Application Guidelines


Applications to the SAH/Mellon Author Awards will be considered only for book-length, scholarly manuscripts on architectural history and the history of the built environment that are currently under contract with a publisher. Awards are made solely in support of image acquisition or creation, such as for reimbursement of costs for the reproduction and licensing of images in print and digital formats or the creation of original artwork such as drawings or maps.  This award does not cover new photography. Applications are judged within the following parameters: (1) support will be for scholars who are publishing their first monograph (2) funds are for reimbursement or anticipated expenses for rights and reproductions; and (3) books must be under contract with a publisher. Additional criteria for making awards include: contribution or importance to the field; significance and clarity of argument in submitted abstract and text sample; effective use of illustrations; depth of research and completeness of bibliography; and clarity of writing. Excellence within these criteria is the guiding principal for determining awards, however, an author will not receive an award without demonstration of image-acquisition or creation costs.


Awards are open to authors of all nations; however, applications must be submitted in English.

Authors can be under contract with commercial or nonprofit publishers. Self-published books are not eligible.

Books covering all periods and areas in the history of architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism and related subjects are eligible, except for those about art history and visual studies (see below). Excavation or other technical reports, articles, previously published works (including collections of previously published essays), or congress proceedings are not eligible. The College Art Association will award a similar subvention in 2014 funded by the Mellon Foundation for authors of books about art history and visual studies. For more information about the CAA award, visit the CAA website at or contact Alex Gershuny, CAA editorial associate, at or 212-392-4424.

The author will have received a PhD and must submit proof and date of PhD and current professional standing.

The author must be a current member of SAH.

A project that has been rejected for a grant may not be resubmitted.


The jury will meet to consider awards in July, 2014.   Completed applications must be received at the SAH office no later than June 1, 2014.

Application Components

Application materials, including the Author’s Form and Publisher’s Form, must be submitted to SAH with the additional materials in the Checklist. The author is responsible for requesting information from the publisher and ensuring that the publisher submits the Publisher’s Form and reader’s report to SAH.

In addition to the material submitted by the publisher, the author provides proof of PhD and current professional standing, response to reader’s reports supplied by the publisher, a complete list of images, sources, rights requested and obtained, and costs per image as a basis, and individual portions of the manuscript itself. Please see the checklist for more information.

A Note on Reader’s Reports

The author requests the publisher to submit two or more detailed peer reviews of the manuscript that provide substantive, analytical evaluations of the manuscript, addressing its originality, the significance of the scholarly contribution, and the quality of the research and prose. Reader’s reports must be written by authorities on the material of the book. The author should respond to anonymous versions of these reports, clarifying how readers’ responses are incorporated into the manuscript.

Reader’s reports should be submitted by the publisher and should be anonymous to the author but signed and dated for the benefit of the jury (to be kept confidential), and they should not be more than three years old. The jury does not admit reports written by the author’s dissertation adviser or other interested parties, such as a series editor.


Questions? Please contact Beth Eifrig, SAH Assistant Director of Programs, at or 312.573.1365.