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Episcopal Church

Nelson R. Burr Prize

Each year the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church awards the Nelson R. Burr Prize to the author of the most outstanding article in the last published volume of the Society's quarterly journal, Anglican and Episcopal History. It also honors that which best exemplifies excellence and innovative scholarship in the field of Anglican and Episcopal history. This prize honors the renown scholar whose two-volume A Critical Bibliography of Religion in America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961) and other bibliographic works constitute landmarks in the field of religious historiography (see biography at bottom of page). The award includes a modest cash prize.

Additional information about award recipients may be found here.


2018 Recipient, Emilie Amt with Publications Chair Mike Utzinger


2012 Recipient
Jacob Blosser

Year Awarded Author Title
2020 Jonathan S. Lofft X Marks the Spot: the Cult of St. Alban the Martyr and the Hagiotoponymy of Imperial Anglicanism in Canada, 1865-1921
2019 Stephen L. Longenecker Randolph H. McKim: Lost Cause Conservative, Episcopal Liberal
2018 Emilie Amt Down from the Balcony: African Americans and Episcopal Congregations in Washington County, Maryland, 1800-1864
2017 Daniel Handschy Samuel Seabury’s Eucharistic Ecclesiology: Ecclesial Implications of a Sacrificial Eucharist
2016 Andrew M. Koke Communication in an Anglican Empire: Edmund Gibson and his Commissaries: 1723-1748
2015 Tim Vivian Wake the Devil from His Dream: Thomas Dudley, Quincy Ewing, Religion, and the 'Race Problem' in the Jim Crow South
2014 J. Michael Utzinger The Tragedy of Prince Edward: The Religious Turn and the Destabilization of One Parish's Resistance to Integration, 1963-1965
2013 John N. Wall &
Zola M. Packman
Worship at Trinity Chapel, Lincoln Inn, London, 22 May 1623
2012 Jacob M. Blosser John Tillotson’s Latitudinarian Legacy: Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy, and the Pursuit of Happiness
2011 Karen A. Keely ’Let the Children Have Their Part’: The Young Christian Soldier and the Domestic Missionary Army
2008 William C. Barnhart Anglican Volunteerism, Ecclesiastical Politics, and the Bath Church Missionary Association Controversy, 1817-1818
2007 Nicholas M. Beasley Domestic Rituals: Marriage and Baptism in the British Plantation Colonies,  1650-1780
2006 Harvey Hill and
Jennifer Watson
In Christ There is No Gay or Straight?:  Homosexuality in the Episcopal Church.
2005
co-award
Joan R. Gundersen Building An Episcopal Church in a Lutheran Town: Women and the Founding of St. John's Episcopal Church, Mt. Prospect
Peter Iver Kaufman Putting Elizabethan Puritans in 'The New Paradigm'
2004 Scott A. Wenig John Jewel and the Reformation of the Diocese of Salisbury, 1560-1571
2003 Craig D. Townsend Episcopalians and Race in New York City's Anti-Abolitionist Riots of 1834:The Case of Peter Williams and Benjamin Onderdonk
2002 Barbara Brandon
Schnorrenberg
The Best School for Blacks in the State': St. Mark's Academic and Industrial School, Birmingham, Alabama, 1892-1940
1999 Ken R. MacMillan Zurich Reform and the Elizabethan Settlement of 1559
1998 John W. Houghton No Bishop, No Queen: Queens Regnant and the Ordination of Women

​Dr. Nelson R. "Nellie" Burr died January 10, 1994. As a graduate of Hartford H.S. in Connecticut, he attended Princeton, University where he was Phi Beta Kappa and earned a degree in history. He was the class historian of the class of 1927. He then earned an M.A. in history at Princeton Graduate School and taught English history for several years at New York University. In 1934, he returned to Princeton to earn a Ph.D. in history. His thesis was entitled "Education in N.J." and published in 1942 by the Princeton University Press.

That same year, he joined the staff of the Library of Congress in Washington, working in its Office of Exhibits. Among his voluminous publications are The Story of the Episcopal Church in the United States (1936), , The story of a country parish : a history of Saint Andrews, North Bloomfield, Conn. : formerly Saint Andrews, Simsbury (1940), A Critical Bibliography of Religion in America (1961), First American diocese: Connecticut, its origin, its growth, its work (1970), Mission: 1821-1971. An essay to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church of the United States (1971), United States Senator James Dixon, 1814-1873 : Episcopalian anti-slavery statesman (1981), and many others

Retiring in 1968, he moved to West Hartford, becoming a trustee of the Noah Webster Foundation and town historian, and writing articles for historical magazines on Connecticut history. He was an active member of the Church Historical Society and its successor, the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, serving on its board. He was one of the founding members of the National Episcopal Historians and Archivists in 1961.

"Nellie" was a lifelong bachelor and left no immediate survivors.

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