Announcing a new way to honour exceptional service to this iconic historical project


For over 120 years, the Victoria History of the Counties of England, better known as the Victoria County History (VCH) has been working towards its goal of completing the authoritative histories of every English county, from the earliest archaeological records to the present day. VCH studies cover topics from landscape and the built environment, to economic, religious and social history. VCH research is trusted and valued by an exceptionally wide range of users: from academics to heritage professionals and conservationists, planners, policy-makers and more. The project is continually evolving, today publishing alongside its iconic Red Books of county history its VCH Shorts and now also the VCH smartphone app, ‘A History of English Places’.

Since 1899, the Victoria County History has been driven by a vast network of people dedicated to the project. In many ways, the VCH has always been a ‘crowdsourced’ project, long before this term came into general usage. Today, the project continues to be powered by the commitment, expertise, enterprise and energy of Trustees, researchers and authors, volunteers, and supporters across the country.

Enamel badge in red and gold showing the three lions passant of the Victoria County History logo with the initials VCH below

The VCH Outstanding Contribution Aware. The enamel badge is intended to recognise outstanding contributions to the VCH project.

We are delighted to introduce VCH Outstanding Contribution Awards, as a small way to recognise and honour exceptional contributions to the VCH, and to express our gratitude. Think of them as the ‘Gold Blue Peter Badge’ of the VCH world!

The VCH Outstanding Contribution Award is a specially-commissioned enamelled pin badge (which may be worn as a lapel badge, tie pin or brooch), which recognises exceptional achievement across any aspect of the VCH, and at any stage of the recipient’s ‘VCH career’, including:

  • Dedication, service and enterprise in a voluntary VCH role (Trustee, Chair, supporter)
  • Academic contribution (author, editor, researcher, advisor)
  • Engagement and outreach; innovative projects, partnerships, and development of the VCH

We would like to invite nominations from the VCH community for our first round of VCH Outstanding Contribution Awards.

Please note that we intend to give out only a small number of these Awards, and they are intended to recognise truly exceptional contributions. As this is our first ever call, we anticipate a larger-than-usual number of nominations, and may in this first instance make more Awards than usual. It’s still very unlikely that every nominee will receive an Award immediately, but we would encourage anyone unsuccessful to resubmit in our subsequent round(s), which we plan on holding annually. Occasionally (for example, at particular milestones), VCH Central Office may make an additional award.

If you would like to nominate someone for a VCH Outstanding Contribution Award, please email by Monday 6 December 2021, making your email subject line ‘VCH Outstanding Contribution Award’. Please include in your email: 

  • Name and title of nominee, and their VCH role(s)
  • Your name and connection with the nominee (this will not be made public)
  • Up to 100 words explaining why you are nominating this person for a VCH Outstanding Contribution Award. If successful, this text may be published online

Decisions will be made by the VCH Central Office team, taking advice from colleagues across the VCH where appropriate. We hope to announce the first group of recipients in December 2021, and look forward to honouring more VCH colleagues in this way over the coming years. 

Learn more about the Victoria County History

The Victoria County History is a series of publications comprising England’s national local history: the iconic Red Books of county history, as well as the VCH Shorts, which focus on single parishes and towns.