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The Dibner Award

In Search of the Canadian Car 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 "Driving America" at the Henry Ford, the 2012 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.


(Above: a video feature from "Driving America," at the Henry Ford, the 2012 Dibner Award winning exhibit.)

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 is 1 April, except in the case of traveling and short-term exhibits that close before that date; 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 David Lucsko, SHOT Secretary, shotsec@auburn.edu.

2014 Dibner Award Committee

Alex Bochannek (2013-2015)
bochannek@computerhistory.org
Glenn Bugos (2012-2014)
glen@momentllc.com
Marc Greuther (2013-2015)
marcg@thehenryford.org
Sheldon Hochheiser (2012-2014) s.hochheiser@ieee.org
Arwen Mohun (2012-2014) mohun@udel.edu Thomas Söderqvist (2012-2014) thss@sund.ku.dk
Allison Marsh (2014-2015), chair   MarshA@mailbox.sc.edu  


Previous Recipients of the Dibner Award

2013 not presented
2012
"Driving America," The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Michigan
2011
"In Search of the Canadian Car," Canada Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa, Canada
2010
"Split & Splice: Fragments from the Age of Biomedicine," the Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
2009
"America by Air," National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. USA
2008
"As Time Goes Byte: Computing and Digital Culture," Museum of Communication, Berne, Switzerland
2007
SS Great Britain Museum, Bristol, England
2006
"Time Galleries," the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England; lead curators David Rooney and Gloria Clifton
2005
"Locomotion--The National Railway Museum at Shildon," County Durham, England; head curator Janice Murray. Honorable mention: "No.1 Pump Station," Mundaring Weir, Western Australia.
2004
"Heroes of the Sky: Adventures in Early Flight, 1903-1939," the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan, curator Bob Casey.
2003
"Show of Force", the Armley Mills Industrial Museum, Leeds, U.K., curated by Neil Dowlan; and "Engenho e Obra: Engineering in Portugal in the 20th Century", a joint effort of the Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research, IN+, Instituto Superior Técnico, and the Institute of Contemporary History of the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, Universidade Nova de Lisboa; directed by Manuel Heitor
2002
"Shinkansen," National Railway Museum, York, curators Belinda Morris and Richard Gibbon; and "World City," Museum of London, curators Alex Werner and Karen Fielder
2001
"Writing On Hands: Memory and Knowledge in Early Modern Europe", Trout Gallery at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania in cooperation with the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C., curators Peter Lukehart and Claire Richter Sherman, and "On Time", National Museum of American History, curator, Carlene Stephens.
2000
"Universal Machine: Computers and Connections," at the Powerhouse Museum, New South Wales, Australia
1999
"History Works!", Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Bethlehem, PA, USA and "Watkins' Bethany: The Family, The Farm, The Mills", Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site and Park, Lawson, Missouri
1998
"Fibres, Fabrics, and Fashion", Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, United Kingdom
1997
"Steel, Stone and Backbone: Building New York's Subways 1900-1925", New York Transit Museum, Brooklyn, New York
1996
Theodore Roosevelt Dam and Desert Blooms Exhibit, Arizona Historical Society, Pheonix, Arizona
1995
"The Historical Museum of Bielefeld", Historisches Museum, Bielefeld, Germany
1994
"The Line of Battle", Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Madison, Wisconsin; The American Computer Museum, Bozeman, Montana; Museo del Vidrio, Monterey, Mexico
1993
Boott Cotton Mills Museum, Lowell, MA; "The Information Revolution," Herbert H. Dow Museum, Midland, MI; National Science Center, Delhi, India
1992
"The Cannery," The Baltimore Museum of Industry; "Milestones of a Revolution: People and Computers," The Computer Museum, Boston, Massachusetts Motorola Museum of Electronics, Schaumberg, Illinois, Tsongas Industrial History Center: Lowell, Massachusetts
1990
David Allison, chief curator, Bernard Finn and Steven Lubar, curatorial team, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution; "The Information Age"
1988
Thomas Elliot and Steven Hamp, Henry Ford Museum, "The Automobile in American Life"; David Chase and Carolyn Laray, National Building Museum, "Sheetmetal Craftsmanship: Progress in Building"; Donald Hoke and Christopher Miller, Outagamie Museum, "Tools of Change: The Work, Workers, and Tools of the Lower Fox River Valley, ca. 1840-1950"
1987
Steven Lubar and his colleagues at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, for "Engines of Change"

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