Category Archives: Adler Book Collecting Competition

Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize

Are You a Collector?
Submit Your Essay to Win the 2019-2020
Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize

Deadline: Saturday, November 30, 2019

Are you an avid collector of books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, recordings, coins, or other materials–the types that can be found in library collections? If so, consider submitting an essay about your collection for a chance to win the 2019-2020 Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize!

Endowed from the estate of Elmer Adler (1884-1962), who for many years encouraged the collecting of books by Princeton undergraduates, this prize is awarded annually to undergraduate students who, in the opinion of a committee of judges, have shown the most thought and ingenuity in assembling a thematically coherent collection of books, manuscripts, or other material normally collected by libraries. This includes a vast array of formats and potential subject areas. For examples, see the various collections that are housed in the Department of Special Collections at Princeton University Library. Past winning essays include those that described collections of books, comic books, miniature books, poetry, photographs, maps, sheet music, vinyl records, Blu-ray movies, to name some examples.

Please note that the rarity or monetary value of a collection is not as important as the creativity and persistence shown in collecting and the fidelity of the collection to the goals described in a personal essay.

The personal essay should reflect an actively-curated collection rather than merely describe the contents of the student’s library. It should articulate the thematic or artifactual nature of the collection and discuss with some specificity the unifying characteristics that have prompted the student to think of certain items as a collection. It should also convey a strong sense of the student’s motivations for collecting and what his or her particular collection means to the student personally. The history of the collection, including collecting goals, acquisition methods, and milestones, is of particular interest, as are a critical look at how collecting goals may have evolved over time and an outlook on the future development of the collection.

Essays are judged in equal measure on the strength of the collection and the quality of the writing. Winners will receive their prizes at the annual spring dinner of the Friends of the Princeton University Library, which they are expected to attend. The first-prize essay has the honor of representing Princeton University in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. Please note that per the ABAA’s contest rules, the winning essay will be entered exactly as submitted to the Adler Prize contest, without possibility of revision. In addition, the first-prize winner will have the opportunity to have his or her essay featured in a Library-affiliated publication.

Prize amounts:
First prize: $2000
Second prize: $1500
Third prize: $1000

The deadline for submission is 11:59 p.m. Saturday, November 30, 2019. Essays should be submitted via e-mail, in a Microsoft Word attachment, to Minjie Chen, chenminjie@princeton.edu. They should be 9-10 pages long, 12pt, double-spaced, with a 1-inch margin, and include a separate cover sheet listing the contestant’s name, class year, residential address, email address, and phone number. In addition to the essay, each entry should include a selected bibliography of no more than 3 pages detailing the items in the collection.

Download the submission template at https://tinyurl.com/adler-template
Please note that essays submitted after the deadline, or in file formats other than Microsoft Word, or without a cover sheet or bibliography, will not be forwarded to the judges. For inquiries, please contact Minjie Chen.

Previous Adler Prize Winning Essays
Annabel Barry ’19. “The Emigrant’s Dilemma: Collecting Books About Ireland.”
Bruno Mikanowski ’04. “To the Kingdom of Gog: A Map Collection.”
Lindsey Breuer ’11. “If Only I Could Apparate, My Harry Potter Collection Would Truly Appreciate,” Princeton University Library Chronicle 72:3 (spring)[also available through EBSCO]
Mary Thierry ’12. “Mirror, Mirror: American Daguerrean Portraits,” Princeton University Library Chronicle 73:3 (spring)
Nandita Rao ’17. “Of Relationships: Recording Ties through My LP Collection.”
Samantha Flitter ’16. “The Sand and the Sea: An Age of Sail in Rural New Mexico.” Recipient of the 2016 National Collegiate Book Collection Contest Essay Award.

Links
Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
The National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest
Winners of the 94th annual Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize (April 2019)
Winners of the 93rd annual Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize (April 2018)

Congratulations Student Collectors!

From left to right: Katarzyna (Kasia) Krzyzanska ’22, Marina Finley ’19, Ryan Ozminkowski ’19, Sergio De Iudicibus ’20, and Julia Ilhardt ’21.

The Friends of the Princeton University Library gathered at Prospect House on Sunday, April 28 for their spring dinner and for the announcement of the winners of the 94th annual Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize.

Among this year’s submissions, the most noticeable feature is an unusually diverse range of subject and format that have fueled the youthful passion of budding collectors. In addition to regular books on various topics and genres, this year’s contest has also attracted collectors of miniature books, Blue ray movies, music box discs, vinyl records, and other types. The judging committee had great joy learning so much from this eclectic range of essays.

A second feature that emerges from these essays is how often collecting is about human relationship. Interwoven with their history of collecting “curios” is frequently a story about their treasured relationship with family members, shared memories, experiences, and interests with parents and grandparents, and friendship with like-minded peers and teachers.

The 94th Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize is awarded to five student collectors this year for their essays that, in the opinion of the judges, have “shown the most thought and ingenuity in assembling a thematically coherent collection of books, manuscripts, or other material normally collected by libraries.”

Congratulations to our first prize winner: Marina Finley, Class of 2019, for her essay “My Collection of Rubaiyats: A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread and 50 Extraordinary Books of Verse.” Marina curates a collection of diverse editions of the Rubaiyats of Omar Khayyam. The seed of the collection was a gift copy from Marina’s grandmother to grandfather in their adolescent years. The essay highlights twelve of the titles from her collection, bringing out their distinct features in such dimensions as style of illustrations, binding, size, shape, language, and country of publication. Marina’s essay will represent Princeton in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America.

Marina is awarded $2,000 and a book donated by Princeton University Press to complement her collection: Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew Poems translated by Bernard Lewis.

Second prize is awarded to Ryan Ozminkowski, Class of 2019, for his essay “I’m Blu Daba Dee Daba Die: A Story of Movies, Dreams, and Small Towns in California: A Blu Ray Collection.” Ryan curates a sizable Blu Ray movie collection, which started with a Christmas present when he was fourteen years old. His steadily expanding collection of Blu Ray discs has played a significant role in his Hollywood dreams, which Ryan pursues by engaging in movie making and gaining opportunities to work for Hollywood producers.

Ryan receives a prize of $1,500 and a copy of Hollywood Highbrow: From Entertainment to Art by Shyon Baumann.

There was a tie for third prize. Julia Ilhardt, Class of 2021, won with her essay “Records of the Past: A Music Box for the Ages.” Julia’s collection of music box discs began with an exquisitely crafted music box, gifted from her great-grandfather to her great-grandmother seven decades ago. Julia took over a collection of discs, which had been under the care of generations of women in her family, and continued to grow the collection. The discs embody shared experiences, memories, and tastes across generations.

 

Sergio De Iudicibus, Class of 2020, won with his essay “Riding a Rattling Soviet Bus: the Honesty of Forgotten Recordings.” Sergio has a passion for what he calls unorthodox music recordings which are not necessarily edited to the perfection but have captured the rawness of the occasion, allowing him to visualize the humans, instruments, and equipment by listening closely to the disembodied sound waves.

Both Julia and Sergio receive a prize of $1,000 and a book published by Princeton University Press. Julia is given a copy of Reflections on the Musical Mind: An Evolutionary Perspective by Jay Schulkin. Sergio is given Why You Hear What You Hear: An Experiential Approach to Sound, Music, and Psychoacoustics by Eric Heller.

 

An honorable mention was awarded to Katarzyna (Kasia) Krzyzanska, Class of 2022. Kasia’s book collection has the distinct advantage of being portable. Her essay is not about ebooks on tablets though—the title is “A Library That Fits in a Suitcase: Collecting Miniature Books.” When she travels in the United States or in Poland, where her family came from, she searches for poetry anthologies, dictionaries, and classic works as small as a matchbox. Kasia prefers to discover them in brick-and-mortar stores than having such books conveniently shipped from online shops. As she wrote, the seemingly unnecessary fuss is part of the joyful experience that she seeks from collecting.

