The Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia is seeking entries for its biennial Student Book Collecting Contest. The contest is open to all regularly enrolled University students, undergraduate and graduate. Contestants submit a full descriptive list of their books and a short essay about their book-collecting interests.
Cash prizes will be awarded – $300 for first place, $150 for second and $75 for honorable mention. More than $500 worth of gift certificates will also be awarded, from booksellers Blue Whale Books, The Book Broker, Clover Hill Books, Daedalus Book Shop, Franklin Gilliam: Rare Books, Heartwood Books, JNS Books, New Dominion Bookshop, Oakley’s Gently Used Books, Oliver & Co. Books, Read It Again, Sam, and the U.Va. Bookstore.
The first-place winner also will receive the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia Fellowship for Rare Book School, a tuition-free opportunity to take a class at the world-renowned program, and is eligible to compete for the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest prize of $2,500.
Selections from winning collections will be displayed in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library during the Virginia Festival of the Book.
The Student Book Collecting Contest has been held at the University since 1949 and is one of a handful held at universities throughout the United States. Recent winning collections in the U.Va. contest have focused on Tibetan books; Victorian serial fiction; children’s series books such as the Hardy Boys books; physics textbooks; central African literature; flip-books; books about Generation X; and Dare-Devil comics and graphic novels. Last year’s local winner, Andrew Ferguson, placed third in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest.
Judges consider collections on the basis of coherence of focus, method of collecting, progress made in creating the collection and the quality of the explanation of the collection’s focus. Where appropriate, the quality of the description of the books – of the physical characteristics such as binding, cover decoration and illustrations, and bibliographical features such as format, printing and publication details – is taken into consideration. Collections are not judged on dollar value or size.
Submissions to the contest will be accepted through Feb. 11 and should be sent to Anne Ribble, Executive Secretary, Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400152, Alderman Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA, 22904.
For information, visit the society’s website.