Every year the Mississippi Historical Society awards prizes for outstanding work in interpreting, teaching, and preserving Mississippi history.

The McLemore Prize, which carries with it a $700 stipend, is given for the best book on a subject related to Mississippi history or biography published the previous year.  The award winner is also invited to speak at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Historical Society in March, which carries an additional $300 payment.

The John K. Bettersworth Award is given annually to an outstanding teacher of middle or high school history in Mississippi. The winning teacher receives a $300 cash award and is invited as the society’s guest to its annual meeting.

The Frank E. Everett, Jr. Award is given annually as merited to a local historical organization that, as a member of the Federation of Mississippi Historical Societies, has made an outstanding contribution to the preservation and interpretation of local history. The winning society receives a $300 cash award.

The Elbert R. Hilliard Oral History Award, which carries with it a $300 cash award, recognizes oral history projects exemplifying a distinguished collection, high-quality preservation, and proper use of oral history.

The James T. Dawson Award is presented as merited to a local government in Mississippi with an exemplary records management program. A local government eligible for the award may be a municipality, a county, or a school district.

Two other prizes, the Dunbar Rowland Award, given in recognition of lifelong contributions to the study and interpretation of Mississippi History and the B.L.C. Wailes Award for national distinction in the field of history, are presented as merited.

The Riley Prize and the Glover Moore Prize are awarded biennially for a doctoral dissertation and master’s thesis, respectively, on a topic in Mississippi history or biography completed within the previous two years.

The Willie D. Halsell Prize is awarded for the best article in the Journal of Mississippi History.  The author receives a $200 cash award and is invited as the society’s guest to its annual meeting.

The William E. “Bill” Atkinson Award for Mississippi Civil War History, established in 2015, is awarded biennially in recognition of an outstanding paper, publication, or major research or preservation project contributing to the knowledge of Mississippi in the Civil War era. The award carries with it a $200 cash stipend.

Awards of Merit are presented annually to individuals or organizations for their outstanding archival, museum, or media interpretation work.