About NGS

The Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship

Sponsored by ProQuest

Do you know a librarian with at least five years’ experience whose primary focus is genealogy and local history and who is employed in a public, academic, or special library? If so, you might know the next recipient of the Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship!

Deadline for submissions is 15 December, annually.


The Filby Award is named for P. William Filby (1912–2002), former director of the Maryland Historical Society and author of many core genealogical reference tools that genealogists have relied on for decades.

The award was created and first presented at the 1999 NGS Family History Conference by the publisher Scholarly Resources of Wilmington, Delaware. In 2004 and 2005, it was sponsored by the Godfrey Memorial Library. Since 2006 the award has been sponsored by ProQuest.

The NGS Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship is awarded annually and includes a $1,000 prize.


Judges use the following criteria:

  • Significant contributions to patron access to information or to the preservation of historical records.
  • Development of an imaginative reference tool or similar outstanding contribution of enduring consequence that fills the gaps in existing information, accuracy, scope, or usefulness of genealogical and local history materials.
  • Publication of a book or a body of articles that has contributed significantly to the field of genealogy or local history and that are of an interpretive nature.
  • Other activities that have significantly advanced genealogy and local history.
  • Work that has encouraged others to be innovative in the field.

Nomination Instructions

Nominations must include personal and professional contact information with illustrative examples of the nominee’s performance as a librarian who serves genealogists. Please send bibliographic citations rather than publications.

Deadline for submissions is 15 December, annually.

Submissions via Email Submissions via Postal Mail
[email protected]
Include “Filby Award” in the subject line.
Filby Award
National Genealogical Society 6400 Arlington Blvd, Suite 810 Falls Church, VA 22042-2318

Note: Email contact information is required for all submissions.

2018 Filby Award recipient Timothy Gleisner, Library of Michigan, with Bill Forsyth from Pro Quest.

The Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship—Past Winners

2023 Matthew Rutherford, Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois
2022 Cheryl Lang, Midwest Genealogy Center, Independence, Missouri
2021 David E. Rencher, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
2020 Kris Rzepczynski, Archives of Michigan, Lansing, Michigan
2019 Susan Kaufman, Clayton Genealogical Research Center, Houston, Texas
2018 Timothy Gleisner, Library of Michigan, Lansing, Michigan
2017 Larry W. Cates, High Point Public Library, High Point, North Carolina
2016 Drew Smith, Tampa Library, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
2015 Scott Holl, St. Louis County Library, St. Louis, Missouri
2014 Dr. Sandra G. Treadway, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia
2013 Elizabeth Crabtree Wells, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
2012 Debbi Lyon, Blasco Memorial Library, Erie, Pennsylvania
2011 Tim Blevins, Manager, Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District
2010 Randy Riley, Manager, Special Collections, Library of Michigan
2009 No nominees met the qualifications for the Filby Award in 2009)
2008 David Dearborn, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts
2007 Curt Bryan Witcher, Allen County Library, Ft. Wayne, Indiana
2006 Eric Grundset, DAR Library, Washington, District of Columbia
2005 Ron D. Bryant, Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky State Parks Department
2004 James Jeffrey, Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado
2003 Carole C. Callard (1941–2005), Library of Michigan, Lansing, Michigan
2002 Jim Hansen, Wisconsin Historical Society Library, Madison, Wisconsin
2001 Martha Henderson, Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, Missouri
2000 Pamela Hall Cooper, Indian River County Public Library, Vero Beach, Florida
1999 Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck, Dallas Public Library, Dallas, Texas