The Producers of

Dig: A History Podcast

& The History Buffs Podcast


Winners of 2017 AASLH Award of Merit

NASHVILLE, TN—July 2017—The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that Averill Earls, PhD, Sarah Handley-Cousins, PhD, Marissa Rhodes, Elizabeth Garner Masarik, Dan Wallace, Katie Smyser, and Tommy Buttaccio are the recipients of an Award of Merit for their podcast episodes on Buffalo and New York history. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 72nd year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

Dig: A History Podcast (formerly The History Buffs Podcast) is a collaborative history podcast created entirely by the volunteer efforts of early career professional Historians and History graduate students, with the goal of bringing high-quality historical research to a broad audience of listeners. Because they are a Buffalo-based team of podcasters (hence, the History “Buffs”), integrating local and state history has always been an integral part of the podcasters’ mission. They’ve created episodes on elimination of the New York state sodomy laws thanks to the efforts of a Buffalo lawyer and defendant; the Victorian rural cemetery movement with emphasis on Forest Lawn Cemetery; and the role of Buffalo in the War of 1812. Local and state history is the focus of nearly 1/5 of the 50+ episodes the podcasting team has produced to date, with the rest covering topics as wide ranging as Roger Casement in Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising, the travels of Spanish Conquistador Cabeza de Vaca, and black soldiers during the American Civil War. The goal of the podcast is both edutainment—bringing well-researched historical stories to a wide public audience—and education, targeting History teachers looking for innovative tools to use in their classrooms. From inception to date, the podcast has over 60,000 downloads, by listeners in over 100 countries and all 50 U.S. states.  The backlog of the History Buffs Podcast can be found at New DIG episodes will be released starting in September 2017.

This year, AASLH is proud to confer forty-eight national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, and publications. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2017 AASLH Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, on Friday, September 8. The banquet is supported by a generous contribution from the History Channel.

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena. For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to


Bethany Hawkins