SLA Biomedical and Life Sciences Division

Winifred Sewell Prize

The Winifred Sewell Prize for Innovation in Information Technologies is granted by the Biomedical and Life Sciences Division of the Special Libraries Association to a member who has shown leadership and innovation in the development and/or use of advanced technologies in the organization or dissemination of biomedical and life sciences information.

The Prize is named in honor of Winifred Sewell, who has been a member of the Biomedical and Life Sciences Division since 1946. Miss Sewell was Senior Librarian at Squibb Institute of Medical Research from 1946 until 1961. She was instrumental in the development of MEDLARS as Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Specialist and later served as Deputy Chair of the Biological Services Division and Head of the Drug Literature Program at the National Library of Medicine. Miss Sewell served as President of the Special Libraries Association from 1960-1961, was President of the Drug Information Association from 1970-1971, and served as Honorary President of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy in its 100th anniversary year in 1999-2000. She is the first woman and first librarian to be so honored.

In addition, Miss Sewell is a Fellow of the Medical Library Association and received MLA's Eliot Prize for her book "Guide to Drug Information" (1977). In 1998 she was inducted into SLA's Hall of Fame at the annual conference in Indianapolis. Winifred Sewell died in October 2002 at the age of 85.

More information and photos of Winifred Sewell can be found here.

The Division's Awards Committee shall select the conferee, based on the following criteria:

  • Innovation in developing and applying new technologies
  • Commitment to educating others about new technologies
  • Ongoing and sustained interest in fostering, creation or adaptation of emerging technologies to improve access to information in biomedical and life sciences.

The Winifred Sewell Prize will be awarded at the annual business meeting of the Biomedical and Life Sciences Division at the annual conference, but not necessarily every year. The Prize shall consist of an engraved plaque and a check in the amount of $250.

List of DBIO recipients of the Winifred Sewell Prize can be found here.

Nomination Procedure

Complete the nomination form. Attach documentation describing the nominee's achievements in information technologies and life sciences librarianship. Include pertinent biographical data for the nominee.

Forward the nomination form and documentation, in confidence, with your name, phone number and e-mail address to Howard Fuller, Awards Committee Co-Chair, no later than April 6 (prior to the SLA Conference).

Rev. June 2015