Arline Custer Memorial Award

Presented by the MARAC Arline Custer Memorial Award Committee, this award honors the memory of Arline Custer (1909-1975), MARAC member and editor of the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections.


The Arline Custer Memorial Award recognizes the best books and articles written or compiled by individuals and institutions in the MARAC region - the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Works under consideration include, but are not limited to, monographs, popular narratives, reference works and exhibition catalogs using archival sources.

Individuals or institutions may submit up to two works published between July 2014 and June 2015


Works must be relevant to the general public as well as the archival community. They also should be original and well-researched using available sources. In addition, they should be clearly presented, well-written and organized. Visual materials, if used, should be appropriate to the text.

Preference will be given to works by archivists.


Up to two awards may be given in each category, with a maximum value of $200.00 for books, and $100.00 for articles. The 2015 awards will be announced at the Fall 2015 Conference.

How to submit an entry

Please send two copies of each submission with a letter of nomination to the Chair of the Arline Custer Memorial Award Committee:

Tammy L. Hamilton
Hershey Community Archives
63 West Chocolate Avenue
Hershey, PA 17033

Entries must be received by July 31, 2015.

Other MARAC awards

Online publications such as virtual exhibitions, web sites or web pages devoted to the promotion and use of archival materials should be submitted to the C. Herbert Finch Award.

Archival finding aids, including guides should be submitted to the MARAC Finding Aids Award Committee.

Award Winners
The Arline Custer Memorial Award recognizes the best books, articles, and exhibition catalogues published by MARAC members and other individuals and institutions in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Viginia, and West Virginia.

2014 | 2013 |2012 | 2011| 2010 |2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 | 1994 | 1993 | 1992 | 1991 | 1990 | 1989 | 1988 | 1987 | 1986 | 1985 | 1984 | 1983 | 1982 | 1981 | 1980 | 1979



Book Award Winner:

Kiron, Arthur, editor and Andrea Gottschalk, artistic editor. Constellations of Atlantic Jewish History, 1555-1890: The Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica, Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania, 2014. 


Article Award Winner:

Purcell, Aaron D.  "Charles Minor's Cashbook and the Diary of E.P. Harmon, a Maine Soldier in the Overland Campaign, Spring 1864."  Maine History 48:1 (January 2014), 136-158.



Book Award Winner:

Richard McKinstry for Charles Magnus, Lithographer: Illustrating America's Past, 1850 - 1900 (New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2013).



Article Award Winner:

Christine Anne George for "Archives Beyond the Pale: Negotiating Legal and Ethical Entanglements after the Belfast Project" published in the Spring/Summer 2013 issue of the American Archivist.


Book Award Winner:

Maurice Isserman for On the Hill: A Bicentennial History of Hamilton College, 1812-2012 (Clinton, NY: Trustees of Hamilton College, 2011.)

The 388-page book, filled with images drawn largely from the Hamilton College Archives, provides a detailed, compellingly written story of the college’s history.

Article Award Winner:

Edward A. Galloway for “Guyasuta: Warrior, Estate, & Home to Boy Scouts,” published in the Winter 2011-2012 issue of Western Pennsylvania History magazine:

The article describes a Boy Scout camp in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania - the history of its land, who occupied it, and the changes and improvements made to it over the years.

Book Award Winner:
Douglas L. Frost, MICA: Making History/Making Art, 2010.
Article Award Winner:
Mary Beth Corrigan, "Whether they be ours or no, they may be heirs of the kingdom': The Pursuit of Family Ties among Enslaved People in the District of Columbia," published in In the Shadow of Freedom (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, spring 2011).


Book Award Winner:
John H. Pollack, ed., Special Collection Department, University of Pennsylvania, "The Good Education of Youth": Worlds of Learning in the Age of Franklin (New Castle, Delaware and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania : Oak Knoll Press and University of Pennsylvania Libraries 2009)

[Back to Awards]


Book Award Winner:
Anthony S. Pitch, “They Have Killed Papa Dead!” The Road to Ford’s Theater, Abraham Lincoln’s Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance (Hanover: Steerforth Press, 2008)

Article Award Winner:
Donna Wells with David Haberstich, “The Scurlock Studio: A Biography” in The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington: Picturing the Promise (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 2009)

[Back to Awards]


Book Award Winner:
New York City Municipal Archives. New York Rises: Photographs by Eugene de Salignac. New York: Aperture, 2007.

