For over seventy-five years, AASLH has given Leadership in History Awards to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to all people.

The Albert B. Corey Award recognizes primarily volunteer-operated historical organizations that best display the qualities of vigor, scholarship, and imagination in their work. This is an award made at the discretion of the Awards Committee and is AASLH’s most prestigious award for all-volunteer institutions. You can view the full list of 2023 award winners here.

The 2023 Albert B. Corey Award goes to the Harrison Township Historical Society in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, for the Tornado rapid response project.

Mullica Hill Tornado Exhibit at the Harrison Township Old Town Hall, Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.

This exhibition and oral history project documented the impact of a devastating EF-3 tornado in 2021 on the small community, preserving memories of this watershed event and helping the community process the trauma and shock of the disaster. Through powerful images, moving interviews, and accessible exhibition techniques, the organization put together an incredible exhibit that shared the experiences of local citizens and the process of rebuilding a community.

The awards committee was tremendously impressed by this project’s rapid development, attention to best practices, and impact as a key component of the healing process for the community. The Tornado project is an incredible example of a history organization serving its community by both preserving contemporary history and responding to the need for connection and hope in a difficult time.