Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture

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Nabb Research Center Student Resources - Awards & Prizes

The Nabb Research Center offers one student awards for excellent research and writing: the Wilcomb E. Washburn Student Prize in History. The Center also offers the Washburn Delmarva History Prize, open to students and the larger research community.

* Wilcomb E. Washburn Student Prize in History - $500

All Salisbury University undergraduate students are invited to submit historical research papers for
the Wilcomb E. Washburn Student Prize in History.

The paper must be original and based upon primary research on the Chesapeake area with special emphasis on the Delmarva Peninsula prior to 1950. Resources at the Nabb Research Center must be used in the preparation of the paper. Applicant must be an undergraduate student at Salisbury University during the calendar year preceding Honors Convocation.

Essays will be judged upon the following criteria:

Creativity  •  Primary Research  •  Literary merit  •  Technical form

Papers may be submitted by professor or by the student. To submit for consideration:

  • Send or e-mail two typed copies of research paper to Nabb Research Center rcdhac@salisbury.edu by January 15 preceding Spring Honors Convocation
  • Include cover sheet with student name, address, phone number, classification, major and mentoring professor.

For additional information, contact the Nabb Research Center.

Current Winner - Spring 2011

Congratulations to Julie Messick of Salisbury, Maryland. Julie is a Salisbury University junior history major. Her paper "Wartime Activism: Maryland's Eastern Shore in World War II" was awarded the Wilcomb E. Washburn Student Prize in History for the spring semester.

Mary Kneebone


* Wilcomb E. Washburn Delmarva History Prize - $1500

The Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture at Salisbury University offers the second Delmarva History Prize for outstanding historical scholarship concerning the Delmarva Peninsula. This prize is made possible through an endowment created by the W.F. Donner Foundation in honor of the late Wilcomb E. Washburn, Ph.D., a distinguished historian of the Smithsonian Institution and resident of Somerset County, MD.

Dr. Washburn was very impressed with scholarly endeavors, in particular with primary sources and the care and preservation of original documents. Among its holdings, the Nabb Research Center holds originals and copies of the public records of the Delmarva peninsula, the oldest continuous records in British Speaking America, going back to 1632. Dr. Washburn was quick to recognize the value of the educational nature of the Center which had been established.


  • Any person, group of persons, organization, government agency, school (secondary or college).
  • Members of the Board of Directors of the Nabb Research Center are not eligible.
  • Contribution must focus on history of the Chesapeake Area with special emphasis on the Delmarva Peninsula.
  • Subject matter of monographs and papers must be prior to 1950.
  • Applicants must display a commitment to scholarship, historical accuracy and use of primary sources.


  • Author of historical text, study of material culture, preservation of historic sites, re-creation of an historical event, exhibits at museums or historical societies, educational programs for students or adults, historical archeology or creation of historic districts.


Please include a cover letter with the following information:

  • Proposed text/project to receive consideration
  • Name of individual responsible, including mailing address, phone number and/or email
  • Person to contact for additional information, including address, phone number and/or email
  • Date you are submitting application

If you are nominating an individual for the prize, please make sure to include your name, address, and telephone. Your cover letter must include your signature.

With the cover letter, submit a written report justifying why an award should be granted. Applicants are permitted to submit photos and and/or previously prepared materials when appropriate in addition to the essay. Applicants should describe the project's commitment to historical accuracy and innovation.

The award will be made by the Board of Directors of the Research Center. Finalists will be interviewed by a member of the board. Remit to: G. Ray Thompson, Ph.D., Salisbury University, Department of History, 1101 Camden Avenue, Salisbury, MD 21801

2007 Awards

Charles H. Fithian
"Intendinge To Seate In These Upward Parts": Archaeological And Historical Investigations Of Anglo-European Settlement In Central Delaware, 1670-1740

Michael G. Hitch
"Adam Hitch (1658-1731) Of Old Somerset In Ye Province of Maryland"

Michael Hitch, Kathryn Niskanen, Charles Fithian

Michael Hitch, Kathryn Niskanen, Charles Fithian

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Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture
 1101 Camden Avenue | Salisbury, Maryland 21801 | 410.543.6312

Salisbury University