2009-2010 Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize

Deadline: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2009
5:00 p.m.

The Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize is awarded annually to the student or students who, in the opinion of the judges, have shown the most thought and ingenuity in assembling a thematically coherent collection of books, manuscripts, music, art, or other material normally collected by libraries. Each student is asked to write an essay, along with a selected bibliography, about their collection. The rarity and financial value of the student’s collection are not as important as the creativity and persistence shown in collecting and the fidelity of the collection to the goals described in your personal essay.

Jane & Louise Wilson, Oddments Room II (Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle), 2008. C-print, Edition of 4. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Please come to an informational session about the Adler Prize at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 in the Scheide Library, located in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, ground floor of Firestone Library. The Scheide Library holds outstanding collections of Bibles in manuscript and print, including a Gutenberg and a 36-line Bible; medieval manuscripts and incunabula; music manuscripts of Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven; and other rare materials. Scheide Librarian Paul Needham will give a brief tour and talk about the importance of book collecting. Julie Mellby, graphic arts curator, will be on hand to introduce the prize and answer questions about your competition essays.

The essay should be no more than ten, double-spaced pages and should be submitted along with the bibliography via e-mail, in a Microsoft Word attachment, to jmellby@princeton.edu by 5:00 p.m. Monday, November 30, 2009. Remember, the value or number of items is less important than the quality of their selection in satisfying the goal(s) of your collection. Please note your name, class year, residential address, email address, and phone number on a separate cover sheet.

Winners will receive their prizes at the annual winter dinner of the Friends of the Princeton University Library. The first prize essay will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Princeton University Library Chronicle and has the honor of representing Princeton University in an international book collecting competition.


Informational meeting: 4:30 pm, October 14, 2009

Deadline for entries: 5:00 pm, November 30, 2009

First prize: $2000

Second prize: $1500

Third prize: $1000

Suggested readings from Paul Needham, Scheide Librarian:

Michael Sadleir, preface to his XIX Century Fiction (1951). Firestone 3579.079

A.N.L. Munby, Essays and Papers (1977). Firestone Z992.M958

John Carter, Taste and Technique in Book Collecting (1970). Firestone 0511.241.2.1970

G. Thomas Tanselle “The Rationale of Collecting,” Studies in Bibliography. Online at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/bsuva/sb

See the 2008 winner: http://paw.princeton.edu/issues/2009/09/23/perspective/