October 2, 2015 National Collegiate Book-Collecting Contest Winners Announced

Ceremony on Oct. 16 to Honor Winners

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara, Center for the Book (202) 707-9217 | Susan Benne, Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (212) 944-8291
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Library’s Rare Book and Special Collections Division, along with the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America, the Fellowship of American Bibliographic Societies and the Grolier Club have announced the winners of the National Collegiate Book-Collecting Contest. The contest is made possible with major support from the Jay I. Kislak Foundation.


The winners will receive their awards during a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 16, at 5:30 p.m. in the Montpelier Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. The featured speaker for the event is Ellen Dunlap, president of the American Antiquarian Society. She will present a lecture titled "I Collect Collectors: A Lighthearted Look at the World of Book-Collecting."

The 2015 winners of the National Collegiate Book-Collecting Contest, and their areas of book-collecting, are:

  • First prize: Alexander P. Ioffreda, Harvard University, "Formalists! Musical Scores of Repressed Soviet Composers"
  • Second prize: Laura A. Hartmann-Villalta, Northeastern University, "Representations of the Spanish Civil War: Testimonies, Pamphlets, Novels and Scholarship"
  • Third prize: Rose Berman, University of Chicago, "Antoine de Saint Exupéry: Pilot, Author and Friend"
  • Essay Prize: Anne P. Steptoe, Duke University, "Look Homeward: Journeying Home Through 20th-Century Southern Literature."

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 in 2010.

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.

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (www.abaa.org 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 (www.fabsocieties.org 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 enjoyment.

The Grolier Club of New York City (www.grolierclub.org External) is the oldest existing bibliophilic club in North America. It fosters "the study, collecting and appreciation of books and works on paper, their art, history, production and commerce."

The Jay I. Kislak Foundation (www.kislakfoundation.org 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.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.

The Library’s Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit read.gov.


PR 15-176
ISSN 0731-3527