News | March 17, 2022

Announcing the David Ruggles Prize to Support Young Book Collectors of Color

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Lowell, MA — We’re thrilled to announce the David Ruggles Prize, a new national book collecting prize to encourage and support young collectors of color. The three prizes—$1,000 grand prize, $500 second prize, and $250 third prize—will be awarded annually to applicants whose collections are deemed most outstanding by our panel of judges. This year’s deadline is June 12 and entry is open to anyone in the United States aged 35 or younger.

We take an expansive view of the word book. You needn’t have a collection of traditional hard- and softcovers (though that’s certainly fine). When it comes to your collection, we’ll defer to your understanding of what makes a book. Comic books and graphic novels, zines, contemporary book art, handwritten manuscripts—all are welcome. Online application is easy, and you’re welcome to submit your application in advance for review by one of our judges.

This new 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 soon became the country’s first Black-owned bookstore. Beyond rewarding existing collectors, we hope this prize will encourage young book lovers to become book collectors.

Meet the jury and get all the details at Find us on Instagram and Twitter @rugglesprize. We’d like to thank our generous sponsors for making this possible, and we look forward to your applications!