News | April 20, 2024

ABAA and IOBA Sponsor 2024 David Ruggles Book Collecting Prize

David Ruggles Prize

Organizers of the David Ruggles Prize, an annual international book collecting prize to encourage and support young collectors of color, are seeking entries for the 2024 competition.

The three prizes - $1,000 grand prize, $500 second prize, and $250 third prize - are awarded annually to applicants whose collections are considered most outstanding by our panel of judges. Previous prizewinners have been featured in Fine Books' regular 'Bright Young Collectors' slot including last year's Oscar Salguero, Jalynn Harris, and Erin Severson.

Entry is open to anyone aged 35 or younger, located anywhere in the world. The deadline is June 9.

The competition rules take an expansive view of the word book. Entrants need not have a collection of traditional hardback and softcovers, with comic books and graphic novels, zines, contemporary book art, handwritten manuscripts all welcome. Those interested are welcome to submit their application in advance online for review by one of the judges.

The prize honors the legacy of David Ruggles, an early American abolitionist, publisher, and Underground Railroad conductor. The New York grocery store he opened in 1828 became the country’s first Black-owned bookstore. Beyond rewarding existing collectors, the organizers hope this prize will encourage young book lovers to become book collectors.

Those who applied in previous year but did not receive a prize are encourage to reapply. Past winners may also apply again after three years, with a different collection.

This year the prize is sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) and again by the Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA). Other sponsors include several booksellers including Nelson Rare Books, Mare Booksellers, McBride Rare Books, Patrick Olson Rare Books, Bluemango Books and Manuscripts, The Book Club of California and STILT.