September 26, 2013 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest Winners Announced

Ceremony on Oct. 18 to Honor Winners

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara, Library of Congress (202) 707-9217 | Susan Benne, Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America, (212) 944-8291
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221
Contact: Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or

The Library of Congress Center for the Book, the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) and the Fellowship of American Bibliographic Societies (FABS) have announced the winners of the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest. The organizations assumed leadership of the contest in 2010 with major support from the Jay I. Kislak Foundation.

Established in 2005 by Fine Books & Collections magazine to recognize outstanding book-collecting efforts by college and university students, the program aims to encourage young collectors to become accomplished bibliophiles. The magazine conducted the annual competition before turning over leadership to the new institutional partners.

The winners will receive their awards during a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 18, at 5:30 p.m. in the Montpelier Room of the Library of Congress Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets or registration are required. The event includes a talk by noted collector and scholar Mark Samuels Lasner.

The winners are:

  • First Prize: Elias Serna, University of California-Riverside, The Chicano Movement
  • Second Prize: Ashley Young, Duke University, New Orleans' Nourishing Networks
  • Third Prize: Amanda Zecca, Johns Hopkins University, From Berkeley to Black Mountain

The prizes, generously underwritten by the Jay I. Kislak Foundation, will be awarded both to the students and to the libraries of their respective institutions.

Students who entered the contest were top prize winners of book-collecting contests at their respective institutions.

Elias Serna's collection is a reflection of how a political movement awakened cultural awareness. Protest morphed into theater, posters, poetry, literature and art. Serna himself founded the comedy group The Chicano Secret Service. His deep commitment to his roots obviously drives his collecting, but his well-tuned collector's sensibility informs his selection of essential texts and rare ephemera key to the movement.

Ashley Young has studied and explored New Orleans and its distinctive food culture. She brings to bear the acumen and discipline of a scholar combined with the enthusiasm of a true believer. The collection brings together texts from more than a century's span, all contributing to an engaging profile of America's most unique culinary stew. Ashley brings her collection alive by cooking from her cookbooks.

Amanda Zecca’s collection focuses on the Berkeley and Black Mountain poetry movements and how they influenced American poetry. She knows the major and minor titles by these poets, their interrelationships and how they diverged from poets like Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath and Allen Ginsberg. The push by Jack Spicer and other poets to self-publish resonates with Zecca. Her collection focuses on a significant aspect of modern American poetry and her passion for it makes it enthralling.

In 1815, the Library of Congress acquired the personal library of Thomas Jefferson, the basis of its future development. Later collectors such as Lessing J. Rosenwald, John Boyd Thacher and Otto H. Vollbehr, among many others, conveyed their book collections to the Library, where they are conserved and made available in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. More recently, the Library received the gift of the Jay I. Kislak Collection of rare books, manuscripts and other early American materials. The reconstructed library of Thomas Jefferson and selections from the Kislak collection are on view in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building.

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress ( has become a major national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading-promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center.

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) ( External) is a trade association of more than 450 professionals who specialize in fine and rare books and printed matter. Members are united in a passion for books and related material and are bound by a Code of Ethics.

The Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies ( External) is an association of collecting organizations whose mission is to communicate, share and support bibliocentric activities, experience and ideas among member clubs for mutual benefit and pleasure.

The Jay I. Kislak Foundation ( External) is a nonprofit institution engaged in the collection, conservation, research and interpretation of rare books, manuscripts, maps and indigenous art and cultural artifacts of the Americas and other parts of the world. It exists to advance knowledge and understanding of cultures and history through its collections and programs.


PR 13-175
ISSN 0731-3527