The Reed College Griffin

The Annual Reed College Book Collecting Contest


Reed College Library in association with the Himes & Duniway Society, a book collectors group in Oregon, is sponsoring a Book Collecting Contest. This contest is meant to encourage students in the collection and enjoyment of their own personal libraries, to develop an appreciation for the special qualities of printed or illustrated works, and to read, research, and preserve these works for pleasure and scholarship. The collection can focus on any subject, and the contest is open to all full-time students.


Three prizes will be awarded to full-time student winners:

1st prize: $1,000
2nd prize: $500
3rd prize: $250

Prizes are generously funded by the Himes & Duniway Society and the Donald N. McGregor Foundation.

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE March 21, 2017 by 5:00 PM. No late entries will be accepted.

Collection Definition:

A collection consists of items that a student has come to own following a particular interest, or passion, which may be academic or not. A collection may consist of all books or a combination of books and other formats. For instance, a collection on a geographical topic may include a map, a collection on a playwright may include a poster or playbill, a collection about an historical event may include ephemera. For this contest, a collection consists of no more than 30 items of which the majority should be books, but related materials such as photographs, illustrations, maps, ephemera, CDs, music scores, posters etc. may be included. Collections can be on any topic; subjects can be contemporary or historical and may stress bibliographical features such as bindings, printing processes, type, editions, illustrations, etc. Rare books are not expected. Comic books and graphic novels are acceptable; ephemera alone if of historical interest is acceptable; historical--not current--textbooks may be included.

Application Package:

The Application Package (#2-5 all in a single Word document) should include the following:

1. The application form;
2. The essay which should be at least two and no more than four pages in 12-point type with lines double-spaced describing how and why the collection was assembled;
3. A bibliography of the collection preferably using the MLA Bibliography format with each individual title numbered and annotated. The annotations should reflect the importance of each item to the collection as a whole;
4. An annotated wish list of up to five other book titles that you would like to add in the future to complete or enhance your existing collection; and
5. Digital images of items in the collection including at least five with ten or more representative books being preferable.

Sample Entries:

  • An Interdisciplinary Survey of 20th Century Propaganda - Andrew Fink

  • Words of the Waves: A Nautical Collection - Emily Selinger

  • Anglo-American Legal Printing 1702 to the Present - A.M. Fraas

  • How To Be Alone - Mack Sullivan

  • Submission of Application Package:

    The Application Form can obtained by emailing Gay Walker at Please submit your application by one of the following methods:

    1. Email: Submit your application package to: with the subject line Entry: Book Collecting Contest 2015 or
    2. In Person: Print and fill out the Book Collecting Contest pdf form and bring it with your application package to L014, special collections & archives, Gay Walker.

    Criteria for Evaluation:

    1. The essay must state the clear purpose of the collection;
    2. The essay should explain the extent to which the collection represents the stated purpose;
    3. Evidence of creativity in building the collection;
    4. Originality, innovation, and uniqueness;
    5. Quality of the collector's essay describing the collection;
    6. Appropriate and complete citations with meaningful annotations. Citation style
    must be consistent. (MLA preferred but other formats acceptable.); and
    7. Inclusion of digital images of items in the collection.

    Contest Details:

    Students are limited to one entry. The student must be a full time student and the sole owner of the collection. A team of judges from campus and The Himes & Duniway Society shall determine the contest winners. The winners may be eligible for entry into The National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest supported by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA), the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS) of which The Himes & Duniway Society is a member, the Center for the Book and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division (the Library of Congress) with major support from the Jay I. Kislak Foundation.

    If you have queries about book collecting or this contest, feel free to contact Gay Walker, head of Special Collections, at or 503-777-7782, or in person (L014 in the library). .