Got Books?



The UCSD Libraries invite students currently enrolled at UCSD to participate in the 11th annual Book Collection Competition, sponsored by the UC San Diego Libraries. Through this competition, UCSD students are encouraged to collect books, to build their own libraries, to appreciate the qualities of the printed word, and to read for pleasure. A prize of $500 will be awarded in each category, for undergraduate and graduate students.

Book collections must include at least 30 items and must be owned by the student submitting the collection. The collection must be built around some unifying concept or theme, not just a large quantity of unrelated books. Collections may feature a specific author or subject, contemporary or historical. They may be built around an illustrator or a physical aspect of the book, such as fine binding or significantly autographed editions. Paperbacks and/or ephemera that enhance the collection are encouraged. Modern textbooks should not be submitted.

Each contestant must prepare and submit the following:

  • a brief essay of 750-1,000 words about the collection. The essay must describe the nature and character of the collection, how and why it was assembled, when it was begun, and the future direction(s) it may take.
  • a bibliography of the items in the collection, citing author, title, publisher, place and date of publication. The importance of individual pieces should be noted, as well as any unusual attributes. A desiderata list may also be included with the submission.

Past winners have included such diverse topics as African explorers, baseball, mountaineering, Edward Gorey, whales and dolphins, the Edwardians, and surfing.

After reviewing the essays and lists, the judges will ask finalists to bring representative portions of their collections to the Mandeville Special Collections Library for final judging. Essays and bibliographies must be submitted by Monday, 15 April 2013. Awards will be made in May.

Essays and bibliographies should be sent to Lynda Claassen, Director of the Mandeville Special Collections Library, 0175-S, at Questions about eligibility or process may also be directed to her at 858-534-1272 or by email.