Student Book Collecting Prizes: Dates and details

It’s that time of year again for student book collectors to check their diaries and think about applications for book collecting prizes. Here is a selection of the major awards which aim to encourage a new generation. Interest is usually more important than size of collection, but please click the links to check each one for specific instructions of how to enter and what specifically the judges are looking for:

* The Colin Franklin Prize for Book Collecting
This prize, run by The Bodleian Centre for the Study of the Book, has the most pressing deadline, December 9, 2022. Entrants must be undergraduate or postgraduate students of the University of Oxford, submitting their collection of books or other printed materials.  

* The Gordon Duff Prize
Also targeted at students at the University of Oxford, this is awarded for an unpublished essay on any of the following subjects: bibliography, palaeography, typography, book binding, book illustration, the science of books and manuscripts, and related arts. Deadline for topic proposals is likely to middle of January so keep an eye out for exact timings.

* Rose Book-Collecting prize
Endowed in 2006, Cambridge University Library invites students to submit a list of their collection as well as a short essay explaining the theme and significance of the collection – deadline for this is January 20, 2023. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to talk about their collection to the judges.

* JD Forbes collecting prize
For students at the University of St Andrews in Scotland to encourage them to build their own collections of books and promote interest in book collecting. Entrants must submit an essay about a collection printed ephemera, manuscripts or photographs they have owned and compiled which is linked by a theme. The deadline for the 2023 competition is February 19.

* The Anthony Davis Book Collecting Prize
Offered to any student studying for a degree at a University in London for a collection of printed and/or manuscript materials.
There should also be the opportunity for the winner to exhibit part of their collection within UCL to inspire other collectors and encourage future applicants. No deadline for 2023 but likely to be towards the end of March.

* Philip Hofer Prize for Collecting Books or Art
Open to Harvard undergraduates and graduate students. The impressive prize money for the winner is $3,000, second prize $1,500, and third prize $750. Deadline is February 17, 2023.

* The Adrian Van Sinderen Book Collecting Prizes

First established back in 1957, the Senior Prize is $1,000, and the Sophomore Prize is $700 with prizes for Honorable Mention awarded at the discretion of the judges. Collections may cover specific subject fields, or “represent an intelligently chosen nucleus of a general library”. Future application dates to be confirmed.

* National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest

Initially established in 2005 by Fine Books & Collections Magazine, but run now by The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS), the Grolier Club, and the Center for the Book and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division (the Library of Congress). More than $6,000 in prizes are up for grabs for student collectors and is open to all prizewinners of college book-collecting contests, as well as encouraging other interested students. No 2023 submission deadlines yet announced, but likely to be mid-June.