The Colonial Dames of America recognizes non-fiction books of merit that focus on American life—past, present, or future—by presenting an annual award to the author and to the publisher of the winning book. The purpose is to encourage both authors and publishers to produce books that broaden the understanding of American history, politics, or culture. An award is also given to an author writing fiction or non-fiction for young readers with an American theme. To be considered for the Annual Award, a book must be non-fiction, in one volume, and published during the current year. Both author and publisher must be American. The book may be focused on history, biography, economics, politics, ecology, education, or the arts.
The Book Award Committee consists of members from chapters of the CDA throughout the United States and abroad, under the leadership of the Parent Chapter in New York. Awards are presented at the Annual Meeting and Luncheon of The Colonial Dames of America, which is held in New York City in early May.