Kasia is awarded the book How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain by Leah Price.

All the winners also receive a certificate from the Dean.

Prizes were announced on Sunday by Minjie Chen, chair of the Adler Judging Committee and P. Randolph (Randy) Hill ’72, chair of the Friends of the Princeton University Library. Special thanks to this year’s fellow judges: Claire Jacobus (member of the Friends), Jessica Terekhov (Student Friends member), John Logan (Literature Bibliographer), Julie Mellby (Graphic Arts Curator), and Emma Sarconi (Reference Professional for Special Collections). Princeton University Press generously donated all the books awarded to students.
Congratulations to all the winners!

[Photography by Shelley Szwast]

Congratulations Student Collectors!

From left to right: Grace Masback ’21; Annabel Barry ’19; Alexander Gottdiener ’19; Rasheeda A. Saka ’20; Kiara Gilbert ’21. Not pictured Lavinia Liang ’18.

 

Last Sunday, the Friends of the Princeton University Library gathered at the newly opened Lewis Arts Complex for their spring dinner and for the announcement of the winners of the 93rd annual Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize. This year, the essays were of such high caliber and the individual collections so compelling that the judges gave out more prizes than any other year in recent memory.

Congratulations to our first prize winner: Annabel Barry, Class of 2019, for her essay “The Emigrant’s Dilemma: Collecting Books About Ireland,” which unravels her act of collecting books about and from Ireland as an intimate journey of discovering selfhood, a journey that eventually brought her to Ireland, merging a literary island with its physical landscape.

Annabel receives a check for $2,000, a certificate from the Dean, and a book donated by Princeton University Press to complement her collection: Ireland’s Immortals by Mark Williams (2016). Annabel’s essay has been submitted to the National Collegiate Book Collecting Competition representing Princeton University. We wish her luck!

There was a tie for second prize, awarded to Grace Masback, Class of 2021, for her essay “The Wonder of the Mile: A Collection and an Enduring Connection,” in which Grace describes her collection of books, videos, drawings, photos, and autographs connected to the history of the mile run, in particular biographies of great milers. Second prize also went to Alexander Gottdiener, Class of 2019, for his essay “Bohemian Waxwing Rhapsody,” that shared with readers his life-long passion for ornithology, enlightened us about the fine nuances of bird species, and gave a connoisseur’s comment on what different field guides to birds each have to offer.

Both Grace and Alexander receive $1,500, a certificate, and a book from Princeton University Press. For Grace this was Gaming the World: How Sports Are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture by Andrei S. Markovits (2010)  and Alexander received All about Birds, A Short Illustrated History of Ornithology by Valérie Chansigaud (2010).

Third prize went to Kiara Gilbert, Class of 2021, for her essay “The Coalescing of Legacies: Herodotus, Pynchon, and Malcolm X,” in which Kiara relates the unflinching trajectory of her personal growth and intellectual maturation shaped by the collection she has amassed with the least resource available to her since childhood. The end result is a collection that reconciles and embraces both classic literature and Black intellectualism, mirroring the collector’s growing sophistication while carving a challenging path towards an in-between space. Kiara receives a check for $1,000, a certificate, and a copy of American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century by Gary Gerstle (2001).

Two honorable mentions were also awarded. The first to Lavinia Liang, Class of 2018, for her essay “In Pursuit of Broken Mirrors: Resisting Essentialism In Contemporary Asian American Fiction.” Lavinia described with painful candor her uneasy relationship with fiction by Asian American authors, in her yearning pursuit for immigrant narratives that are recognizable and comforting. She received a copy of America’s Asia: Racial Form and American Literature, 1893-1945 by Colleen Lye (2009).

