March 22, 2010 — The Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia has announced winners of its 2010 Student Book-Collecting Contest. They are:
• First place, $300 — Barbara Heritage (Ph.D. program, Department of English) for "Editing through Book Collecting: The Ordeal of 'The Ordeal of Richard Feverel'"
• Second place, $150 — Geoffrey Barstow (Ph.D. program, Department of Religious Studies) for "Western Visions of Tibet"
• Honorable mention, $75— Brian Cofrancesco (third year, architectural history) for "History Through Architecture, Art, Archaeology, and Local Tradition."
Heritage is eligible to enter the National Book Collecting Contest and compete for their first prize of $2,500.
The contest results were announced March 20 at the society's annual meeting, held in the auditorium of the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library.
The Student Book Collecting Contest has been held at the University since 1949 and is one of a handful held at American universities. Recent winning collections in the U.Va. contest have focused on physics textbooks; Victorian serial fiction; children's series books, such as the Hardy Boys books; artists' books; Central African literature; flip-books; books about Generation X; and Dare-Devil comics and graphic novels. Last year's winner, Jaideep Singh, was featured in a New York Times slideshow highlighting student collectors.
Eight students, from second-year through Ph.D. candidates, submitted entries. The collections covered a range of topics including Robert Frost, Lawrence of Arabia and Calvinist theologians.
All of the entrants received gift certificates, donated by 14 local booksellers.
Selections from the winning collections will be on display in the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library through April.
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 – that is, 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.