Book Collecting Contest

Feb 12, 2010

To foster the love of books and introduce students to the pleasures of book collecting, The Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign sponsors an annual book collecting contest. The competition, co-sponsored by the University Library and The No. 44 Society, includes separate judging and prizes for undergraduate (The Harris Fletcher Book Collecting Award) and graduate student collections (T.W. Baldwin Prize for Book Collecting).

The prize for undergraduate collectors is named for Harris Francis Fletcher (1892-1971), professor of English (1926-62), who collected books and manuscripts that form the John Milton collection at the University of Illinois. It is considered the most comprehensive Milton collection in the country. The graduate prize honors T.W. Baldwin, who put together a remarkable collection of imprints from the age of Shakespeare, with strengths in Elizabethan drama, pedagogy, religion, and social history.

First prize for each category is $1,000. Winners are asked to talk about their collections at the May meeting of The No. 44 Society. Winners will be invited to lend selected books from their collections for a special exhibition in the Marshall Gallery of the University Library during the month of May.

Book collectors are encouraged to enter.  The deadline for submissions is April 2, 2010.  For more information and entry rules, please visit www.library.illinois.edu/rbx/CollectingContest.htm.

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