An honorable mention also went to Rasheeda A. Saka, Class of 2020, for her essay “The Lost Art: Freeing my Creative Imagination through the Works of Nigerian Authors,” describing a body of diverse and multi-dimensional novels, short stories, and plays by Nigerian authors she has curated, and reflects on how that collection emboldens her own literary voice and liberates her imagination. She was given a copy of Bearing Witness: Readers, Writers, and the Novel in Nigeria by Wendy Griswold (2000).

Prizes were announced on Sunday by Minjie Chen, who will be administering next year’s prize and P. Randolph (Randy) Hill ’72, chair of the Friends of the Princeton University Library. Special thanks to this year’s judges: Minjie Chen, Eric White, John L. Logan, Claire Jacobus, and Kent Cao; overseen by Julie Mellby.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Deadline for the Adler Collecting Prize Coming Soon!

Deadline: Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Students: Are you an avid collector of books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, or other materials found in libraries? If so, consider submitting an essay about your collection for a chance to win the Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize!

Endowed from the estate of Elmer Adler, who for many years encouraged the collecting of books by Princeton undergraduates, this prize is awarded annually to undergraduate students who, in the opinion of a committee of judges, have shown the most thought and ingenuity in assembling a thematically coherent collection of books, manuscripts, or other material normally collected by libraries.

Please note that the rarity or monetary value of the student’s collection is not as important as the creativity and persistence shown in collecting and the fidelity of the collection to the goals described in a personal essay.

The personal essay is about a collection owned by the student that he or she actively collects or curates as opposed to an essay that focuses on whatever is found in one’s library. The essay should describe the thematic or artifactual nature of the collection and discuss with some specificity the unifying characteristics that have prompted the student to think of certain items as a collection. It should also convey a strong sense of the student’s motivations for collecting and what their particular collection means to them personally.

The history of the collection, including collecting goals, acquisition methods, and milestones are of particular interest, as is a critical look at how the goals may have evolved over time and an outlook on the future development of the collection. Essays are judged in equal measures on the strength of the collection and the strength of the writing.

Winners will receive their prizes at an annual dinner of the Friends of the Princeton University Library, which they are expected to attend. The first-prize essay has the honor of representing Princeton University in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. Please note that per the ABAA’s contest rules, the winning essay will be entered exactly as submitted to the Adler Prize contest, without possibility of revision. In addition, the first-prize winner will have the opportunity to have his or her essay featured in a Library-affiliated publication.

Prize amounts:
First prize: $2000
Second prize: $1500
Third prize: $1000

The deadline for submission is Tuesday, November 28, 2017. Essays should be submitted via e-mail, in a Microsoft Word attachment, to Julie Mellby, jmellby@princeton.edu. They should be between 9-10 pages long, 12pt, double-spaced, and include a separate cover sheet with your name, class year, residential address, email address, and phone number. In addition to the essay, each entry should include a selected bibliography of no more than 3 pages detailing the items in the collection.

Please note that essays submitted in file formats other than Microsoft Word and/or without cover sheet or a bibliography will not be forwarded to the judges.

For inquiries, please contact Julie Mellby, jmellby@princeton.edu.

Recent Adler Prize Winning Essays:

Matthew Kritz, ’18. “Books Unforgotten: Finding the Lost Volumes of My Tradition.”

Nandita Rao, ’17. “Of Relationships: Recording Ties through My LP Collection.”

Samantha Flitter, ’16. “The Sand and the Sea: An Age of Sail in Rural New Mexico.” also the recipient of the 2016 National Collegiate Book Collection Contest Essay Award.

Anna Leader ’18. “‘Like a Thunderstorm’; A Shelved Story of Love and Literature” Princeton University Library Chronicle 76:3 (spring)

Rory Fitzpatrick ‘16. “The Search for the Shape of the Universe, One Book at a Time.” PULC 75:3 (spring)

Natasha Japanwala ’14. “Conversation Among the Ruins: Collecting Books By and About Sylvia Plath.” PULC 74:2 (winter)

Mary Thierry ’12. “Mirror, Mirror: American Daguerrean Portraits.” PULC 73:3 (spring)

Attention Princeton Students: Submit Your Essay to Win the 2017-2018 Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize

Deadline: Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Are you an avid collector of books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, or other materials found in libraries? If so, consider submitting an essay about your collection for a chance to win the Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize!

