The Dorothea Award for Conservation

£500 Reward!

The Award’s purpose is to support and encourage voluntary conservation work on sites and artefacts of industrial, agricultural, and domestic importance. The AIA, in conjunction with Dorothea Restorations, offers an annual award of £500 and a handsome plaque to the project considered the best of that year’s entries. The Award includes free membership of the AIA for one person for one year, nominated by the winning project. Membership will be subject to approval by the AIA Council who will give preference to nominees in mid-career and younger, in line with its policy of encouraging younger members to join.


The Award was originally launched in 1984, the tenth Anniversary of the founding of Dorothea Restorations, to commemorate the first decade of service to museums throughout the country.

The Award is made by and through the joint generosity of Wallis Conservation Ltd and G W Conservation, and judged by a panel of judges nominated by the Council of the Association for Industrial Archaeology. There is one Award consisting of a plaque together with a £500 cheque. In addition, entries which are commended by the judges will receive a Certificate of Commendation. The Award will be made annually, subject to receipt of a satisfactory application.


  • To be eligible for entry, projects must be concerned primarily with the conservation of a site or object of industrial, agricultural, or domestic archaeological interest. Projects which are concerned primarily with the recording or interpretation of sites, or with the collection of items, will not be eligible.
  • Projects are restricted to work on sites or objects in the United Kingdom.
  • Projects must have been undertaken by amateur and voluntary groups or individuals. Individuals or groups which are attached to a professional organisation (e.g., a Friends of the museum group) will be eligible. Members of the group should not have received remuneration other than the receipt of agreed expenses, for any work or services contributing to the project. It is accepted that it may be necessary to obtain paid professional advice to meet legal or statutory requirements, and funding from sponsors or lottery grants etc., must be declared.
  • Projects must have been in progress for a period of not less than six months at the time of initial application.
  • The decision of the Judges is final.


The following criteria, where appropriate, will be taken into account when judging entries, and should therefore form the basis for your application:

1) The scope and nature of the project.

2) The significance of the project in national, regional, or local terms, and its added value to the community.

3) The nature, size and previous experience of the group undertaking the project.

4) The progress made in the project, in relation to the available resources of finance and manpower.

5) The quality of record keeping in relation to the project.

6) The use which could be made of the Award.

7) The generation, by the conservation process, of any new insight into our industrial past.

8) The protection of the environment offered by the project.

9) Proposals for maintenance and future care on completion of the project.

10) Whilst every effort will be taken to safeguard the information submitted, the organisers cannot accept responsibility for any subsequent loss or damage. The application will be retained in the Association archive.

  • Applications are made by completing the Awards Entry Form, followed by a detailed submission based on the criteria above. From 2021 the deadline is 31st January. Late entries can be considered for the following year. The winner will be notified in March, and will be invited to make a presentation at the AIA conference, usually in August or September, at which two places – one of which is complimentary – will be reserved for the presentation.
  • The Association will have permission to publish any entry, or part thereof, in IA News or in Industrial Archaeology Review without fee, but copyright would remain with the author(s) and it would be their responsibility to obtain copyright clearance for any third party material used.

Download the rules and   entry form (.pdf)    entry form (.docx)

Entry forms should be returned by email to or by post to
Stephen Dewhirst, 9 Maypole Road, Broseley, TF12 5QH

Entry forms are also available from the Secretary, David de Haan email: