Call for entries: 2018-19 Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize
Are you an avid collector of books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, recordings, coins, or other materials found in libraries? If so, consider submitting an essay about your collection for a chance to win the 2018-2019 Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize for a chance to win $2,000!
Endowed from the estate of Elmer Adler (1884-1962), who for many years encouraged the collecting of books by Princeton undergraduates, this prize is awarded annually to undergraduate students who, in the opinion of a committee of judges, have shown the most thought and ingenuity in assembling a thematically coherent collection of books, manuscripts, or other material normally collected by libraries. This includes a vast array of formats and potential subject areas. Past winning essays include those that described collections of photographs, maps, sheet music, and vinyl records, to name a few.
The personal essay should reflect an actively-curated collection rather than merely describe the contents of the student's library. It should articulate the thematic or artifactual nature of the collection and discuss with some specificity the unifying characteristics that have prompted the student to think of certain items as a collection. It should also convey a strong sense of the student's motivations for collecting and what his or her particular collection means to the student personally. The history of the collection, including collecting goals, acquisition methods, and milestones, are of particular interest, as is a critical look at how the goals may have evolved over time and an outlook on the future development of the collection. Essays are judged in equal measure on the strength of the collection and the quality of the writing.
First prize: $2,000
Second prize: $1,500
Third prize: $1,000
The deadline for submission is Friday, November 30, 2018. Essays should be submitted via e-mail, in a Microsoft Word attachment, to Minjie Chen, firstname.lastname@example.org. They should be 9-10 pages long, 12pt, double-spaced, with a 1-inch margin, and include a separate cover sheet listing the contestant’s name, class year, residential address, email address, and phone number. In addition to the essay, each entry should include a selected bibliography of no more than 3 pages detailing the items in the collection.
Sponsored by Princeton University Library
Open to Princeton University undergraduate students