The Roberto Busa Prize is an award of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organisations (ADHO). It is named in honour of Father Roberto Busa, the first pioneer of humanities computing, who in 1949 began experiments in linguistic automation, with the support of the IBM offices in New York and Milan, as part of his analytical research on the writings of Thomas Aquinas. The computational work was central to the thirty years of research whose published output was the 56-volume Index Thomisticus, completed in 1980. The Busa award is given to recognise outstanding lifetime achievements in the application of information and communications technologies to humanities research. The award is given every three years, alternating with other ADHO awards, such as the Zampolli award. The first award was given to Father Busa himself in 1998. Subsequent winners have been John Burrows (2001) Susan Hockey (2004) Wilhelm Ott (2007) Joe Raben (2010) Willard McCarty (2013) and Helen Agüera (2016).
The Awards Committee invites nominations for the 2024 Prize. Nominations should include a letter outlining the nominee’s lifetime achievements and explaining how they constitute an outstanding contribution to the field. A bibliographic list of nominee’s work, while not mandatory, would be welcome. Neither nominators nor nominees need be members of ADHO’s constituent organisations.
Nominations should be emailed to Anne Ladyem McDivitt, Chair of the Awards Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 15, 2023. The winner will be announced at the end of 2023.
The recipient of the award receives 1500 GBP, or a round number of about the same value in the currency in which the prize is to be awarded, and is expected to give a keynote or plenary lecture (on a topic of their choice) at the 2024 Digital Humanities conference at George Mason University in the Washington, DC area. ADHO will host the recipient as a guest of honor at DH2024. This means that all travel, accommodation and subsistence costs of the Prize recipient will be paid by ADHO.