Thames & Hudson has won the $25,000 (£18,428) Alice Award for Strata: William Smith’s Geological Maps, co-published with Chicago Press.
The award is presented annually by the Futhermore Foundation to a "richly illustrated book that makes a valuable contribution to its field and demonstrates high standards of production".
Illustrated with detailed geological maps and cross-sections, contemporary artworks and photographed fossil samples, Strata showcases the revolutionary work of William Smith, son of a blacksmith. Smith is widely regarded as the father of English geology.
Contributors include devoted Smith enthusiast Robert Macfarlane and eight experts in related fields. The book was published in collaboration with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, the Geological Society and the Natural History Museum in London.
Tristan de Lancey, head of illustrated reference at Thames & Hudson and commissioning editor of Strata, said: “We are all absolutely thrilled—and genuinely surprised, given the Britishness of the subject matter—that Strata has won this prestigious award in the US. For all involved, this book has been a labour of lockdown love, and I’d like to think that its success has raised the bar for the treatment of specialist illustrated subject matter, showing just how well such an approach can engage a crossover, and even mainstream, audience.”