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RSA Digital Innovation Award

The Digital Innovation Award application site is now closed. Applications for the 2021 award will open in fall 2020. Check this space for the application link.

The Renaissance Society of America is pleased to announce a new Digital Innovation Award. The first applications were accepted in fall 2019 and the inaugural award recipients were announced in February 2020.

2020 RSA Digital Innovation Award Winners

  • The Archaeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe (AOR)

    Principal Investigators:
    • Earle Havens (Johns Hopkins University)
    • Matthew Symonds (Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, University College London)
    • Anthony Grafton (Princeton University)
  • Digital Anthology of Early Modern English Drama (EMED)
    • A collaboration between the Folger Institute and Digital Media and Publications at Folger Shakespeare Library, featuring the work of Meaghan Brown, Elizabeth Williamson, and Michael Poston

This award will recognize excellence in digital projects that support the study of the Renaissance (1300-1700). Projects will be evaluated on content, usability, and thoughtful implementation of technology. The award selection committee will consider projects such as (but not limited to) digital editions, research portals, themed repositories, visualizations, interactive games, reusable datasets, and online exhibitions. Tools (for transcription, markup, annotation, etc) will not be considered unless they are specifically geared towards teaching and/or researching the Renaissance or show significant applications to Renaissance studies. The selected projects are expected to be open access (not paywalled). At least one member of the project team must be a member of the RSA at the time of application. The committee will consider applications from scholars at all stages of their careers.

Applications will be evaluated by a committee comprised of members of the Digital and Multimedia Committee plus an at-large member appointed by the RSA President. The selection committee will favor applications that accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Preserve or share data, methods, results, or lessons learned with fellow members of the RSA in ways that can be repeated or adapted
  • Demonstrate clarity of purpose, and reflection on the digital tools or methods utilized, with respect to the research or pedagogical issues at hand
  • Offer an innovative approach to some Renaissance topic or corpus
  • Bring together different disciplines embraced by the RSA or enable some new kind of collaboration among RSA members

A complete application consists of:

  • A brief form
  • A one-page summary of the project outlining scope, describing potential for teaching and research, and offering guidelines on how to best use the project. This could simply be a page that offers links to the relevant information online.
  • A one-page description of how this project fills a gap in the field and relates to/builds on existing research and scholarship.
  • A works cited (maximum two pages).


  • September 2020 – Application opened
  • October 15, 2020 – Application deadline
  • January 31, 2021 – Recipients notified
  • March 2021 – Recipients announced publicly
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