UMass Amherst Libraries 2012-13 Silverman Book Collecting Contest

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UMass Amherst Libraries 2012-13

Silverman Book Collecting Contest

Celebrating reading and the pleasures of collecting, the UMass Amherst Libraries invite undergraduate and graduate students to enter the Friends of the Library Book Collecting Contest. Collections may focus on any subject or field, on individual authors or genres, or may relate to features of the book such as illustration, binding, or typography. The books need not be rare or valuable: they may include hardcover books or paperbacks, unbound printed materials, magazines and pamphlets, or related media that support the collecting theme.

Applicants are expected to submit an annotated bibliography of their collection accompanied by a brief (500-750 word) essay describing the history, content, scope, or significance of the collection. Submissions will be considered by the Evaluation Committee and winners will be announced in March. The first place award will be presented to the recipient at the Library’s annual Dinner with Friends in April 2013. All winning papers/projects will be published on the SCUA web site and added to the University Archives.


Undergraduate and graduate students (full or part-time) currently enrolled at UMass Amherst. All items must be personally owned by the student.


First place awards of $1,000 total ($750 and $250 gift certificate to the Brattle Book Shop) in undergraduate and graduate categories.

Evaluation criteria:

  1. Coherence and definition of the collection

  1. Clarity and effectiveness of the essay. Submit a 500-750 word essay describing the history, content, scope, and significance of the collection and a “wish list” or plans for its future growth.

  1. Bibliography. Submit an annotated bibliography of the collection in standard bibliographic format.

Deadline for submission:

March 1, 2013, 5:00 p.m.

How to apply:

Complete the cover sheet and submit an electronic copy of your essay and bibliography. Note: your name must only appear on the cover sheet.

Submissions should be sent by email to with “Collecting Contest” in the subject line.

Email with any questions.

Review committee: A panel of faculty and community experts will evaluate the anonymous entries.
The Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA) and the UMass Amherst Libraries reserve the right to extend the deadline or cancel the contest if too few entries are received. The determination of number of entries required to award a winner is at the sole discretion of SCUA and the Libraries.

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