To prepare a nomination, follow the instructions below and submit your nomination via the 2024 Awards of Merit Google Form by the deadline. You may download a PDF of the nomination guidelines with a checklist for preparing your materials.

Nominations are due by August 23, 2024.  The committee meets in early September to deliberate.  Award recipients will be notified in mid-September, and awards will be presented at a ceremony in mid-to-late October.

Nomination Materials and Instructions

Please prepare your nomination materials as a set of digital files and upload them through the 2024 Awards of Merit Google Form.  We accept the following formats: PDF, Microsoft Office-compatible files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), JPG, GIF, PNG.  Please ensure your images are saved at a suitable resolution (150 dpi minimum, 300 dpi maximum) and are properly oriented.  This helps us prepare our slideshow for the Awards of Merit Presentation.

For large submissions, you my upload a ZIP file.  If your nomination package includes many large images, audio or video content, or other very large files, we ask that you include links to those files rather than uploading the files themselves.  If you have questions about the format of or best way to transfer any of your files, please contact Amrys Williams at

Your nomination will contain the following:

  • Narrative
  • Documentation
  • Budget (project nominations only)
  • Two letters of critical evaluation (optional for projects)
  • Supporting publicity (if applicable/available)

Please ensure that all files in your nomination package are prefixed with the nominee’s name (either the organization or individual).  For instance: MyMuseum_Narrative.docx, MyMuseum_Budget.xlsx.  This helps us keep track of all the files in your nomination package.  You may also upload a single ZIP file.


Your narrative should be no more than four pages of 12-point type and should include the following sections.
  1. Abstract: Provide a brief description of the nominated project or individual and its/their significance.  What makes this project or person exceptional or important?  This description will be used for publicity purposes should your nomination receive an award.
  2. Background: Please provide background on the nominated organization or individual.  For organizations, this should be a concise description of your institution, its mission, programs, staff, audience, and membership.  For individuals, this should be a short biographical statement.
  3. Audience: This section should provide an overview of the project or individual’s audience and their response to the project or the individual’s work and contributions.  For projects, describe the intended and actual audience, how you reached them, how successful you were in doing so, and how they responded to the project.  For individual nominations, describe the groups and communities that were reached and affected by the individual’s work, and those communities’ response to it.  If known and applicable, please included demographic information, attendance numbers, etc.
  4. Goals and Outcomes: Outline the original goals for the project and how these goals were achieved or modified during the course of the project.  Did you achieve your aims?  What were the outcomes of the project?  For individuals, please describe the aims and impact of the nominee’s work.  You may include demographic information, evaluation data, survey responses, or other evidence in this section.
  5. Notes and Sources: Provide a brief explanation of research conducted and sources consulted for your project.  This may take the form of a brief bibliography or essay on sources.  Publications must include a bibliography.
  6. Funding: Describe the sources of funding for your project, including any grants or other special funding you received and the sources of those grants/awards.  You can think of this as a very brief budget narrative.


Proper documentation is critical to the committee’s ability to evaluate your nomination.  The materials you provide as part of your documentation should enable the committee to experience the project to the greatest extent possible.  For individual nominations, documentation should demonstrate the work and impact of the nominee.

Unless the nominated work is a publication, project nominations must include photographic and/or video documentation.  For on-site exhibitions, please provide a floor plan, exhibit script, a selection of representative exhibit labels, and photographs of the exhibition itself.  If your exhibition is still on view, please let us know in the application form so that we can send a member of the committee to visit.  For educational programs and lectures/presentations, please provide a copy of the program (lesson plans, scripts, slide decks, presentation narrative, etc.).  If your program was recorded or has other documentation available online, please provide links to those materials.  For digital projects available online, simply provide links.

For publications, please either provide a digital copy as part of your nomination package (preferred) or mail one physical copy to the CLM office at the address below.

Individual achievement nominations should include details of the individual’s accomplishments, as well as testimonials from individuals.  Testimonials may be additional letters of critical evaluation.  Please include a complete C.V. or résumé.

If you have questions about properly documenting your nomination, please contact Amrys Williams at

Budget (projects only)

Provide a detailed budget for the nominated work.  Include all relevant income and expenditures.  This should be the budget for the project, not the entire institution.  Please note that the size of the budget does not determine awards.  We evaluate each project based on the quality of work that was done with the resources reflected in the budget.  Bigger budgets do not necessarily mean better projects, or a greater chance of an award.  They simply offer context for the committee to evaluate the project.

Letters of Critical Evaluation (optional for projects)

Provide up to two letters from people able to critically evaluate the quality and significance of the nominated project or individual and their work.  This does not mean that they need to be critical of the project or person, but that they should come from someone with the relevant knowledge and expertise to thoughtfully describe and assess their significance.  Letters of critical evaluation cannot come from individuals affiliated with the nominated organization, project, or individual, or who would otherwise benefit from the nominee receiving the award.

The best letters of critical evaluation come from other professionals in the museum field who have firsthand knowledge and experience with the nominated project or individual’s work.  Examples of good people to write letters of critical evaluation include: historians, scholars, and practitioners with knowledge of the project’s subject matter or individual’s field of expertise; colleagues in the Connecticut or New England history and museum community, such as curators, authors, museum consultants, or other professionals; or leaders at neighboring organizations with relevant experience and expertise to the subject matter and/or medium.  The type of project or individual’s field of expertise should inform your choice of letter-writers.  For an exhibition, you might select a scholar with expertise in the period or subject explored, or a curator with knowledge of the types of material on display and the challenges involved in displaying and interpreting it.  For an individual, you might invite letters from other professionals in the field.  For a digital project, you might choose to have one of your letters be from someone with experience in digital projects of a similar sort.

Letters of critical evaluation should not come from people—whether directly affiliated with the project/nominee/organization or not—who have an interest in the granting of an award.  Local government officials, friends of the museum/nominee, local people who visited the exhibit/read the book/attended the program may be able to write a glowing letter or to say what they appreciated about the work, but they are not able to offer a critical evaluation of the project as a work of public history.  Letters of this sort do not aid the committee’s ability to assess the value and significance of the nominated work or individual.

The sooner you approach someone about writing a letter to evaluate your project, the better.  We recommend you reach out to several people from whom you may wish to solicit letters, invite them to experience the project, and follow up with them about writing a letter of evaluation for your nomination package.  For exhibitions, public programs, and other limited-time offerings, it is especially important to approach potential letter-writers while they are able to experience the nominated work alongside the rest of the public.

Selecting evaluators is an opportunity to broaden your professional networks in Connecticut and beyond.  Are there researchers whose work informed your interpretation who you’d like to know?  Are there other museum and history people in the state and region with whom you’d like to collaborate in the future?  Reaching out for a letter of critical evaluation is a great way to make that first connection.

If you have questions about selecting evaluators, please contact Amrys Williams at

Supporting Publicity

Please include any available media coverage, reviews, social media buzz, or other publicity for the project or individual being nominated.  This need not be exhaustive—a representative sample is fine, no more than five pages please.

Submitting a Nomination

All nominations must be submitted electronically via the 2024 Awards of Merit Google Form by Friday, August 23, 2024.  Please refer to the nomination checklist below to ensure you are submitting all required files.  Incomplete nominations will not be reviewed.

If you are nominating a publication and do not have a digital copy you can share with the committee, please send one copy to the League office at:

Connecticut League of Museums
CCSU Department of History
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050

You will be notified within four days of the receipt of your nomination package to confirm your submission.  If you have questions about your nomination, or are having difficulty submitting you materials for any reason, please email Amrys Williams, CLHO executive director, at  If you wish to have any nomination materials returned, please make arrangements in advance of the deadline.

Review Process

Nominations are reviewed by the CLM Awards of Merit Committee, which is composed of at least five museum professionals from around the state.  The committee includes members of the CLM Board of Directors, as well as others recruited by the committee chair.  In forming the committee, we try to bring together individuals representing different areas of expertise as well as sizes of institution.

The Awards of Merit are noncompetitive: all projects judged worthy of recognition will receive an award.  There is no set number of awards that we give each year.  Each nomination is judged on its own merits.  The Awards Committee may give multiple awards or no award in any category.

In order to identify promising projects, the Connecticut representative to the American Association for State and Local History will look over the nominations and may contact you about submitting to AASLH’s Leadership in History Awards.


If you have questions about the Awards of Merit program or your nomination, please contact Amrys Williams, CLM Executive Director, at, or call the League office at (860) 832-2674.  We look forward to receiving your nomination!

Connecticut League of Museums
Central Connecticut State UniversityDepartment of History
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050
(860) 832-2674

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