Endowed from the estate of Elmer Adler, who for many years encouraged the collecting of books by Princeton undergraduates, this prize is awarded annually to undergraduate students who, in the opinion of a committee of judges, have shown the most thought and ingenuity in assembling a thematically coherent collection of books, manuscripts, or other material normally collected by libraries.

Please note that the rarity or monetary value of the student’s collection is not as important as the creativity and persistence shown in collecting and the fidelity of the collection to the goals described in a personal essay.

The personal essay is about a collection owned by the student that he or she actively collects or curates as opposed to an essay that focuses on whatever is found in one’s library. The essay should describe the thematic or artifactual nature of the collection and discuss with some specificity the unifying characteristics that have prompted the student to think of certain items as a collection. It should also convey a strong sense of the student’s motivations for collecting and what their particular collection means to them personally.

The history of the collection, including collecting goals, acquisition methods, and milestones are of particular interest, as is a critical look at how the goals may have evolved over time and an outlook on the future development of the collection. Essays are judged in equal measures on the strength of the collection and the strength of the writing.

 

Winners will receive their prizes at an annual dinner of the Friends of the Princeton University Library, which they are expected to attend. The first-prize essay has the honor of representing Princeton University in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. Please note that per the ABAA’s contest rules, the winning essay will be entered exactly as submitted to the Adler Prize contest, without possibility of revision. In addition, the first-prize winner will have the opportunity to have his or her essay featured in a Library-affiliated publication.

Prize amounts:
First prize: $2000
Second prize: $1500
Third prize: $1000

The deadline for submission is Tuesday, November 28, 2017. Essays should be submitted via e-mail, in a Microsoft Word attachment, to Julie Mellby, jmellby@princeton.edu. They should be between 9-10 pages long, 12pt, double-spaced, with a 1-inch margin, and include a separate cover sheet with your name, class year, residential address, email address, and phone number.

In addition to the essay, each entry should include a selected bibliography of no more than 3 pages detailing the items in the collection. Please note that essays submitted in file formats other than Microsoft Word, submitted without cover sheet, or submitted without a bibliography will not be forwarded to the judges.

For inquiries, please contact Julie Mellby, jmellby@princeton.edu.

Recent Adler Prize Winning Essays:

Matthew Kritz, ’18. “Books Unforgotten: Finding the Lost Volumes of My Tradition.”

Nandita Rao, ’17. “Of Relationships: Recording Ties through My LP Collection.”

Samantha Flitter, ’16. “The Sand and the Sea: An Age of Sail in Rural New Mexico.” also the recipient of the 2016 National Collegiate Book Collection Contest Essay Award.

Anna Leader ’18. “‘Like a Thunderstorm’; A Shelved Story of Love and Literature” Princeton University Library Chronicle 76:3 (spring)

Rory Fitzpatrick ‘16. “The Search for the Shape of the Universe, One Book at a Time.” PULC 75:3 (spring)

Natasha Japanwala ’14. “Conversation Among the Ruins: Collecting Books By and About Sylvia Plath.” PULC 74:2 (winter)

Mary Thierry ’12. “Mirror, Mirror: American Daguerrean Portraits.” PULC 73:3 (spring)

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize

The winners of the 2017 Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize were announced at the Friends of the Princeton University Library’s dinner that took place on Sunday April 30th. The jury awarded first, second, third prize, and honorable mention.

First prize was awarded to Matthew Kritz, class of 2018, for his essay, “Books Unforgotten: Finding the Lost Volumes of My Tradition.” Matthew discusses what he describes as his “textual crusade” to collect books on subjects of Jewish interest. Specifically, he explains how he has applied the Jewish law of met mitzvah to locate and care for rare and oft-forgotten religious texts and other works of the Jewish canon. Matthew received a prize of $2000, and the book Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts, edited by Marc Michael Epstein. Matthew’s essay will represent Princeton in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Competition, which is sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America.

