Computer History Museum Prize

The Computer History Museum Prize is awarded to the author of an outstanding book in the history of computing broadly conceived, published during the prior three years. The prize of $1,000 is awarded by SIGCIS, the Special Interest Group for Computers, Information and Society. SIGCIS is part of the Society for the History of Technology. 

In 2012 the prize was endowed in perpetuity through a generous bequest from the estate of Paul Baran, a legendary computer innovator and entrepreneur best known for his work to develop and promote the packet switching approach on which modern networks are built. Baran was a longtime supporter of work on the history of information technology and named the prize to celebrate the contributions of the Computer History Museum to that field. 

2021 Submissions
We anticipate awarding two Prizes this year. One will be the best book for the period 2017-2019 (the 2020 Prize, which was indefinitely postponed by the pandemic last year); the other will be the best book for the period 2018-2020 (the 2021 Prize).

Current information about the prize, including the most recent call and a list of previous winners, always may be found at

To nominate a book for either Prize, please send each of the committee members (listed below) a book copy no later than May 31, 2021. Electronic books are acceptable to all committee members, though physical book copies are preferred by Alberts. Electronic copies of books may be sent to the e-mail addresses listed below. To send physical books, please contact the committee chair (Slayton) for mailing addresses.

2021 Prize Committee Members

Rebecca Slayton (committee chair; term ends 2021)
Department of Science & Technology Studies
Cornell University


Gerard Alberts (term ends 2021)
Faculty of Science, KdVI
University of Amsterdam


Jean Kumagai (term ends 2022)
IEEE Spectrum


Previous Winners

  • 2009: Christophe Lécuyer, Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970 (MIT Press, 2006)
  • 2010: Atsushi Akera, Calculating a Natural World: Scientists, Engineers, and Computers During the Rise of U.S. Cold War Research (MIT Press, 2007)
  • 2011: Paul N. EdwardsA Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming (MIT Press, 2010)
  • 2012: Eden Medina, Cybernetic Revolutionaries:Technology and Politics in Allende's Chile (MIT Press, 2011)
  • 2013: Joseph A. November, Biomedical Computing: Digitizing Life in the United States (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012)
  • 2014: Janet Abbate, Recoding Gender: Women's Changing Participation in Computing (MIT Press, 2012)
  • 2015: Rebecca Slayton, Arguments That Count: Physics, Computing, and Missile Defense, 1949-2012 (MIT Press, 2013)
  • 2016: Dinesh C. Sharma, The Outsourcer: The Story of India's IT Revolution (MIT Press, 2015)
  • 2017: Elizabeth Petrick, Making Computers Accessible: Disability Rights and Digital Technology (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015).
  • 2018: Ben Peters, How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (MIT Press, 2016).
  • 2019: Jaroslav Švelch, Gaming the Iron Curtain How Teenagers and Amateurs in Communist Czechoslovakia Claimed the Medium of Computer Games (MIT Press, 2018).