The Tony Sale Award
for Computer Conservation and Restoration

Computer ◆ Conservation ◆ Society

Welcome to the Tony Sale Award website

The 2018 Tony Sale Award for Computer Conservation

Nominations are invited for the 2018 Tony Sale Award for Computer Conservation. The award, open to any individual or group anywhere in the world, recognises achievements in computer conservation or restoration.

First established in 2012 in memory of computer conservation pioneer Tony Sale, who rebuilt Colossus, the World War II code-breaking computer. It was instigated and is managed by the Computer Conservation Society and sponsored by Google UK.

The closing date for nominations was 30th June 2018.

The entries are –

  • Bob Supnik and SIMH Computer History Simulation Project
  • Mockup of CLEMENTINA, the first scientific computer in Argentina, by the Museo de Informática ICATEC in Buenos Aires
  • Evolution of real-time computing on the fly demonstrated by a trio of Link Pilot Makers, by the Center for Technology and Innovation, Binghamton, NY
  • Electrologica Foundation: The EL-X8 at the Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, The Netherlands
  • The Virtual Colossus Project, by Martin Gillow

Presentation of a £1000 cash award and trophy will be made in London on 15th November 2018. The winner will also receive travelling and accommodation expenses to attend the Awards Ceremony in London and give a presentation.

The three previous winners of the award already show the growing breadth and depth of computer conservation. The 2016 winner was the Heinz-Nixdorf MuseumsForum for its evocative and educational reconstruction showing how ENIAC, one of the first electronic computers, was programmed. In 2014, there were joint winners: the IBM 1401 Demo Lab, a restoration of one of the most significant machines in computer history by the Computer History Museum in California, and Z1 Architecture and Algorithms, a virtual reconstruction of the 1930's Konrad Zuse mechanical computer, by the Free University of Berlin. The inaugural award in 2012 was won by David Link of Germany for his computer art installation, Loveletters.

Judging panel chairman computer historian Professor Martin Campbell-Kelly welcomed the growing diversity of award entries: “When we first set up the award, we really weren’t sure what to expect. We didn’t fully appreciate the extent or breadth of computer conservation work that was going on across the world. As the previous entries and winners show, the subject is thriving and imaginations are being fired. Last year, interest in the subject was so high that we were able to hold the first international conference of computer conservationists. We look forward eagerly to this year’s entries.”

Projects may cover hardware and/or software and represent any period in computing history. Projects may be the work of individuals or a team.

The main judging criteria for the 2018 award are:

Originality: To what extent does the project demonstrate a novel approach to conservation or reconstruction?
Completeness:   Has the project achieved the initial goals set?
Ingenuity: What new techniques or processes were developed during the project?
Impact: What contribution has the work made to increasing the understanding of the history of computing?
Outreach: Is the result of the work visible to experts in the field and/or to the general public?
Publicity: To what extent has the work already been publicised or written up?

The Judging Panel reserves the right not to make an award.

Full details and the entry form can be found at

Tony Sale

Tony Sale and Colossus
The Tony Sale Award Trophy

The Tony Sale Award is presented in remembrance of the late Tony Sale, one of the two co-founders of the Computer Conservation Society which runs the award.

Tony Sale was an inspirational figure whose efforts to reconstruct a Second World War Colossus codebreaking machine pioneered much of the present day work of the Society.

The award is sponsored by Google to whom we are most grateful.