BAC Wadsworth Prize

The BAC Wadsworth Prize is awarded annually by the Business Archives Council for a book judged to have made an outstanding contribution to the study of British business history.

This year's event took place on 8 November 2023, hosted by HSBC at Canada Square and sponsored by Preservica and Profile Books. The winner of the £500 prize was Felicity Barnes for her book Selling Britishness: Commodity Culture, the Dominions and Empire published by McGill-Queen's University Press/Auckland University Press. This year’s judges were Dr Simon Mollan from the School for Business and Society, University of York; Charlie Turpie former Principal Archivist, London Metropolitan Archives and Dr Greg Finch, last year's winner. Speaking on behalf of the judges, Charlie Turpie highlighted the freshness and liveliness of the book, which drew on a wide range of UK and dominion-based business archives. In her acceptance speech, via Zoom from New Zealand, Felicity spoke of how archives and ephemeral remnants, such as publicity campaigns, had helped her shed new light on a range of cultural and economic ties that were crucial to creating a shared sense of Britishness. Two other books were highly recommended: Amy Edwards, Are We Rich Yet?: The Rise of Mass Investment Culture in Contemporary Britain, University of California Press and Joseph Sasson, The Global Merchants: The Enterprise and Extravagance of the Sassoon Dynasty, Allen Lane, Penguin.

This was the 45th occasion on which the Prize has been awarded. Previous winners are listed here: 

Past prize winners.

Wadsworth Prize – Submission Guidelines for Publishers

We welcome submissions for the Wadsworth Prize for Business History. 

For books to be eligible, they need to be published in the year previous to the Award ceremony. For example, the 2023 Wadsworth Prize was awarded to a book that was published in 2022.

 These are the criteria we use to judge the prize:

  • The book should be well-researched, well-written and accessible
  • It should engage with British business records and other archival material
  • It should expand the ‘debate’ in business history
  • It should make an outstanding contribution to the history of British business
  • It should be the book that both academics, and the wider public, would want to read.

Please send details of any books that you wish to submit on the form that you’ll find here: