* be nominated by a genealogical society,
* have been active in genealogy for at least 10 years,
* have been deceased for at least 5 years, and
* have made "unique, pioneering, or exemplary" contributions to the field. Possible examples given by NGS (italics added by me) include having
- authored books or articles that added significantly to the body of published works, and/or that serve as models of genealogical research and writing;
- made genealogical source records more readily available to the public by preserving, transcribing, translating, abstracting, indexing, and/or publishing such records;
- shared with others knowledge of genealogical research methods and sources through teaching and lecturing and/or publication of educational materials; and
- contributed time, labor, and leadership to a genealogical organization or a genealogical periodical publication, thus enabling that organization or publication to make significant contributions to the field of genealogy in the United States.
For examples, see the names, pictures, and accomplishments of the 28 honorees to date. I was interested to learn that three Hall of Famers made their contributions from the Midwest: Michigan (Lucy Mary Kellogg 1899-1973), Illinois (Lowell M. Volkel 1936-1992), and Indiana (Willard Calvin Heiss 1921-1988).
Submissions are due January 31. See information on the nominating procedure, the call for nominations, and the nominating form.
Harold Henderson, "Unique. Pioneering. Exemplary. Did you know a future Hall of Famer?," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 9 November 2013 (http://midwesternmicrohistory.blogspot.com : viewed [date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]