NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The American Association for State and Local History recently announced that the Saco Museum and Leslie Rounds are the recipients of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards for the exhibit “I My Needle Ply with Skill: Maine Schoolgirl Needlework of the Federal Era.”

The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 69th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history, according to the organization.

In the 2013 exhibition, “I My Needle Ply with Skill,” the Saco Museum assembled 120 embroidered samplers from across the country, creating the first-ever exhibit of such a large collection of needlework pieces made by Maine girls and young women of the 18th and 19th centuries. The exhibition included a full-color book with photographs of all the samplers and information about the makers and their teachers.

This year, AASLH is conferring 77 national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, books and organizations. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2014 AASLH Annual Meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Friday, Sept. 19.