Trailblazer Award

The Trailblazer Award honors the work of an individual or group who has used limited resources in innovative ways to create, maintain, or support digital collections. TDL strongly encourages applications from libraries and cultural heritage institutions that may not have full-time staff dedicated to digital projects but that have found creative and innovative ways to develop a digital presence.




Outstanding contributions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Innovative uses of technology
  • Digitization projects
  • Effective working relationships regarding digital presences or projects and involving other people, departments, or organizations
  • Metadata and cataloging processes
  • Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) programs
  • Integration of digital collections into Information Literacy campaigns, outreach and publicity, curriculum guides, or other flexible and innovative uses of digital resources.

The TDL Awards Committee encourages submissions from historically excluded communities and their allies. Per the TDL Statement of Inclusion, this includes but is not limited to “the presence and contributions of all persons regardless of age, culture, abilities, bodies, ethnic origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, nationality, race, religion, or socioeconomic status.”


Each year, the Texas Digital Library (TDL) Awards honor individuals and groups that have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of digital libraries.

Nominations for this award are open to individuals or groups from Texas libraries, archives, museums, cultural heritage institutions, non-profits, or collectives. Individuals and group members nominated must have been employed by the institution at the time the work was created or performed. Applications are especially encouraged from libraries just beginning on digital projects or staff whose primary job duties often fall outside the area of digital curation and scholarship. Self-nominations are accepted and encouraged. TDL members as well as non-members are eligible both to nominate and receive the award.

To nominate a project or individual for TDL’s Trailblazer Award, please complete the form below. To do so, you will need:

  • Contact information about the nominee or nominated group to include their name, affiliation, email address, and mailing address (required), plus any URLs (optional)
  • Your contact information (required)
  • A justification statement of 500-1,500 words (required)
  • Supporting documentation/file uploads (optional; examples include but are not limited to letters of recommendation, workflows, awards received, publicity and publications, etc.)




Winning nominations are selected by the TDL Awards Committee and winners are notified in early spring. Award winners receive one complimentary registration per award for the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries (TCDL) in Austin and are honored during a special awards session at the next conference.

Both winners and nominees will be invited to share their work with the digital library community through blog posts, webinars, and/or TDL member forums.

For questions about the criteria or processes for awards selection, please email


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