Second Prize was awarded to Nandita Rao, class of 2017, for her essay “Of Relationships: Recording Ties through My LP Collection.” Nandita discusses how her eclectic album collection has been a source of relationship building, and how her “vinyl teachers” have fostered a love of music and her desire to pursue a graduate degree in this area. Nandita received a prize of $1500, and a copy of the book, Shaping Jazz: Cities, Labels, and the Global Emergence of an Art Form by Damon J. Phillips.

Third prize was awarded to Katherine McClain Fleming, class of 2019, for her essay, “Paperback Princess,” in which she discusses her collection that centers on women authors and strong female characters, particularly those who reside within the British literary tradition. She explains how much these women have had an impact on her own development, noting that “They serve as my frames of reference for looking at the world, but more fundamentally, they have built, and continue to build, me.” Katherine received a prize of $1,000, and Elaine Showalter’s book, A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing.

Honorable mention was awarded to Kyle Lang, class of 2019, for his essay, “Runner’s High: A Collection of Books about Running.” Kyle discusses how his collection has helped inform, inspire, and sustain his passion for long-distance running, which most recently has included a heightened sense of awareness of “the transcendence of running beyond a personal level.” Kyle received a prize of $500, and Alan Gewirth’s book, Self-Fulfillment.

Matthew Kritz ‘18 and Katherine McClain Fleming ‘19

The book prizes, chosen to complement each student’s collecting focus, were donated by the Princeton University Press. Each of the winners will also receive a certificate from the Dean of the College.

Thanks to this year’s judges for their congenial service: Claire Jacobus, member of the Friends; John Logan, Literature Bibliographer; Eric White, Rare Books Curator; Kent Cao, Department of Art and Archaeology PhD candidate and member of the Student Friends; and Minjie Chen, East Asian Project Cataloger for Cotsen Children’s Library.

Congratulations to our winners!

Attention Students: Submit Your Essay to Win the 2016-2017 Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize

Are you an avid collector of books, manuscripts, or other materials found in libraries? If so, consider submitting an essay about your collection for a chance to win the Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize!
wilsonbook2

Image: (c) Jane and Louise Wilson, Oddments Room II (Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle), 2008. C-print, Edition of 4. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Endowed from the estate of Elmer Adler, who for many years encouraged the collecting of books by Princeton undergraduates, this prize is awarded annually to an undergraduate student, or students, who, in the opinion of a committee of judges, have shown the most thought and ingenuity in assembling a thematically coherent collection of books, manuscripts, or other material normally collected by libraries. Please note that the rarity or monetary value of the student’s collection is not as important as the creativity and persistence shown in collecting and the fidelity of the collection to the goals described in a personal essay.

The personal essay is about a collection owned by the student. It should describe the thematic or artifactual nature of the collection and discuss with some specificity the unifying characteristics that have prompted the student to think of certain items as a collection. It should also convey a strong sense of the student’s motivations for collecting and what their particular collection means to them personally. The history of the collection, including collecting goals, acquisition methods, and milestones are of particular interest, as is a critical look at how the goals may have evolved over time and an outlook on the future development of the collection. Essays are judged in equal measures on the strength of the collection and the strength of the writing.

Winners will receive their prizes at the annual winter dinner of the Friends of the Princeton University Library, which they are expected to attend. The first-prize essay has the honor of representing Princeton University in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. Please note that per the ABAA’s contest rules, the winning essay will be entered exactly as submitted to the Adler Prize contest, without possibility of revision. In addition, the first-prize winner will have the opportunity to have his or her essay featured in a Library-affiliated publication.

Prize amounts:
First prize: $2000
Second prize: $1500
Third prize: $1000

The deadline for submission is Tuesday, November 29, 2016. Essays should be submitted via e-mail, in a Microsoft Word attachment, to Faith Charlton: faithc@princeton.edu. They should be between 9-10 pages long, 12pt, double-spaced, with a 1-inch margin, and include a separate cover sheet with your name, class year, residential address, email address, and phone number. In addition to the essay, each entry should include a selected bibliography of no more than 3 pages detailing the items in the collection. Please note that essays submitted in file formats other than Microsoft Word, submitted without cover sheet, or submitted without a bibliography will not be forwarded to the judges. For inquiries, please contact Faith Charlton, faithc@princeton.edu.

Recent Adler Prize Winning Essays:

Samantha Flitter, ’16. “The Sand and the Sea: An Age of Sail in Rural New Mexico.”
Recipient of the 2016 National Collegiate Book Collection Contest Essay Award.

Anna Leader ’18. “‘Like a Thunderstorm’; A Shelved Story of Love and Literature” Princeton University Library Chronicle 76:3 (spring)

Rory Fitzpatrick ‘16. “The Search for the Shape of the Universe, One Book at a Time.” PULC 75:3 (spring)

Natasha Japanwala ’14. “Conversation Among the Ruins: Collecting Books By and About Sylvia Plath.” PULC 74:2 (winter)

Mary Thierry ’12. “Mirror, Mirror: American Daguerrean Portraits.” PULC 73:3 (spring)

Adler Prize Winner Receives 2016 National Collegiate Book Collection Contest Essay Award

NCBCC-2016-HeaderCongratulations to recent alum, Samantha Yosim (nee Flitter), Class of 2016, who became the first Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize winner to receive an award in the National Collegiate Book Collection Contest. Sponsored by The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA), the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS), the Grolier Club, and the Center for the Book and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division, the contest, which recognizes outstanding book collecting efforts by college and university students, includes the essays of the top prize-winners of officially sanctioned American collegiate book collecting contests across the country.

This past Spring, Yosim was awarded first prize in Princeton’s Rare Books and Special Collections Library-sponsored Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize for her essay, “The Sand and the Sea: An Age of Sail in Rural New Mexico,” in which she discussed her collection of books on British maritime history and the Age of Sail that, as she explained, allows her to “experience another world as viscerally as if it were my own.”

The Adler Prize is awarded annually to an undergraduate student, or students, who, in the opinion of a committee of judges, have shown the most thought and ingenuity in assembling a thematically coherent collection of books, manuscripts, or other material normally collected by libraries as outlined in a personal essay.

Posted by Faith Charlton, Lead Processing Archivist, Manuscript Division Collections

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize

The winners of the 2016 Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize were announced at the Friends of the Princeton University Library’s winter dinner that took place last Sunday (April 24). The jury awarded first, second, and third prize.

First prize was awarded to Samantha Flitter, Class of 2016, for her essay, “The Sand and the Sea: An Age of Sail in Rural New Mexico” in which she discusses her collection of books concerning British maritime history and the Age of Sail that, as she explains, allows her to “experience another world as viscerally as if it were my own.” Samantha received a prize of $2000, and Peter T. Leeson’s book The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates. Samantha’s essay will represent Princeton in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Competition, which is sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America.

Second prize was awarded to Preston Lim, Class of 2017. Preston’s essay, entitled “From Burma to Baku: Travel and the Art of War” is about his interest in military history, specifically the South African War and the First and Second World Wars, that began upon learning of his grandfather’s experiences as a partisan fighter in China during World War II. Preston received a prize of $1500, and a copy of Reluctant Accomplice: A Wehrmacht Soldier’s Letters from the Eastern Front edited by Konrad H. Jarausch.

