process. Nominations are reviewed by members of the National Council on the Humanities, NEH’s 26-member presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed board of advisors, and by the NEH chairman. Their recommendations are then forwarded to the President. The principal criterion for selection is the excellence of the nominee’s contribution to the humanities.