Frequently Asked Questions


Where can I find a list of participating OAH Distinguished Speakers?

For a comprehensive listing of participating lecturers, please visit our Directory of Lecturers page.

I want to host an OAH Distinguished Lecturer or book a Virtual OAH Lecture. What costs are involved?

For traditional, in-person OAH Lectures, lecture hosts are expected to pay a lecture fee to the OAH and to reimburse the speaker directly for transportation, lodging, food, and all other travel expenses. Lecture fees vary by speaker.

Virtual OAH Lectures are also available and can be managed/set up through OAH’s digital platform or yours. Live online lectures with Q&A start at $600. Recorded lectures start at $300, and recorded lectures with live Q&A start at $450. Contact the lectureship program coordinator to inquire about the lecture fee for a particular speaker.

How can I find out the fee for a particular speaker?
When are lecture fee and reimbursement payments due?

If not charged directly by the host, travel costs should be reimbursed at the time of the lecture or as quickly as possible thereafter to minimize credit card interest charges for the speaker. Lecture fees are due within 30 days after the lecture.

How are OAH lecture fees used?

OAH lecture fees are designated by the speakers as donations to the Organization of American Historians. Part of the operating budget, these funds help the OAH fulfill its mission of promoting excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history.

I have a topic or theme in mind—how do I find someone to speak on it?

Use the keyword search and topic filter tools on the Directory of Lecturers page or the U.S. History Topics & Titles page.

The most requested U. S. history topics can be found on the Featured Topics page.

How can I identify speakers near me, to minimize travel costs?

Use our search feature and filter by state.

How far in advance should I request a speaker?

It varies from speaker to speaker. Some are able to accept invitations with only a month’s notice, while others need to schedule up to 2 years ahead. For best results, contact the lectureship program coordinator with your invitation between 6 months to one year in advance.

What kinds of organizations host OAH Distinguished Lecturers?

OAH Distinguished Lecturers often give public lectures at college and universities. But nearly half of OAH Distinguished Lectures occur in other settings. Museums, state and local historical societies, libraries, faith-based organizations, K-12 schools, hospitals, workshops, professional development meetings, and regional and national conferences have all hosted OAH Distinguished Lecturers. Read former OAH lecture hosts’ comments here.

How are OAH Distinguished Lecturers chosen?

OAH Distinguished Lecturers are appointed annually by the president, based on recommendations of a subcommittee of the OAH Nominating Board. Volunteers and nominations are welcome and should be sent to the lectureship program coordinator.

When was the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program founded?

The lectureship program was founded in 1981 by OAH president, Gerda Lerner.