- Collection ID:
Computers, Information and Society, Division of (NMAH, SI).
- Physical Description:
145 cubic feet
351 document boxes
Collection documents an awards program established in 1989 as a partnership between
and the Smithsonian Institution. The Computer World Smithsonian Awards (CWSA) brought together the Chairmen of Chief Executive Officers of the world's foremost information technology companies with the world's leading universities, libraries and research institutions to document a revolution in progress—the global information technology revolution. The program identified men, women, organizations and institutions leading the technology revolution and asked them to contribute case studies. Collection consists of case studies which include questionnaires, essays, oral histories, conference proceedings, publications, video tapes, photographs, slides, software, and product samples about each project.
Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An important part of the award process was that nominees actively created the permanent record of their work, for inclusion in the permanent CWSA archives at the Smithsonian. Strict guidelines were set up to ensure that a complete record was created. Each nomination had to be in the form of a packet of primary source materials about the project. Nominees were instructed on the types of materials to include and were required to answer a standard questionnaire and write an essay about the significance of the project. As a result, each case study includes a wealth of information about the project, including oral histories, conference proceedings, publications, video tapes, photographs and slides, software, examples of the product generated, and other records, as well as the standardized information required by the program. The collection is arranged into thirteen series chronologically.
Collection is arranged into thirteen series.
Series 1, General
Series 2, 1989
Series, 3, 1990
Series 4, 1991
Series 5, 1992
Series 6, 1993
Series 7, 1994
Series 8, 1995
Series 9, 1996
Series 10, 1997
Series 11, 1998
Series 12, 1999
Series 13, 2000
Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Established in 1989 as a partnership between
and the Smithsonian Institution, the Computer World Smithsonian Awards (CWSA) Program brought together the Chairmen or Chief Executive Officers of the world's foremost information technology companies with the world's leading universities, libraries and research institutions to document a revolution in progress: the global information technology revolution.
The awards program was dedicated to identifying the men and women, organizations and institutions, that were leading this revolution and to recording the impact of their achievements on society. The first awards were presented in 1991 during a ceremony at NMAH. According to that year's press release, the CWSA awards were created to "recognize heroes of technological innovation, to demystify public perceptions of technology and to clearly identify the benefits technology brings to the lives of the general public."
Over the course of each year, members of the Chairmen's Committee would identify those organizations whose use of information technology had been especially noteworthy for the originality of its conception, the breadth of its vision, and the significance of its benefit to society. Those organizations were asked to contribute a case study regarding their project to the CWSA collection, which was to be housed at the Smithsonian's NMAH. Nominated projects were sorted into ten categories and winners were selected by a panel of distinguished representatives in each specialty. The first year's categories were: business and related services; education and academia; environment, education and agriculture; finance, insurance and real estate; government and non-profit organizations; manufacturing; media, arts and entertainment; medicine and health care; and transportation. The categories changed slightly over the years as the process was refined.
In 2001, the Smithsonian decided to sever its affiliation with the CWSA program. The program continued under the sole auspices of Computerworld magazine, without any Smithsonian connection. New case studies now "become part of the broader, worldwide collection, archived on the world wide web and also presented, in a variety of formats, to archives, museums, universities and libraries in each of the more than 40 countries on six continents represented by the award winners," according to their website (http://www.cwheroes.org/home.asp
Processed by NMAH Staff.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Division of the History of Technology
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Physical Access: Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright held by donor and/or heirs. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.] .
The Computer World Smithsonian Awards, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
The Division Information, Technology and Society holds significant artifacts included with the nomination packets.
Each year, a new case studies were added to the collection, with each year's worth of material being designated as a separate series. Since 2001, when the Smithsonian decided to end its affiliation with the CWSA program, no further case studies or artifacts have been collected.
Transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Information, Technology and Society, May 11, 1992.
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012