The Association of American Publishers this week announced the winners of the 2018 PROSE Awards, with Bloomsbury Publishing taking home the top honor—the R.R. Hawkins Award—for its Arcadian Library Online. It is the first time a digital product has won the top prize.

The PROSE Awards honor the best scholarly works published each year. For 2017, publishers submitted more than 550 books, journals and digital products for consideration in 51 subject categories within five areas of excellence: Biological and Life Sciences, Humanities, Physical Sciences & Mathematics, Reference Works, and Social Sciences.

To create the Hawkins prizewinner, Bloomsbury partnered with the Arcadian Library to digitize its collection of rare, ancient manuscripts and early books, presenting them in an “interactive, mobile-responsive” platform, searchable in English and Arabic.

"I am pleased for both our Content Services division, who digitized the Arcadian Library’s collection and launched this award-winning digital archive platform, and our new Digital Resources division, who have taken Arcadian Library Online to academic and scholarly libraries and institutions worldwide and are bringing its riches to new generations at a time when the need for inter-cultural understanding has never been more acute," said Bloomsbury Publishing CEO Nigel Newton.

Nigel Fletcher-Jones, director of The American University in Cairo Press and co-chair of the 2018 PROSE Awards, praised the Arcadia Library Online as “superbly designed to fulfill the deeply worthy and opportune mission of the library.” Co-chair Steven Heffner, v-p of product strategy, Wolters Kluwer Health said he was impressed with Bloomsbury’s ability to balance “digital function and convenience” with “some sense of the physical interaction with the artifacts.”

The full list of 2018 PROSE winners is here.