The Kemper and Leila Williams Prize in Louisiana History, offered annually by the Historic New Orleans Collection and the Louisiana Historical Association since 1974, recognizes excellence in research and writing on Louisiana. The prize, which includes a cash award of $1,500 and a plaque, is presented each March at the LHA’s annual meeting.

The 2022 Winner
Kathryn Olivarius, Necropolis: Disease, Power, and Capitalism in the Cotton Kingdom, published by the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

2023 Nominations: The Williams Prize Committee invites nominations of works published in the 2023 calendar year exploring any aspect of Louisiana history and culture, or placing Louisiana subjects in a regional, national, or international context. Submit four (4) copies of the nominated work AND four (4) copies of the nomination form to the address listed on the form.

Deadline: Nominations for the 2023 Williams Prize should be received by Friday, January 12, 2024.

The Dianne Woest Fellowship in the Arts and Humanities supports scholarly research on the history and culture of Louisiana and the Gulf South. While HNOC resources should play a central role in the proposed research agenda, fellows are also encouraged to explore other research facilities in the Greater New Orleans area.

The Woest Fellowship is open to graduate students, academic and museum professionals, and independent scholars. U.S. citizenship is not required, but applicants should be fluent in English.  Fellows are encouraged to schedule visits of two weeks in order to optimize research time at HNOC and other local repositories. Fellows will be expected to acknowledge HNOC in any published work drawing on fellowship research. Applicants are considered without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, or any other protected status.

Stipend: The fellowship includes a stipend of $4,000. All research must commence and conclude during the fellowship term of April 1, 2025 - March 31, 2026.

Deadline: Applications for the 2025–26 Woest Fellowship will be due on November 15th, 2024.

To Apply: Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with HNOC’s resources by visiting the Research page and browsing our holdings via our online public access catalog. Fellowship applications may be downloaded from the website. For more information, consult our FAQ, or contact Rebecca Smith at

The Historic New Orleans Collection gratefully acknowledges the generosity of Dianne Audrey Woest (1935–2003), a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, former president of the New Orleans Council for International Visitors, and true friend of the arts. Through a planned giving arrangement, Woest designated HNOC as a beneficiary of her estate.

HNOC congratulates the 2024–25 class of Woest Fellows, whose projects reflect the breadth of our institutional holdings and sustain the tradition of scholarly merit established by previous fellowship recipients.

Julia Bernier, “All on Board: Slavery and Shipping on the Brig Orleans”

Jonathan Lande, “Freest Soldiers of the Civil War: Enslaved Southerners’ Emancipation in Army Camps, Courts, and Prisons”.

Ann Ngoc Tran, “Elliptical Passages: Boat Refugee Histories and Narratives of Non-Arrival”