To encourage undergraduates to collect books, build their own libraries, and read for pleasure and education, Adrian Van Sinderen, Class of 1910, established two prizes in 1957. The Senior Prize is now $1,000, the Sophomore Prize $700. Prizes for Honorable Mention are awarded at the discretion of the judges.
The underlying purpose of the competition is to encourage students to build collections characterized by unity of field or subject. First consideration is given to discrimination and judgment in the selection of titles. Collections acquired solely for courses are not acceptable.
Collections may cover specific subject fields, such as history, biography, literature, philosophy, or the sciences; pertain to a particular interest within one of these fields; be formed for their bibliographical features (i.e., edition, illustrations, bindings, etc.); or represent an intelligently chosen nucleus of a general library.
Rare editions and fine bindings receive no extra consideration. Paperbacks are acceptable if there is evidence of worthwhile thought and purpose. Subjects of winning collections have included beekeeping, food writing, Virginia Woolf, African American literature, Buddhist scripture, the Esperanto language, architecture, Korea, poetry, Sherlock Holmes, and dance.
Adam Van Sinderen Abbate
Basie Gitlin (Co-chair)
Miko McGinty (Co-chair)
Rebecca Ju ’21
Sylvia Van Sinderen