Contest Rules and Submission Materials

College-Sponsored Contests

Each contestant must be the top prize-winner of an officially sanctioned American collegiate book collecting contest, with the award announced between September 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017.

  • If the college or university awards a top prize in two or more divisions (for example, a separate graduate and undergraduate prize), both division winners are eligible.
  • If a particular college or university does not award a first prize every year a contest is held, then the winner of the highest award that is given out that year is eligible to enter. For example, if no grand prize is awarded, but a second prize is given, the second prizewinner is eligible to enter.
  • In case of a tie for the top prize at a college or university, each top prizewinner is eligible to enter.
  • If a particular college or university does not hold a contest every year because the contest is biennial or quadrennial, a student from that school may enter only during the year the contest is actually held.
  • To be eligible, collections must have been formed and acquired solely by the contestant.

Deadline: entries must be postmarked no later than May 31, 2017.

Entries should be submitted here.


Direct Entry 
(For applicants whose colleges do not currently sponsor a contest.)

A collection should reflect a clearly defined unifying theme or interest. It may incorporate ephemera, maps, prints, autograph material as well as books, either hard cover or paperback, as long as they are germane to the collection's focus.  How well a collection reflects the collector's intent is more significant than either the number of items or the monetary value of the collection.

  • A contestant must be enrolled in a degree program, undergraduate or graduate, in the United States not currently sponsoring a book collecting contest.
  • The contestant must be sponsored by a faculty member or by a member of the rare book/special collections department of the institution's library. The sponsor must review the contestant's entry.
  • The contestant must own all items in the collection.

Deadline: entries must be postmarked no later than May 31, 2017.

Entries should be submitted here.


Submission Materials

  • Cover sheet: The cover sheet should include full contact information: name; e-mail address: College status; address and telephone number; permanent address and telephone number; title of collection; table of Contents; name of sponsor and the sponsor's contact information.
  • Letter of recommendation: The letter of recommendation should be written and signed by the sponsor.


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