An extraordinary system of cultural and historical resources.

Sister Alfreda Elsenshon Museum Award

Sister Alfreda Elsenshon Museum Award for Outstanding Service

Sister Alfreda Elsenshon

Sister Alfreda Elsenshon

Photo Credit: Museum of St. Gertrude

The Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Museum Award for Outstanding Service was initiated in 2008.  It is a joint award given annually by the
Idaho Heritage Trust, Idaho Humanities Council, and Idaho State Historical Society to recognize outstanding service by an Idaho museum, historical society, or interpretive organization/association.

The Award is named for Sister Alfreda Elsensohn, who founded the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude in Cottonwood.  Sister Alfreda, one
of Idaho’s outstanding historians, sought to collect, preserve, and interpret artifacts from Idaho County and the surrounding area to better
educate the public.  “A museum is a bridge which links the present with the past,” she often said.   It is her vision of Idaho museums as
exciting, interactive, and educational institutions that the Award seeks to recognize by honoring one outstanding Idaho museum, historical society, or interepretive organization/association.

The following criteria will be considered by the three sponsors each year in determining the awardee for that year.  Additional criteria may also be considered.


  • Will have a record of outstanding professional programming.
  • Will be leaders in the field of Idaho museums, historical societies, or interpertive organizations/associations.
  • Will have a record of sharing their resources and information with community and statewide partners, thereby assisting in the development of professional level historical interpretation, displays, and preservation of Idaho's History.
  • Will demonstrate success in collaborative community work.
  • Will be able to use the funding to move to a higher level of professionalism and have experience in administering and implementing grant-funded projects and programs.

While only one Award will be given annually, over the course of several years, it is the goal of the three sponsors to have a fairly even distribution
of the award in the various geographical regions of the state.  There is no application form to complete; the three sponsors select an awardee
each year.