Third prize was awarded to Alex Cuadrado, Class of 2016, for his essay, “Memories and Itineraries: The Pilgrim’s Guide to the World,” in which Alex discusses his collection of pilgrimage itineraries and narratives that includes personal artifacts from his own travels. Alex received a prize of $1,000, and Roxanne L. Euben’s book, Journeys to the Other Shore: Muslim and Western Travelers in Search of Knowledge.

winnersPreston Lim and Alex Cuadrado

Each of the winners will also receive a certificate from the Dean of the College. The book prizes, chosen to complement each student’s collecting focus, were donated by the Princeton University Press.

Thanks to this year’s judges for their congenial service: Claire Jacobus, member of the Friends; John Logan, Literature Bibliographer; Louise Marshall Kelly, member of the Friends; Eric White, Rare Books Curator; and Melissa Verhey, Department of French and Italian PhD candidate and member of the Student Friends.

Congratulations to our winners!!
Posted by Faith Charlton, Processing Archivist, Americana Collections

Attention Princeton Students:

Submit Your Essay to Win the 2015-2016 Elmer Adler
Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize!

Are you an avid collector of books, manuscripts, or other materials found in libraries? If so, consider submitting an essay about your collection for a chance to win the Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize!

wilsonbook2

Image: (c) Jane and Louise Wilson, Oddments Room II (Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle), 2008. C-print, Edition of 4. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Endowed from the estate of Elmer Adler, who for many years encouraged the collecting of books by Princeton undergraduates, this prize is awarded annually to an undergraduate student, or students, who, in the opinion of a committee of judges, have shown the most thought and ingenuity in assembling a thematically coherent collection of books, manuscripts, or other material normally collected by libraries. Please note that the rarity or monetary value of the student’s collection is not as important as the creativity and persistence shown in collecting and the fidelity of the collection to the goals described in a personal essay.

The personal essay is about a collection owned by the student. It should describe the thematic or artifactual nature of the collection and discuss with some specificity the unifying characteristics that have prompted the student to think of certain items as a collection. It should also convey a strong sense of the student’s motivations for collecting and what their particular collection means to them personally. The history of the collection, including collecting goals, acquisition methods, and milestones are of particular interest, as is a critical look at how the goals may have evolved over time and an outlook on the future development of the collection. Essays are judged in equal measures on the strength of the collection and the strength of the writing.

Winners will receive their prizes at the annual winter dinner of the Friends of the Princeton University Library, which they are expected to attend. The first-prize essay has the honor of representing Princeton University in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. Please note that per the ABAA’s contest rules, the winning essay will be entered exactly as submitted to the Adler Prize contest, without possibility of revision.

Prize amounts:

First prize: $2000
Second prize: $1500
Third prize: $1000

The deadline for submission is Tuesday, December 1, 2015. Essays should be submitted via e-mail, in a Microsoft Word attachment, to Faith Charlton: faithc@princeton.edu. They should be between 9-10 pages long, 12pt, double-spaced, with a 1-inch margin, and include a separate cover sheet with your name, class year, residential address, email address, and phone number. In addition to the essay, each entry should include a selected bibliography of no more than 3 pages detailing the items in the collection. Please note that essays submitted in file formats other than Microsoft Word, submitted without cover sheet, or submitted without a bibliography will not be forwarded to the judges. For inquiries, please contact Faith Charlton, faithc@princeton.edu.

Recent Adler Prize winning essays:

Anna Leader ’18. “ ‘Like a Thunderstorm’; A Shelved Story of Love and Literature” PULC 76:3 (spring)

Rory Fitzpatrick ‘16. “The Search for the Shape of the Universe, One Book at a Time.” PULC 75:3 (spring)

Natasha Japanwala ’14. “Conversation Among the Ruins: Collecting Books By and About Sylvia Plath.” PULC 74:2 (winter)

Mary Thierry ’12. “Mirror, Mirror: American Daguerrean Portraits.” PULC 73:3 (spring)

Chloe Ferguson ’13. “The Farther Shore: Collection, Memory, and the East Asian Literary Tradition.” PULC 73:3 (spring)

Posted by Faith Charlton, Processing Archivist, Americana Collections, Rare Books and Special Collections