Student Book Collecting Contest

Entries are invited from students currently enrolled at USC (all campuses) for the University Libraries Student Book Collecting Award, which carries a first prize of $250. Deadline for entries is midnight on Monday, April 1, 2013.

The University Libraries Student Book Collecting Award is sponsored by the Thomas Cooper Society, which initiated it in 1993 to encourage beginning book collectors. A list of previous winners and the topics of their collections can be viewed at

Collections entered in the competition may be in any field or may emphasize some particular area of interest within a subject.Collections may illustrate a certain bibliographical feature such as edition, illustration, typography, binding, etc. Books and printed documents in all formats are acceptable for submission.
Materials submitted by entrants must be owned and have been collected primarily by them. Entries should include the following:

A brief essay (2-3 pages, double-spaced) describing how and why the collection was assembled, including plans for future growth and development.

An annotated bibliography of selected titles (about 25-40) from the collection.

A cover sheet listing the entrant’s name, address, phone and email contacts.

The entrant’s name should not appear anywhere on the entry except on the cover sheet.

If submitting electronically, please try to send as PDF files.

Entrants may wish to look over a previous successful entry to get ideas on arranging their material. A folder of such entries is on reserve in the Smith Reading Room in the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library.

A panel of judges will evaluate each anonymous entry. Each entrant’s essay and bibliography will be evaluated on how well they illustrate the concept of the collection.

In addition to the monetary award, the winner will also receive a complimentary ticket to the Thomas Cooper Society’s Annual General Meeting and Dinner on May 2, featuring remarks by American novelist Elmore Leonard. The winner will also be asked to exhibit selected items from their collection in Thomas Cooper Library.

The winning entry also will be submitted to the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, co-sponsored by the Library of Congress, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, and the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies. The University’s 2007 winner was a runner-up in the national contest.

Entries should be submitted by midnight on Monday, April 1, 2013, to Jeffrey Makala, 
Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections,
 Hollings Special Collections Library,
 Columbia SC 29208.
 (803) 777-0296. Or to


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