Library of Congress > Awards & Honors

About Menu

Awards & Honors

The Library of Congress sponsors privately endowed programs that honor achievement in the humanities and creativity. Through these awards and prizes, the world's greatest repository of human creativity honors those who have advanced and embodied the ideals of individual creativity, conviction, dedication, scholarship and exuberance.

Living Legends

Established during its Bicentennial celebration in 2000, the Library of Congress' "Living Legend" award is selected by the Library's curators and subject specialists to honor artists, writers, activists, filmmakers, physicians, entertainers, sports figures and public servants who have made significant contributions to America's diverse cultural, scientific and social heritage.

View all Living Legends

Poet Laureate

The Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry is appointed annually by the Librarian of Congress and serves from October to May. During his or her term, the Poet Laureate seeks to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry.

Visit the Poetry web site to learn more about the Poet Laureate

John W. Kluge Prize

Endowed by a great Library benefactor, the John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity rewards lifetime achievement in the wide range of disciplines not covered by the Nobel prizes. Such disciplines include history, philosophy, politics, anthropology, sociology, religion, criticism in the arts and humanities, and linguistics. The award is at the financial level of the Nobel awards.

Visit the Kluge Center web site to learn more about the Kluge Prize

Gershwin Prize

The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song was created to honor artists whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin, by bridging musical styles, bringing diverse listeners together, and fostering their mutual respect and appreciation.

View all Gershwin Prizes

Library of Congress Fiction Prizes

Since 2008, the Library of Congress has awarded a prize to distinguished writers of fiction. Beginning in 2013, the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction has been presented to an author for a body of extraordinary work.

View all Fiction Prizes

Library of Congress Literacy Awards

The Library of Congress Literacy Awards were established as a program to help support organizations working to alleviate the problems of illiteracy, both in the United States and worldwide. The awards reward organizations doing exemplary, innovative and easily replicable work over a sustained period and to encourage new groups, organizations and individuals to become involved.

Visit the read.gov web site to learn more about the Literacy Awards

National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

The National Ambassador for Young People's Literature raises national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.

Visit the read.gov website to learn more about the National Ambassador