Fine Books & Collections
2008 Collegiate Book-Collecting
Revised April 15, 2008
Anyone awarded a top-prize in a
college-level book-collecting contest award between September
1, 2007 and June 11, 2008 may enter the Fine Books & Collections Collegiate Book-Collecting contest. Entrants
should send by mail or email 1) a cover page (see 2.4.a); 2) a
copy of their winning entry (2.4.b); 3) proof that they won
(2.4.c); and up to five pages of optional supplemental
material. Entrants must be under 30 years old (2.1.e). The
deadline for entry in June 13, 2008.
For more than seventy years, colleges and
universities have encouraged their students to create personal
libraries by hosting book-collecting contests. Since 2006, Fine Books & Collections magazine has hosted the Collegiate
Book-Collecting Championship—a competition among the
top-prize winners of the collegiate contests held anywhere in
the world. Our goal is to encourage students to collect books,
to build their own libraries, to appreciate the special
qualities of the printed word, and to read for pleasure and
2. Requirements For Entry
2.1. Each contestant must be the
top-prize winner of an officially sanctioned collegiate book
collecting contest with an award announced between September 1,
2007 and June 11, 2008.
2.1.a. 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.
2.1.b. If a particular college or
university does not necessarily 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-prize winner is eligible to enter.
2.1.c. In case of a tie for the top prize
at a college or university, each top-prize winner is eligible
2.1.d. 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.
2.1.e. The goal of the Collegiate
Book-Collecting Championship is to support young collectors.
Entrants in the Championship is limited to contestants under 30
years old on June 11, 2008 (born June 12, 1978 or later).
Deadline: entries must be postmarked no
later than Friday, June 13, 2008.
Entries should be mailed to: Book
Fine Books and Collections Magazine
P.O. Box 106
Eureka, CA 95502
2.4. The required submission
materials (see below) consist of: 1) a cover sheet; 2) an
unaltered copy of the contestant’s collegiate
book-contest entry; and 3) a letter from the organizers of the
entrant’s collegiate contest certifying that the entry is
a top-prize winner in the contest. Optional
materials. Championship prizes are
awarded to the best overall collector, not to a particular
collection. Students who would like to submit additional
materials may do so (see below).
sheet. The cover sheet should
include the entrant’s name, address, telephone number,
email address, collection title, and school affiliation.
Additional contact information for the months of June and July
should be provided if the entrant will be away during this
time. This information may be sent by e-mail.
2.4.b. Copy of
collegiate entry. Each contestant
should attach a true copy of the complete submission of their
winning submission to their college or university’s
collegiate book-collecting contest. It may not be amended,
revised, or augmented. The entry may be sent by e-mail.
letter. Each contestant
should provide evidence that they are the top-prize winner in
their collegiate contest. This evidence may be one of the
A letter written on the letterhead of the
college or university that organized the collegiate book
collecting contest (or the department or organization within
the school that held the contest) indicating that the entrant
has been awarded the top prize in the collegiate
A print-out from an official website,
indicating the winners.
An e-mail from a contest organizer sent
to , providing the name(s) of the winners.
materials. Contestants may submit
additional materials to assist the judges. These materials may
include information on collections or items not included in the
winning entry, more detailed bibliographical details,
photographs, or other materials the contestant deems relevant.
The submissions should not exceed five (5) pages, and it may be
sent by e-mail.
2.5 Entries will not be returned and
become the property of Fine Books
& Collections magazine.
Entrants agree to allow Fine Books
& Collections magazine and its
owner OP Media, LLC, to publish their entries, in full or in
part, in print or electronic form in a future issue or issues
of Fine Books & Collections or related products and to use the
entries for advertising and promotional purposes without
2.6 These rules are subject to change.
Final rules will be posted on www.finebooksmagazine.com prior to the award of prizes.
3. Judging Procedure
of judges. To avoid a conflict of
interest, the judges should not have participated directly in
any of the collegiate book-collecting contests held during the
2007–08 academic years. The panel of judges should
include no more than five persons, drawn from a variety of
backgrounds: collector, bookseller, librarian, academic, etc.
One judge may be a member of the Fine
Books & Collections staff.
procedure. The editor and
publisher of Fine Books &
Collections magazine will
evaluate all entries and may request additional information
from contestants and/or contest sponsors. The top ten (10)
entries will be sent to the judges for evaluation and final
judging. The judges may also contact contest officials and the
contestants for further information. Based on their review of
the materials, a short list of candidates will be selected for
interviews. Following the interviews, the judges should award
prizes no later than July 21, 2008.
4. Judging Criteria
Nicholas Basbanes wrote in Among the Gently Mad (p.138),
“To excel [at book collecting], you have to be willing to
bring something to the table, and by that I do not mean a stack
of chips to underwrite your action as a player, I mean your
imagination, your intelligence, your eagerness to explore and
learn, your willingness to improvise and to innovate in areas
others might consider a waste of precious time.”
The principal criteria for judging will
be the intelligence and originality of the collection and the
potential for the entrant to develop a fine private library or
book collection in the future. The creativity, thoughtfulness,
and dedication evident in the collection are the primary
criteria. Each collection will be judged by the extent to which
it represents a well-defined field of interest or theme.
Age, rarity, or monetary value of the
material in a collection is less important than the thought,
creativity, and persistence demonstrated in defining a
collection and bringing it into being. While it is entirely
possible that a winning collection contain no costly or rare
items, contestants are expected to demonstrate some knowledge
of, and appreciation for, the items in their collections, not
only for their content, but as objects of craft. Uniqueness of
objects will be considered independently of market value,
especially if the contestant can demonstrate that the
collection is helping to preserve material that may otherwise
be lost or forgotten. Ultimately, the judging will rest on how
significant, unusual, and intrinsically interesting the
collection is when considered as a whole.
Prizes will be awarded to the both the
winning students and the libraries of the winning students.
Libraries are encouraged, but not required, to use their prize
money to support future book-collecting contests at their
institutions by increasing available prizes; hosting banquets
or receptions for entrants to future contents; sponsoring
contest alumni gatherings, or other similar activities.
First Prize $2,500 Library: $1,000
Second Prize $1,000 Library: $500
Third Prize $500 Library: $250
ceremony. The top three prize
winners will be invited to the awards ceremony. Fine Books & Collections magazine will provide transportation and
lodging for these contestants.