The Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, established by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1972, is the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.
The lecturer receives an honorarium of $10,000, a figure set by statute.
The National Humanities Medal, inaugurated in 1997, honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens' engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans' access to important resources in the humanities. Up to 12 medals can be awarded each year.
A year-by-year list of the National Humanities Medal winners is available, along with profiles of the recipients.
The medal replaces the Charles Frankel Prize in the Humanities. The new award, a bronze medallion, was designed by 1995 Frankel Prize winner David Macaulay.