Need financial assistance to help finalize your history project? The Wyoming State Historical Society, a non-profit membership-driven educational organization, offers cash grants to people involved in research activities based on various aspects of the state’s history.  

The grants, ranging from $100 up to $1,500, are awarded based on applications submitted to the Society’s Lola Homsher Endowment Fund Committee. The deadline is Feb. 28 with applicants notified of the results in the spring. All applications must be submitted electronically via the Society’s website at wyshs.org.

Committee chair Leslie Waggener says that work done by amateur and professional historians through these grants supports the Society’s mission to make Wyoming’s past accessible to present and future generations. 

“Providing funds for researcher travel and for research-related costs such as scanning can make all the difference in completing a project,” Waggener said. “Creating opportunities for original research is a mainstay of the Homsher Grant program.” 

Grant monies are drawn from a fund established by the late Lola Homsher, a noted historian and state archivist. One of Homsher’ s most significant contributions to preserve Wyoming history came when she spearheaded establishing the Wyoming State Historical Society in 1953. After her retirement Miss Homsher made a major donation to the Society that has been used as an endowment to help fund Society programs.

The committee reviews all proposals and makes awards after the selection process has been completed, usually in spring. Preference is given to proposals that promise original research on topics related to Wyoming history. Wyoming residents are also given preference, but all applications are welcome. Proposals must include a statement of purpose, an explanation of the project, the value to Wyoming history and a description of how the public will benefit from the research. 

Waggener says it is always exciting to see the creative avenues being explored in Wyoming history. Last year’s recipients used funds to enhance their research on topics ranging from Yellowstone National Park’s camps and Wyoming’s supply of horses to the Boer War to Ernest Hemingway’s travels in Wyoming, Fort Washakie’s Doc Welty, and Cheyenne’s role in training early female flight attendants. “Applications that touch upon all aspects of Wyoming history are welcome,” Waggener says. 

All recipients must provide the Society with an interim report and a final report about their projects.

Applications and rules can be obtained by visiting the Society’s website at wyshs.org and selecting “Programs” and then “Lola Homsher Research Grant Program.” If you do not have access to the web, please contact the Wyoming State Historical Society at (307) 322-3014 or linda@wyshs.org to receive a copy of the application. Electronic proposals are due Feb. 28.

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