The Maurice Rickards Award of The Ephemera Society of America

medalIn 1985, The Ephemera Society of America awarded its first distinguished merit medal for outstanding contributions to the world of ephemera. The first honoree was Maurice Rickards himself. Rickards, along with several other Englishmen and American Calvin Otto, had founded the Ephemera Society of England in 1975. He was a guiding force behind numerous conferences and fairs, published widely, and helped to establish The Ephemera Society of America. In 2000, Rickards' massive "Encyclopedia of Ephemera" was published. (The book was edited and completed by Michael Twyman following Rickards' death in 1998.)

To further honor Maurice, the Society named the new merit award after him: The Maurice Rickards Award.

The Rickards Award was created to recognize extraordinary accomplishment in the world of ephemera and ephemera studies. It is intended to be a most special and prestigious award, granted only to strongly deserving candidates. Recipients for consideration must have made outstanding contributions to the field over a substantial period of time. Each must demonstrate pronounced involvement with ephemera as a collector, dealer, scholar, researcher, teacher, institutional curator, and/or conservator. The activities of the ideal candidate might encompass more than one of these.

As the Rickards Award is intended to be granted only to a particularly deserving ephemerist, it need not be awarded on an annual basis. As of 2006, there have been sixteen winners of the award in the twenty-one years since its establishment.

A qualified candidates must demonstrate a solid track record of major involvement in the field, to include demonstrable accomplishments such as publications, research, exhibits, usage of ephemera as primary source materials in scholarly or academic settings, integration of ephemera into other collecting and academic fields, development of improved conservation techniques, placement of ephemera collections in public institutions, sharing of knowledge and the promotion of ephemera as one way of better understanding our country's history.

Membership in The Ephemera Society is not a prerequisite. However, a candidate's contributions to the Society-organizing conference and seminar programs, making conference presentations, displaying exhibits at the annual Ephemera Society fair, volunteering assistance with Society projects, serving as a board member and/or officer-will be taken into consideration by the Board of Directors in selecting Rickards Award recipients.

Maurice Rickards Award Winners
1985  Maurice Rickards 1997  Samuel Murray 2004  John C. Dann
1986  Robert Staples & Barbara Charles 1998  Stephen Paine 2005  Jay Last
1987  Georgia B. Barnhill 1999  Blair & Margaret Whitton 2006  William H. Helfand
1988  Rockwell Gardiner 2000  Marcus McCorison 2008  Diane DeBlois &
            Robert Dalton Harris
1989  Barbara Rusch 2002  Calvin P. Otto 2010  Jonathan Bulkley
1990  John Grossman 2003  Peter Jackson &
            Valerie Jackson Harris
2012  E. Richard McKinstry
1991  Deborah Smith    


Nominations Sought for Candidates to Receive The Maurice Rickards Award

To read an ariticle on the Maurice Rickards award that originally appeared in the Northeast Journal of Antiques & Art by E. Richard McKinstry, click here.

   © 2012 The Ephemera Society of America