Professional News

UPK Encyclopedia Editors, Including UK Historian Gerald Smith, Winners of Kentucky Archives Month Award


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 26, 2015)University Press of Kentucky (UPK) co-editors Gerald Smith, Karen Cotton McDaniel and John Hardin have been selected to receive the 2015 Kentucky Archives Month Certificate for Merit for Writing/Publication for their editorship of The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia.

This Kentucky Archives Month Certificate for Merit for Writing/Publication is presented by the Kentucky State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) in order to recognize individuals who made a significant contribution to the conservation of Kentucky history through extensive research within the state’s archival system. Kentucky Archives Month is an annual celebration of the importance of archives and historical records and of the work of institutions that preserve these unique resources.

Editors Smith, McDaniel and Hardin gathered more than 150 authors to contribute to The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia. Featuring more than 1,000 entries on the individuals, events, places, organizations, movements and institutions that have shaped the state’s history since its origins, the volume also includes topical essays on the civil rights movement, Eastern Kentucky coalfields, business, education and women.

"This seminal work is a wonderful reference tool that will be valued by all who use it," said Valerie Edgeworth, chair of the Kentucky Archives Month Coordinating Committee.

This year’s award will be presented 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at the Visitor and Information Center on the ground floor of the Carroll Academic Services Building at Kentucky State University. The presentation will be followed by book discussion, Q&A and a book signing.

Smith, McDaniel and Hardin join fellow UPK author Thomas Kiffmeyer who received the award in 2010 for his book "Reformers to Radicals: The Appalachian Volunteers and the War on Poverty."

Gerald L. Smith is a professor of history and holder of the Theodore A. Hallam Professorship (2015–2017) in the University of Kentucky Department of History. He is the author, editor or coeditor of three books and other publications on history. Smith pastors the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky.

Karen Cotton McDaniel is professor emeritus at Kentucky State University, where she was a tenured full professor and director of libraries. She has written more than 20 publications on black Kentuckians, including book chapters, articles and encyclopedic essays. She has also taught at Eastern Kentucky University and Berea College.

John A. Hardin, professor of history at Western Kentucky University, is the author of two books, several major articles and numerous book reviews on Kentucky African-American history. He has taught at Kentucky State University and Eastern Washington University and has also served as adjunct faculty at the University of Louisville and UK.

UPK is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that now includes all of the state universities, five private colleges and two historical societies. The editorial program of the press focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at UK, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;