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Robert F. Munn Library Scholars Award for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Robert F. Munn Library Scholars Award is presented annually to a graduating Honors student for outstanding research contributions in the humanities or social sciences that have culminated in the production of an exceptional thesis or capstone research paper.

The award are typically presented during a ceremony held at the Downtown Campus Library. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony has been cancelled for 2020. Selected winners will be awarded $1,000. The Munn Award judges may select up to three winners.


To be eligible to win, applicants must:

Submission Process

The completed paper can be submitted anytime during the fall and spring semesters. The deadline is Monday, April 24, 2020 by 4 p.m.

Applicants should submit an electronic copy of their paper to the Head of the Libraries’ Office of Curriculum and Instructional Support, Kelly Diamond,


The research topic must be in the realms of the humanities or social sciences.


Judges will evaluate the submissions on:

  • Potential impact/contribution to the academic field.
  • Significance of work.
  • Quality of the work / theoretical value.
  • Development of the subject/topic.
  • Technical merit.
  • Originality*/generation of new knowledge.
  • Use of West Virginia University Libraries resources.

Note: Work that is attributed to a student’s own initiative, rather than to assist a faculty member’s current research interests, will be considered more favorably by judges.


The Robert F. Munn Library Scholars was established during the fall of 2008 in honor of Dr. Robert F. Munn, Dean of Library Services from 1957-1986. Dean Munn nurtured the West Virginia and Regional History Collection, the Appalachian Collection, and a unique East Africa collection. He maintained strong collections in the humanities, especially American history and literature. The Libraries’ collections in these areas today are remarkably complete and are a legacy of Dean Munn’s consistent care.

Munn was born in Seattle and grew up in Pittsburgh, where his father was director of the Carnegie Library. He received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin, his master’s degree from the University of Chicago, and his doctorate from the University of Michigan.