National Collegiate Book-Collecting Contest Winners Announced

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Library’s Rare Book and Special Collections Division, along with the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America, the Fellowship of American Bibliographic Societies and the Grolier Club have announced the winners of the National Collegiate Book-Collecting Contest. The contest is made possible with major support from the Jay I. Kislak Foundation.

The winners will receive their awards during a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 14, at 5:30 p.m. in the Montpelier Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

The special guest speaker for the ceremony is Toni Tipton-Martin, a food and nutrition journalist and community activist. She is the author of "The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African-American Cookbooks," a James Beard Award-winning annotated bibliography that tells the story behind her rare collection of African-American cookbooks and food culture.

The 2016 winners are:

  • First Place: Luke Kelly, Harvard University, "A Collection of Eugene Walter, King of the Monkeys"
  • Second Place: Megan Jones, University of Kansas, "The Life and Times of Sacco and Vanzetti"
  • Third Place: Micaela Beigel, Goucher College, "Once We Were Dreamers: A Collection of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust"
  • Essay Award: Samantha Flitter, Princeton University, "The Sand and the Sea: An Age of Sail Library in Rural New Mexico"

Established in 2005 by Fine Books & Collections magazine to recognize outstanding book-collecting efforts by college and university students, the program aims to encourage young collectors to become accomplished bibliophiles. The magazine conducted the annual competition before turning over leadership in 2010 to the new institutional partners.

In 1815, the Library of Congress acquired the personal library of Thomas Jefferson, the basis of its future development. Later collectors such as Lessing J. Rosenwald, John Boyd Thacher and Otto H. Vollbehr, among many others, conveyed their book collections to the Library, where they are conserved and made available in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. More recently, the Library received the gift of the Jay I. Kislak Collection of rare books, manuscripts and other early American materials. The reconstructed library of Thomas Jefferson and selections from the Kislak collection are on view in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building.

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (www.abaa.org) is a trade association of more than 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.

The Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (www.fabsbooks.org) is an association of collecting organizations with a mission to communicate, share and support bibliocentric activities, experience and ideas among member clubs for mutual benefit and pleasure.

The Grolier Club of New York City (www.grolierclub.org) is the oldest existing bibliophilic club in North America. It fosters "the study, collecting and appreciation of books and works on paper, their art, history, production and commerce."

The Jay I. Kislak Foundation (www.kislakfoundation.org) 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 Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

The Library’s Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit read.gov.

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