Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Award

The Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Award

The Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Award recognizing fine interpretive work by Idaho museums was initiated in 2008. It is a joint award of $10,000 given annually by the Idaho Humanities Council, and Idaho State Historical Society ($5,000 from each organization). The award is given to a museum, interpretive association, or historical society in Idaho to acknowledge good work in the field of historical interpretation, display, and preservation. We do not take applications or nominations for the award.

The Award is named for Sister Alfreda Elsensohn, who founded the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude Monastery in Cottonwood.  Sister Alfreda, one of Idaho’s outstanding historians, sought to collect, preserve, and interpret artifacts from Idaho County and the surrounding area to better educate the public.  “A museum is a bridge which links the present with the past,” she often said.   It was her vision of Idaho museums, historical societies, and interpretive associations as exciting, interactive, and educational institutions that the Award seeks to recognize each year

Since 2008, the award has been given to the following museums:

2008:    Bonner County Museum (Sandpoint)

2009:    South Bannock County Historical Museum (Lava Hot Springs)

2010:    Museum at St. Gertrude Monastery (Cottonwood)

2011:    Lemhi County Historical Museum (Salmon)

2012:    Basque Museum and Cultural Center (Boise)

2013:    Wallace District Mining Museum (Wallace)

2014:    Sawtooth Interpretive Association (Stanley)

2015:    Latah County Historical Society (Moscow)

2016:    Idaho City Historical Foundation (Idaho City)

2017:    Owyhee County Historical Museum (Murphy)

2018:    South Custer County Historical Society/Lost River Museum (Mackay)

2019:    The White Spring Ranch Museum/Archive Library (Genesee)