News | August 21, 2013

ABAA’s Collegiate Book Collecting Contest Winners

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America announces the winners of the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest.

First Prize: Elias SernaUniversity of California-Riverside, The Chicano Movement

Second Prize: Ashley Young, Duke University, New Orleans' Nourishing Networks

Third Prize: Amanda Zecca, Johns Hopkins University, From Berkeley to Black Mountain

Students who entered the contest were top prize winners of book collecting contests at their respective institutions.

Elias Serna's collection is a reflection of how a political movement awoke a cultural awareness.  Protest morphed into theater, posters, poetry, literature and art.  Serna himself founded the comedy group, "The Chicano Secret Service."  His deep commitment to his roots obviously drives his collecting, but his well-tuned collector's sensibility informs his selection of essential texts and rare ephemera key to the movement.

Ashley Young has studied and explored New Orleans and its distinctive food culture.  She brings to bear the acumen and discipline of a scholar combined with the enthusiasm of a true believer.  The collection brings together texts from over more than a century's span, all contributing to an engaging profile of America's most unique culinary stew.   Ashley brings her collection alive by cooking from her cookbooks. 

Amanda Zecca does not just collect poetry.  She breathes it.  Her collection focuses on the Berkeley and Black Mountain poetry movements and how they influenced American poetry.  She knows the major and minor titles by these poets, their inter-relationships, and how they diverged from poets like Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath, and poets like Allen Ginsberg.  The push by Jack Spicer and other poets to self-publish resonates with Zecca.   Her collection focuses on a significant aspect of modern American poetry and her passion for it makes it enthralling.

The awards ceremony will take place on October 18, 2013 at 5:30pm at the Library of Congress and includes a lecture by noted collector and scholar Mark Samuels Lasner. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The contest is administered by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies, the Center for the Book, and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, with major support from the Jay I. Kislak Foundation.

The Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies is an association of collecting organizations whose mission is to communicate, share, and support bibliocentric activities, experience, and ideas among member clubs for mutual benefit and pleasure. 

In 1815, the Library of Congress acquired the personal library of Thomas Jefferson. Later collectors such as Lessing J. Rosenwald, among many others, conveyed their book collections to the Library, where they continue to be conserved by the Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

The Center for the Book was established by Congress in 1977 "to use the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to promote books, reading, literacy and libraries."  The center also oversees the website.

The Jay I. Kislak Foundation is a nonprofit institution engaged in the collection, conservation, research and interpretation of rare books, manuscripts, maps and indigenous art and cultural artifacts of the Americas and other parts of the world. It exists to advance knowledge and understanding of cultures and history through its collections and programs.

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) is a trade association of over 450 professionals who specialize in fine and rare books and printed matter.  Members are united in a passion for books and related material, and are bound by a Code of Ethics.  

For further information, please contact Susan Benne at or 212.944.8291.

Susan Benne

Executive Director, ABAA

Tel: 212.944.8291

Fax: 212.944.8293