The Dibner Award for Excellence in Museum Exhibits:

The Dibner Award for Excellence in Museum Exhibits was established in 1985, through the generosity of Bern Dibner, to recognize excellence in museums and museum exhibits that interpret the history of technology, industry, and engineering to the general public. Winning exhibits, in addition to being well designed and produced, should raise pertinent historical issues. Artifacts and images should be used in a manner that interests, teaches, and stimulates both the general public and historians (pictured to the right, an image from “Collider” at the Science Museum, London, the 2014 Dibner Award winning exhibition). The award consists of a plaque and up to $1,000 to cover expenses for a member of the design team to accept the award at the SHOT awards banquet.

Exhibits are eligible for this award if they have been open to the public for no more than 24 months before the deadline for nominations. The Society especially encourages nominations from local and regional historical societies. Virtual exhibits are not eligible for the award .

Anyone, including the institution or individual responsible for its creation, may nominate an exhibit for the Dibner Award, using the nomination form available here as a PDF or Word document. The completed nomination form should be e-mailed to each member of the Dibner Committee. Deadline for nominations for the 2017 prize is 1 May 2017, except in the case of traveling and short-term exhibits that close before that date or in the two months that follow; in those cases, nominators must submit their documents to the committee at least two months in advance of the exhibit’s closing date. Nomination documents may not under any circumstances exceed 1 MB or contain anything other than text and static images.

After reviewing nominations, the committee will choose a short list of finalists, giving sole consideration to the evaluation documents submitted. The committee will then arrange for a “live” reviewer to visit each of the short-listed exhibits and write a report. Normally the chair will draw upon recommendations for live reviewers made by the nominator in the nomination document, although s/he may use her/his judgment to assign alternative reviewers as needed, including members of the committee.

For more information, please contact the committee chair or Jan Korsten, SHOT Secretary, [email protected].
Complete information is available at:

The Leonardo da Vinci Medal:

The highest recognition from the Society for the History of Technology is the Leonardo da Vinci Medal, presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the history of technology, through research, teaching, publications, and other activities. Andras Beck (formerly of the Hungarian Academy of Arts) designed the medal, the face of which shows Leonardo’s head modeled after the artist’s self-portrait. The reverse design shows (in the words of the sculptor) “the basic sources of energy: water, wind, and fire.” The prize consists of a medal and a certificate.

SHOT invites members to nominate candidates for the DaVinci Medal. To put forward a person’s name for consideration for the 2017 award, please send a letter of nomination, describing the person’s outstanding contributions to the history of technology, to DaVinci Medal Committee chair Francesca Bray by April 15, 2017. (below right, 2014 Leonardo da Vinci Medal recipient Pamela O. Long, with Bruce Seely).

For more information, please contact the committee chair or Jan Korsten, SHOT Secretary, [email protected].