Contest Rules

  1. The contest is open to all full time students regularly enrolled at Boston University.
  2. Entries should be submitted to the Director at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Fifth Floor, Mugar Memorial Library.
    Deadline: Monday, March 25, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.
  3. Books must be owned and collected by the student.
  4. Collections are limited to a selection of not more than 50 titles.
  5. Each entry must include in writing
    a) a formal annotated bibliography of the collection. (Click here for examples)
    b) a brief statement, not to exceed one typewritten page double-spaced, describing how and why the collection was assembled.
    c) an essay of 1,000 to 1,500 words on any aspect of the subject matter of the collection.
  6. Basis of judging: Three judges will select the finalists on the basis of the three written submissions. Semi-finalists will bring several specific volumes to the Howard Gotlieb Center for inspection by the judges, and will discuss their collections with the judges. Each collection will be judged by the extent to which it represents a well-defined field of interest. This may be an author or a subject collection (e.g. eighteenth century anatomy books, Russian children's books, etc.) While substance and thematic limits of the collection will be of prime importance in the judging, consideration will also be given to the physical condition and the excellence of design and production of the books. Books in any state may be included (hardcover, soft cover, loose leaves, unbound, disbound, etc.) E-books will not be accepted or considered.

First Prize $1500
Second Prize $1000
Third Prize $750
Fourth Prize $500
Emerging Collector Prize $200
Best Essay $200

For more information, please contact us at (617) 353-1218 or archives@bu.edu

History of the Contest

In 1967, the Friends of the Libraries of Boston University (now the Friends of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center) launched a book collecting contest to introduce students to the joys of creating their own libraries and to encourage them in this gratifying pursuit. The contest is held in March and April, with the winners announced at the Friends Annual Meeting. Awards range from $200 to $1,500, including a best essay category. The contest is open to all full time students in the University's undergraduate, graduate and professional schools.

Need an idea? Unsure if your collection could win? Here is a complete list of First Place winners and the subjects of their collections.