News | March 28, 2013

2013 RBMS Leab Exhibition Award Winners Announced

CHICAGO — The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) has selected four winners and one honorable mention for the 2013 Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab American Book Prices Current Exhibition Awards.

The awards, funded by an endowment established by Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab, editors of American Book Prices Current, recognize outstanding printed exhibition catalogs and guides and electronic exhibitions produced by North America and Caribbean institutions. Certificates will be presented to each winner at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

The Division One (expensive) certificate was not awarded this year.

The Division Two (moderately expensive) winner is the Hoover Institution Library and Archives at Stanford University for “A Century of Change: China 1911-2011.”

“Commemorating the one-hundredth anniversary of the Chinese Revolution of 1911, the highly original content of this catalog, with its diverse and engaging variety of images, artifacts and bilingual text, documents a century of tumult and change which results in the establishment of the Republic of China,” said Cherry Williams, chair of the RBMS Exhibition Awards committee and curator of manuscripts at Indiana University. “The use of ivory and red color in the page layouts is a particularly effective organizing tool providing subtle definitions which flow from one section to the next. Highlighting a resource which may be unfamiliar to some, the catalog appeals to a broad constituency of visitors by providing an enticing glimpse into the rich holdings of the Hoover Institute.”

The Division Three (inexpensive) winner is “Medicine of the Maumee: A History of Health Care in Northwest Ohio,” submitted by the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections at the University of Toledo, Mercy College of Ohio, Mercy Toledo and ProMedica Toledo.

“Drawing from a number of community resources, this broadly collaborative exhibition documents the evolution and practice of medicine and the establishment of health care systems in Northwest Ohio from the earliest settlements to the 21st century, serving as ‘a mirror reflecting the development of our community,’” remarked Williams. “In addition to recording the exhibition, the catalog functions as a valuable reference tool, utilizing both a table of contents and a bibliography for optimum user navigation and a resource for further study. The page layout, typography and construction of the catalog allows for easy readability while the clear, concisely presented narrative within each chapter builds upon the previously presented material fulfilling the expressed goal of providing a humanistic interpretation which both educates and enlightens.”

The Division Four (brochures) winner is the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University for their brochure entitled “Remembering Shakespeare.”

“This well-designed and executed exhibition brochure highlights a collaborative endeavor which ‘offers a unique visual history of how the ‘Booke’ of Shakespeare was made and read,’” noted Williams. “Succinctly written, fresh and original, the brochure provides a large amount of information in a small, user-friendly format, drawing in the uninitiated and non-scholarly as well as presenting a creative choice of full-bleed images.”

The Division Five (electronic exhibition) winner is the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin for “The Greenwich Village Bookshop Door: A Portal to Bohemia, 1920-1925,” available online.

“This colorful, engaging and innovative electronic exhibition showcases a physical artifact, a door, to draw visitors into the manuscripts archive where they will discover a social network from the past: a neighborhood steeped in artistic and literary mystique,” stated Williams.“Showcasing excellent writing and extensive original research, the exhibition utilizes crowdsourcing to invite additional contributions while providing layer upon layer information and scholarship.”

The Division Five (electronic exhibition) honorable mention is the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries for “Cuban Theater in Miami: 1960-1980,” available online.

“Exemplifying a performance, this sleek, striking and elegantly stylish electronic exhibition captures the spirit of the community it represents: theater as a microcosm for the Cuban diaspora experience and culture,” noted Williams. “Bilingual and utilizing a variety of integrated multimedia options, the exhibition successfully rethinks the traditional navigational structure to present an incredible depth of information about this compelling subject matter in order to bring it to a wider audience.”

For more information regarding the ACRL RBMS Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab “American Book Prices Current” Exhibition Awards, including a complete list of past recipients, please visit the ACRL awards website.


ACRL is a division of the American Library Association, representing more than 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRLis the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians.  Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.