Margaret Wade Labarge Prize

Photograph from the Heritage Photograph Collection, Archives and Research Collections, Carleton University Library.

The prize for the best book published by a Canadian medievalist is named for the Society’s first President Dr Margaret Wade Labarge. It was instantly dubbed “The Polly,” reflecting the nickname by which this warm and beloved medievalist was known from coast to coast.

Throughout her career Dr Labarge was an academic anomaly. She was an inspiring figure and a respected independent scholar. Although she taught at Carleton and Ottawa from time to time, she did not hold a fulltime academic appointment. Nevertheless, she was a sought-after speaker and her scholarship was acclaimed across Canada and throughout the medieval communities of the United Kingdom and the United States. She wrote nine books on a sweeping array of topics ranging from A Baronial Household of the Thirteenth Century (1965); The Life of Louis IX of France (1968); Medieval Travellers (1982); and perhaps most significantly, Women in Medieval Life (1986), a pioneering monograph dedicated to the study of women in the Middle Ages. Her contributions to medieval studies in Canada was recognized by election to the Royal Society of Canada and appointment to the Order of Canada.

With this award for an outstanding book, the Society seeks to recognize and encourage the quality and diversity of scholarship exhibited by our first President, Margaret Wade Labarge.


Any book in the field of medieval studies (including monographs, editions, translations, and other categories as determined by the Prize Committee), authored or co-authored, translated or co-translated, edited or co-edited, etc. (the test being at least 50% participation) by a Canadian or someone resident in Canada. Edited collections of essays are not eligible.

The deadline for the Labarge prize 2020 (books published in 2019) will be February 28, 2020 / La date d'échéance du Prix Labarge 2020 (livres publiés en 2019) est le 28 Février, 2020.

3 copies of eligible books should be sent to the postal address / 3 exemplaires de livres admissibles doivent être envoyées à l'adresse de courrier:

Dr Shannon McSheffrey
Department of History, LB-1001
Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Montreal, Quebec  CANADA  H3G 1M8

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