The ADHO Roberto Busa Award

Introduction and purpose

The Roberto Busa Award is an award of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organisations (ADHO): this Alliance includes the European Association for Digital Humanities (EADH), the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH), and the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities/Société pour l'étude des médias interactifs (SDH-SEMI).

The Busa award is given to recognise outstanding lifetime achievements in the application of information and communications technologies to humanistic research.

The award is given every three years, alternating with other ADHO awards, such as the Zampolli award.


The recipient will receive prize money of approximately 1500 GBP (one thousand five hundred GB pounds), or a round number of about the same value in the currency in which the prize is to be awarded. The recipient is expected to give a public lecture, on a topic of his or her choice, at the annual international Digital Humanities conference at which the award is presented.

This lecture will normally be one of the keynote or plenary lectures of the conference. The ADHO Standing Committee on Awards (SCA) will take steps to see that the lecture is published in some appropriate way, e.g. in one of the official ADHO journals, such as LLC or Digital Humanities Quarterly.

The SCA will liaise with the Local Organiser of the conference to ensure appropriate local and national publicity for the award and the lecture, e.g. a press release, press invitations, interviews and so on. Consideration will also be given to recording and podcasting the lecture.

The recipient will be a guest of honour of ADHO and the Local Organisers at the conference at which the award is made and the lecture given. All travel, accommodation and subsistence costs of the award recipient will be paid by ADHO.

Award procedure

The recipient is chosen by the ADHO Standing Committee on Awards (SCA).

The last Busa Award was made at the Digital Humanities 2013 conference, which was held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA.


The award is given every three years. The first award was made in 1998 at Debrecen, and the award cycle to date has been:

  • 1998 Debrecen, Hungary: Father Roberto Busa
  • 2001 New York, USA: John Burrows
  • 2004 Göteborg, Sweden: Susan Hockey
  • 2007 Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA: Wilhelm Ott
  • 2010 King's College London, UK: Joe Raben
  • 2013 University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA: Willard McCarty

Please click here for further information on the Busa Award winners.