Skip Content

Derek Allen Prize

The Derek Allen Prize, worth £400, is awarded annually in recognition of outstanding work by a scholar in musicology, numismatics, and Celtic studies, in rotation.

The award commemorates Derek Fortrose Allen (1910–1975), elected a Fellow in 1963, who served from 1969 to 1973 as Secretary of the Academy, and from then until his death as Treasurer. It was founded in 1976 by his widow, Mrs Winifred Allen, and her sons to provide an award in one of three academic fields in which Mr Allen had particular interest. The Prize was first awarded in 1977.


In 2019 eligible nominations can be for any scholar of any nationality working in Musicology

How to nominate

Nominations may only be made by Fellows of the British Academy. Nominations for 2019 have now closed.

Nominating Body: History of Art and Musicology Section

In 2020 the Derel Allen Prize will be awarded for numsimatics. 

2018 Winner

Máire HerbertMáire Herbert is Emeritus Professor of Early and Medieval Irish Language and Literature at University College Cork. She is a graduate of the National University of Ireland and the University of Cambridge. During her academic career she has been a scholar at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge, and Visiting Professor at the Harvard University Department of Celtic. She is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and current President of the Irish Texts Society. She has published widely on Early Irish literature and history, and on associations between Ireland and Scotland in the pre-Norman era. 

“It is a great honour to have been awarded the Derek Allen Prize. I am deeply grateful to the family of the late Derek Allen, and to the British Academy, and I greatly appreciate the support for Celtic Studies which this Prize represents.”

Previous winners

2017 (numismatics) Professor Michael Crawford FBA, University College London

2016 (musicology) Dr Margaret Bent CBE FBA, University of Oxford

2015 (Celtic studies)  Professor Pierre-Yves Lambert, Centre national de la recherche scientifique

2014 (numismatics)  Dr Richard Reece, University College London

2013 (musicology)  Professor Arnold Whittall, King's College London

2012 (Celtic studies)  Professor Fergus Kelly, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

2011 (numismatics)  Dr Mark Blackburn, Keeper, Department of Coins and Medals, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

2010 (musicology)  Professor Gary Tomlinson, Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities, University of Pennsylvania

2009 (Celtic studies)  Yr Athro Dafydd Jenkins, Emeritus Professor of Legal History and Welsh Law, University of Aberystwyth

2008 (numismatics)  Professor Michael Metcalf, Emeritus Professor of Numismatics, University of Oxford

2007 (musicology)  Professor Philip V. Bohlman

2006 (Celtic studies)  Mr Daniel Huws

2005 (numismatics)  Professor Philip Grierson, FBA

2004 (musicology)  Professor Colin Timms

2003 (Celtic studies)  Professor Pádraig Ó Riain

2002 (numismatics)  Professor Dr Gert Hatz

2001 (musicology)  Dr Janice Stockigt

2000 (Celtic studies)  Professor Derick Thomson, FBA