Article Award Winner:
Randy L. Goss, "The 'Art and Mystery' of Delaware's Apprentice Indentures" in Delaware History.

[Back to Awards]


Book Award Winner:
Thomas C. Battle and Donna M. Wells (editors). Legacy: Treasures of Black History. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2006

[Back to Awards]


Book Award Winner:
Menzi L. Behrnd-Klodt and Peter J. Wosh (editors). Privacy and Confidentiality Perspectives: Archivists & Archival Records. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2005.

Article Award Winner:
Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library. "Unseen Hands: Women Printers, Binders and Book Designers," by Rebecca Warren Davidson, 2005. [Exhibition catalog.]

[Back to Awards]


Book Award Winner:
John M. Delaney. Of maps and men: in pursuit of a Northwest Passage : an exhibition of maps, books, artwork, and photographs : Leonard L. Milberg Gallery, Harvey S. Firestone Library, Princeton University, 4 April-26 September 2004. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Library.

Article Award Winner:
David A. Pfeiffer, "Bridging the Mississippi: The Railroads and Steamboats Clash at the Rock Island Bridge," in Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration (Summer, 2004).

[Back to Awards]


Book Award Winner: Bruce I. Ambacher, editor. Thirty Years of Electronic Records. Scarecrow Press.

Article Award Winner: E. Richard McKinstry. "From the Archives: Archives, Diplomatics, and French Watercolor Art: A Detectives Journey." Winterthur Portfolio: A Journal of Material Culture, Vol. 37.

[Back to Awards]


Book Award Winner: Arthur H. Aufses and Barbara Niss. This House of Noble Deeds: The Mount Sinai Hospital, 1952-2002. New York: NYU Press, 2002.

Article Award Winner: Joseph-James Ahern. "Ross Gunn and the Naval Research Laboratory's Research into Nuclear Propulsion, 1939-1946." In Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, Vol. 33, part 2 (2003).

[Back to Awards]


Book Award Winner: William C. Allen. History of the United States Capitol: A Chronicle of Design, Construction and Politics. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2001.

Article Award Winner: Robert W. Schoeberlein. "The Beginning of Mental Health Care Reform in Maryland, 1908-1910." Maryland Historical Magazine, Volume 96, no. 4 (Winter 2001), pp. 439-474.

Honorable Mention: Milton M. Klein, ed. The Empire State: A History of New York. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001.

New York Archives, Volume 1, Number 1 through Volume 2, Number One. Albany: New York State Archives and Archives Partnership Trust, 2001-2002.

[Back to Awards]


Book Award Winner: Anthony S. Pitch. The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1988. Award given for first paperback edition, c 2000.

Article Award Winner: Gary D. Saretzky. "She Worked Her Head Off: Edwin and Louise Rosskam and the Golden Age of Documentary Photography Books." The Photo Review, Volume 23, no. 3 (Summer 2000); and "Documenting Diversity: Edwin Rosskam and the Photo Book, 1940-1941." The Photo Review, Volume 23, no. 4 (Fall 2000).

Article Award Honorable Mention: Walter B. Hill. "Living with the Hydra: The Documentation of Slavery and the Slave Trade in Federal Records." Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration, Volume 32, no. 4 (Winter 2000).

[Back to Awards]


Book Award Winner: Reed Massengill. Becoming American Express: 150 Years of Reinvention and Customer Service. New York: American Express, 1999.

Book Award Honorable Mention: Debra E. Bernhardt and Rachel Bernstein. Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives: A Pictorial History of Working People in New York City. New York: New York University Press, 2000.

[Back to Awards]


Molly McGarry and Fred Wasserman. Becoming Visible: An Illustrated History of Lesbian and Gay Life in Twentieth-Century America. New York: Penguin Studio, 1998.

