University of Rochester Student Book Collection Award

Purpose: To encourage interest in book collecting among University of Rochester students in all colleges of the University.

Awards: The winning collector will receive $1000 cash, and an invitation to exhibit a selection of the collection at Rush Rhees Library.

Competition Rules:

  1. Collections must be owned and collected by the student alone. Collections based on any subject are eligible.
  2. Judging is based on the collection description and meaningfulness to the collector. The judges are not interested in rarity of items, or their marketplace value; they will be interested primarily in a contestant’s stated purpose and goals, and how well the collection fulfills these intentions.
  3. Entries will be judged by a panel of volunteers drawn from the University of Rochester faculty and Rochester book-collecting community. Finalists will be expected to show a selection from their collection to the judges. (Time to be arranged by mutual agreement.)
  4. Collections need not be large or extensive to win. A collection of 20 to 50 titles is typical. Non-book print materials may be included as enrichments to the collection, but must not constitute the majority of items. Textbooks should not be included.


  1. Entry Form(PDF)
  2. Bibliography of the Collection Using Standard Format:  (Author. Title. Publication place: Publisher name, Date of publication.) Additional information such as hard cover or paperback, and condition may be useful. At least 10 of the books should be annotated with a description of the significance of the work and its special interest to the collection or collector.
  3. Essay: In 2-4 pages, describe the purpose and method of building your collection, why it is meaningful to you, and your ideas for its future development.


  1. Book collecting is distinct from casual book ownership or the accumulation of books for reading. It may be a grouping of books on a topic, author, genre, binding design or other significant theme.
  2. We strongly recommend reading this student's description.
  3. Unsure whether you have a winning collection? Take advantage of discussing your collection with a book collecting mentor prior to submitting an entry. Contact the Friends at

Deadline for Submission is March 3,  2020.