2022 Richard Deswarte Prize in Digital History

We are delighted to announce that the 2022 Richard Deswarte Prize in Digital History is awarded to Joris van Eijnatten and Pim Huijnen for their paper ‘Something Happened to the Future: Reconstructing Temporalities in Dutch Parliamentary Debate, 1814–2018’, Contributions to the History of Concepts 16:2 (2021), 52–82, doi: 10.3167/choc.2021.160204.

The award was a unanimous decision, with the judging panel recognising the paper’s contributions to historical knowledge, historiography, and method. Peter Webster, chair of the judging panel, said:

‘Something happened to the future’ impressed the panel a great deal, with its compelling interweaving of methodological sophistication with a far-reaching intervention in the historiography of the period. It exemplifies the kind of impact digital history can have on the discipline as a whole, and is a worthy tribute to the memory of a dear friend and colleague.

The judging panel considered 17 eligible nominations for the prize, including articles, books, chapters, datasets, and interactive websites on topics ranging from early modern European bibliography and online feminist commemorative practices to medieval urban poverty and twentieth century newspaper photography.

The quality, breadth, and originality of the entries indicates the health of field. And among those entries that ran van Eijnatten and Huijnen close, the judges wish to commend “Beyond Guanxi: Chinese Historical Networks“, a special issue of the Journal of Historical Network Research edited by Henrike Rudolph and Song Chen, as a striking example of that health.

We thank all that nominated entries for the prize. The 2023 edition will be launched early in the new year.

Richard Deswarte (1965-2021) was one of the founding convenors of the Digital History seminar at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), University of London, an advocate for the value and importance of digital history, and an irreplaceable member of the community of digital historians in the UK and beyond.

This annual prize, established in his memory, celebrates the best of digital history internationally. It offers an award of £1,000 for the best output in digital history published in the 17 months prior to the submission deadline. More information on the prize is available here.

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