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Antonio Zampolli Prize

Overview | Recipients | Protocol

The Antonio Zampolli Prize is an award of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO). It is named in honour of the late Professor Antonio Zampolli (1937-2003), who was one of the founding members of the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing (ALLC) in 1973, and ALLC President 1983-2003. He was a major figure in the development of literary and linguistic computing from the 1960s, and an enthusiastic supporter of the joint international conferences of ALLC and the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH), which were initiated in 1989. He was also a prime mover in the Text Encoding Initiative, both in the initial 11-year project, and in the establishment of the TEI Consortium. The Zampolli award is given to recognise a single outstanding output in the digital humanities by any scholar or scholars at any stage in their career. The output must involve the innovative use of information and communications technologies and may take the form of published research and/or the development of research-related tools or resources. The award will be made on the basis of the output’s importance as a contribution to the digital humanities, taking into account the significance both of its use of information and communication technologies and of its actual or potential contribution to the advancement of humanities research. The award will be made every three years, alternating with other ADHO triennial awards, such as the Busa award. For the Zampolli award the output recognized in the award will normally have been published or otherwise made publicly available in the 7 years preceding the year of the award.


The award will be given triennially, to fit in with the award of the Busa Prize, and any other triennial awards ADHO may decide on. Note, however, that the selection process for the Zampolli Prize will normally take two years to complete (see below). The time needed to assess a single output is clearly less than is needed to assess a lifetime achievement (the Busa Prize), and starting the process a year later in the overall three-year cycle allows an extra year of outputs to be considered. The first award was made at the Digital Humanities conference held in 2011. The normal schedule for the making of the award will be as follows:

  • In the 12 months following an award, no specific action needs to be taken in respect of the next award.
  • One year after an award has been made, a six-month nomination process for the following award will begin, with an announcement made at the annual Digital Humanities conference.
  • Over the following six months, the SCA will take steps to ensure that nominations are solicited in an appropriate manner.
  • In the six months following the close of nominations, the SCA will review the nominations and will make its decision. The recipient will be notified and the name will be announced at the Digital Humanities conference of that year (Award year + 2).
  • In the year preceding the award, the SCA will work with the Local Organizers of the following year’s Digital Humanities conference to ensure that all the appropriate arrangements are in place for the presentation of the award and the lecture by the recipient.
  • The annual report of the SCA Chair to the Constituent Organization Board will include details of the current state of play in the award process.


The recipient will be chosen by the ADHO Standing Committee on Awards. The SCA is responsible for establishing the procedures for deciding on the Award, including procedures for soliciting and receiving nominations, reviewing the nominees’ work, selecting the recipient, and writing a citation describing the achievement in recognition of which the award is given. The agreed procedures will be submitted in writing to the Constituent Organization Board for formal approval, and to the executive committees of the ADHO Constituent Organizations for information. They will also be published on the ADHO website, and on the websites of the Constituent Organizations, should they so wish.


The recipient will receive prize money of approximately 1000 GBP (one thousand 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. The SCA will liaise with the Local Organizer 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 should also be given to recording and podcasting the lecture. The recipient wil be a guest of honour of the SCA and the Local Organizers at the conference at which the award is made and the lecture given. This means that all travel, accommodation and subsistence costs of the award recipient will be paid by ADHO.