Ticknor Society Announces Book Collecting Prize for New England-Based Bibliophiles

George Ticknor (1791-1871) was a true Boston Brahmin ardently devoted to books and learning. The Harvard University professor of French and Spanish (who resigned in 1835 and was replaced by none other than Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) built a 14,000-volume personal library that rivaled institutional collections in Europe. Ticknor’s daughter, Anna Eliot (1823-1896) was also an intellectual and educator, founding the first correspondence school in the United States in 1873. Called the Society to Encourage Studies at Home, Eliot’s program was designed to provide access to quality, individualized education to motivated but underserved women across social strata. As scholars and collectors, father and daughter were fitting namesakes for the Ticknor Society and now for that organization’s inaugural George and Anna Ticknor Collecting Prize.


Here’s the details: Collections must be compiled, curated, and owned by the contestant, who must reside in one of the six New England states. Eligible collections may include books, manuscripts, and ephemera. Collections will be judged on their originality and creativity and not market value or size.


Applicants are asked to submit an essay of up to 1,500 words describing the inspiration behind the creation of the collection, as well as its history, current status, and anticipated direction. Images of one or more items in the collection and a bibliography of the collection are also requested.


The bibliography should include the author, title, place, publisher and date of publication, type of binding, condition, annotations on the importance of individual pieces, and why each item is in the collection.


One winner will receive a $1,000 prize and offered a complimentary one-year Ticknor Society membership.


The application deadline is April 15, 2019 and the winner will be notified on June 30. The prize will be awarded at the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair in November. 


Appy here: www.ticknor.org

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