In recognition of Martin Ridge's long service to both the Western History Association and The Huntington Library, this $3000, one-month research fellowship at The Huntington Library has been established in his honor. Funds are allotted as follows: $500 from the WHA and $2500 from The Huntington Library upon completion of the fellowship. View a list of past recipients.
Applicants should send a 2-3 page description of their project, specifying the materials they plan to consult at The Huntington Library and indicating progress to date on the project, and a c.v. to each member of the award committee listed below. Recipients of the fellowship are expected to be in continuous residence at the Huntington for one month. Ph.D. or equivalent or a doctoral student at the dissertation stage are eligible to apply. The fellowship will be in residence during the next academic year (the 2017 fellowship recipient will hold residence during the 2018-2019 academic calendar.
Award Submission Deadline: April 1, 2018
2017 WHA-Huntington Martin Ridge Fellowship Committee
Martin Ridge (1923-2003) was born in Chicago on May 7, 1923. He served two years in the U.S. Merchant Marines after he received his bachelor’s degree at the Chicago Teachers College in 1943. Dr. Ridge pursued his Ph.D. at Northwestern University where he studied immigration and frontier history with Franklin D. Scott and Ray Allen Billington. Choosing to focus on western history, he graduated with his doctorate in 1951. The University of Chicago Press published Dr. Ridge’s first book, Ignatius Donnelly: Portrait of a Politician, in 1962. He received best book awards from the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association (PCB-AHA) and Phi Alpha Theta for his meticulous work on Donnelly.
Dr. Ridge’s teaching career included positions at Westminster College, San Diego State College, Indiana University, and California Institute of Technology. In addition to eleven years of teaching in Indiana, Dr. Ridge served as the editor of the Journal of American History. In 1977 he moved to California to become the director of research at The Henry E. Huntington Library in San Marino. Dr. Ridge retired from the director’s position in 1993 but continued to serve the library as a senior research associate. In 1995 he retired from his teaching position at Cal Tech.
Dr. Ridge wrote or edited eighteen books and several essays. He received Guggenheim, Huntington Library, Newberry Library, and American Council of Learned Societies fellowships in addition to article awards. Dr. Ridge was active in many academic organizations including the Organization of American Historians and the Western Association of Women’s Historians. He was the president of the Historical Society of Southern California (1994-1999) and president of the PCB-AHA 1995).
Dr. Ridge was a founder of the Western History Association and remained an active member for over forty years. He was on the council, nominating committee, award committees, and served the WHA as the 26th President in 1986-1987.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Ridge was deeply committed to the historical profession, especially in his work with students and younger historians who researched the frontier and western history. In addition to directing numerous doctoral dissertations, Dr. Ridge emphasized the importance of being involved in a community of scholars. Martin Ridge died on September 22, 2003, in Pasadena, California.
Authored by Elaine Marie Nelson, University of Nebraska at Omaha. Sources: Susan Wladaver-Morgan, “In Memoriam: Martin Ridge,” Perspectives, published by the American Historical Association, March 2004; Walter Nugent and Suellen Hoye, “Martin Ridge, 1923-2003: In Memoriam,” Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 73, No. 1, February 2004; Annette Atkins, “A Curious Westerner: Martin Ridge, 1923-2003," Western Historical Quarterly, Vol. 35, No., Spring 2004.
2015 | Jeannette Alden Estruth, New York University
2014 | Lawrence H. Kessler, Temple University
2013 | Daniel Lynch, University of California, Los Angeles
2012 | Sarah Seekatz, University of California, Riverside
2011 | Amy Jin Johnson, Brown University
2010 | Juliette Maiorana, University of California, San Diego
2009 | Elaine Marie Nelson, University of New Mexico
2008 | Brian Frehner, Oklahoma State University
2007 | Benjamin L. Madley, Yale University
2006 | Kevin Leonard, Western Washington University
2005 | Lissa Wadewitz, Stanford University
2004 | Lawrence Culver, Utah State University
2003 | Stacy Smith, University of Wisconsin, Madison
2002 | Robin S. Conner, Emory University
2001 | Omar Valerio-Jimenez, University of California, Los Angeles
2000 | Cathleen D. Cahill, University of Chicago
1999 | Richard Stillson, Johns Hopkins University
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