[Back to Awards]


First Prize: Thomas J. Frusciano and Marilyn Pettit. New York University and the City: An Illustrated History. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1997.

Second Prize: Sandra Gioia Treadway and Edward D.C. Campbell, Jr., eds. The Common Wealth: Treasures from the Collections of the Library of Virginia. Richmond: The Library of Virginia, 1997.

Honorable Mention: L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin. Self Works: Diaries, Scrapbooks, and Other Autobiographical Effects. Newark: University of Delaware Library, 1997.

[Back to Awards]


Linda A. Ries, ed. Pennsylvania History: Special Issue: History of Photography in Pennsylvania. Volume 64, no. 2 (Spring 1997).

[Back to Awards]


Leslie Hanson Kopp, ed. Dance Archives: A Practical Manual for Documenting and Preserving the Ephemeral Art. Lee, MA: Preserve, 1995.

James P. Quigel, ed. Journal of Rutgers University Libraries: Consumerism, Labor Unions, and the Pursuit of the American Dream. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1995.

[Back to Awards]


Marie Allen. The Food Stamp Records Project: Final Report. Washington, DC: Intergovernmental Cooperative Appraisal Program, 1995.

[Back to Awards]


Debra Newman Ham. The African-American Mosaic. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1993.

Richard Cox. "The Record It Is Evolving." Records and Retrieval Report, Volume 10, no.3 (March 1994).

[Back to Awards]


William Allen. The Dome: An Architectural History of the U.S. Capitol. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1992.

National Archives and Records Administration and Social Issues Resource Series, Inc. The United States at War: 1944. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration and Boca Raton, FL: Social Issues Resources Series, Inc., 1992.

Library of Congress. Acquisitions: Manuscript Division 1991. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1992.

[Back to Awards]


Thomas Wilsted and William Nolte. Managing Archival and Manuscript Repositories. Washington, DC: Senate Historical Office.

[Back to Awards]


Arva Michelson. Expert Systems Technology and Its Implications for Archives. National Archives Technical Information Paper No. 9, Washington, DC: Archival Research and Evaluation Staff, National Archives and Records Administration, March 1991.

New York State Archives. Archives & You: The Benefits of Historical Records. Albany: University of State of New York, the State Education Department State Archives and Records Administration, 1990.

Kenneth W. Rose. The Availability of Foundation Records: A Guide for Researchers. North Tarrytown, NY: Rockefeller Archive Center, 1990.

[Back to Awards]


David Bearman. Archival Methods. Pittsburgh: Archives and Museum Informatics, 1989.

[Back to Awards]


James Gregory Bradsher. Managing Archives and Archival Institutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988.

New York State Archives. Strengthening New York's Historical Records Program: A Self-Study Guide. Albany: New York State Education Department, 1989.

[Back to Awards]


New York State Archives. Our Memory at Risk: Preserving New York's Unique Research Resource. Albany: New York State Education Department, 1988.

[Back to Awards]


Frederick Stielow. The Management of Oral History Sound Archives. Stamford: Greenwood Publishing, 1986.

[Back to Awards]


[No information available.]

[Back to Awards]


Jacqueline Goggin. "That We Shall Truly Deserve the Title of Profession: The Training and Education of Archivists, 1930-1960." American Archivist, Volume 47, no.3 (Summer 1984).

[Back to Awards]


Roland Baumann. "Samuel Hazard: Editor and Archivist for the Keystone State." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 107, no. 2 (April 1983).

Virginia Purdy. "Archivaphobia: Its Causes and Cure." Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration, Volume 15, no. 2 (Summer 1983).

[Back to Awards]


Roland Baumann, ed. A Manual of Archival Techniques. Harrisburg: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1982.

[Back to Awards]


Leonard Rapport. "No Grandfather Clause: Reappraising Accessioned Records." American Archivist, Volume 44, no. 2 (Spring 1981).

[Back to Awards]


No award given.

[Back to Awards]


No award given.

[Back to Awards]


Richard Cox. "The Origins of Archival Development in Maryland, 1634-1934." Unpublished MA thesis, University of Maryland, 1978.

[Back to Awards]