The Cundill History Prize recognizes and rewards the best history writing in English.

A prize of US$75,000 is awarded annually to the book that embodies historical scholarship, originality, literary quality and broad appeal. The two runners-up each receive US$10,000.

Administered by McGill University in Montreal and awarded by a distinguished jury, the Cundill History Prize honours the abiding passion for history of its founder, F. Peter Cundill, by encouraging informed public debate through the wider dissemination of history writing to new audiences around the world.

Any historical period or subject is eligible, and translations into English are warmly welcomed. Books are accepted regardless of the nationality or place of residence of their authors.

Find out more about how we select our Triage Committee and Jury; what we are looking for; and how we select our titles.

“Since its inception, the Cundill History Prize has embodied the Faculty of Arts’ commitment not only to historical scholarship and originality but also to the value of history for informing our decisions in the present. Each year, the Prize’s judges and jury select three finalists, of which one is the winner, from hundreds of exceptional works at the height of craft of historical writing, works that inform public debate amongst audiences both at McGill and around the world.”

Lisa Shapiro
Dean Faculty of Arts

“History — good, readable, evidence-based history — is part of the toolbox of democracy. We live in a challenging world and it is more important than ever to understand ourselves and others, where we came from and where we might be going, and only history can provide those insights.”

Margaret MacMillan
2017 Chair of Jury


F. Peter Cundill

F. Peter Cundill (1938–2011), a distinguished alumnus of McGill University, was a philanthropist, sportsman, diarist, and renowned global investor. A voracious reader and inveterate traveller, Peter Cundill had an abiding passion for history: he believed that it was possible to comprehend the present and arrive at a measured perspective about the future only by first understanding the past. This led him to found the Cundill History Prize. The Peter Cundill Foundation, continues to support charities, research projects, and educational and enterprise gifts to young people.

The Peter Cundill Foundation
The Peter Cundill Fellowship in History


McGill University

McGill University is one of Canada’s top institutions of higher learning and one of the leading universities in the world. With students coming to McGill from some 150 countries, its student body is the most internationally diverse of any research-intensive university in the country. Its 11 faculties and 11 professional schools offer more than 300 programs of study to some 40,000 graduate, undergraduate and continuing studies students. McGill ranks 1st in Canada among medical-doctoral universities (Maclean’s) and 27th in the world (QS World University Rankings).

The Cundill History Prize is administered by the Office of the Dean in the Faculty of Arts at McGill University.


Faculty of Arts