Seymour Adelman Book Collector's Prize

2022 Contest Rules:

  • Deadline: Monday, March 28, 2022
  • Submit:
  1. a concise statement (500-1000 words) explaining your book collection and how it began. See further explanation below (The Collection).
  2. an annotated bibliography including all items in the collection.
  3. your name, e-mail address, and class year.

More information for entering:

  • The Collection may focus on any subject, a single author, or a group of authors, and may include manuscripts, ephemera, and graphics. Evaluation will be based on motivation, coherence of the collection, originality, accomplishment, and condition of the works entered. Monetary value is not a determining factor.
  • The Interview. During your scheduled session with the judges, you will be able to show five sample books from your collection. Interviews will take place in early April, probably on April 4, 5, or 6.
  • Prizes. First prize is $500. Second prize is $250. Both prizes include a copy of John Carter's ABC for Book Collectors. The judges may decide to award more than one prize at any level, or not to award a prize at any level, depending on the number and quality of the entries. The top prize winner of the Adelman contest will be eligible for the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest. 

If you have any questions, want to know more about previous entries, or just want to talk about your collection, please write mhansen@brynmawr.edu.

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About the Contest

The annual contest takes place during the spring semester and is open to all registered Bryn Mawr College undergraduates. Each contestant submits a concise statement (500-1000 words) explaining their collection and how it began, and an annotated bibliographic list of the collection. Most collections include 20-50 books. The collection must be owned by the student. It may be on any subject, a single author or group of authors, and may include manuscripts and graphics.

Each finalist gives a short presentation and shows five examples from the collection to the judges. Evaluation is based on motivation, coherence of the collection, originality, accomplishment, and condition of the works entered. Monetary value is not a determining factor.

Most years there is a first and a second prize, but the judges may decide to award two firsts, two seconds, or any other combination of prizes. Winners are eligible to enter the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest. Prizes are awarded at student award ceremonies and/or convocation.

A previous winner may enter again only if a different collection is submitted. A previous non-winning entry may be submitted again, although the collection must show growth since the first entry..

Previous winners and their collections are listed at the end of this page.

Seymour Adelman, who was Honorary Curator of Rare Books at Bryn Mawr College, gave his own collection of books and manuscripts to the Bryn Mawr College Library in 1976. Adelman believed that students are often collectors without realizing it, and he established the Seymour Adelman Book Collector's Prize in 1979 in order to encourage students to think about their books in a new way. This prize, which is sponsored by the Friends of the Bryn Mawr College Library, was first awarded in 1980.

For more information, please contact the Curator of Rare Books, Marianne Hansen.

Past Winners

Year Prize Name and Class Year Subject of Collection
1980 1st Prize Catherine E. Du Beau (1980) Eclectic
1980 1st Prize

Leslie Victoria Kurke (1981)

Classical Studies

1981

1st Prize

Pamela Carter (1982)

Penguins

1981

1st Prize

Artemis Hionides (1982)

Modern Greece

1982

1st Prize

Ruth Herold (1982)

Herman Melville

1982

2nd Prize

Saba Bahar (1984)

Alexandria

1982

2nd Prize

Sara Baughman (1982)

Illustrated Works

1983

1st Prize

Eva Posfay (1984)

Hungarian Poetry

1983

1st Prize

Hanna Rubin (1983)

Classic Children's Books

1984

1st Prize

Marion M. Gartner (1985)

King Arthur

1985

1st Prize

Anne J. Brownstein (1985)

Poetry

1986

1st Prize

Alice Elizabeth Krinsky (1988)

Lewis Carroll

1987 1st Prize Genevieve Bell (1990) Australian Literature
1987

1st Prize

Robin Bernstein (1991)

Bibles and Religious Literature

1987

1st Prize

Heather Harwood (1988)

Classical Studies

1989

1st Prize

Elizabeth Knapp (1990)

Folklore

1990

1st Prize

Catherine Barriger (1990)

Spanish Novels by Women

1990

1st Prize

Lorrie Kim (1990)

Female Authors

1991

1st Prize

Charlotte Troyanowski (1994)

Historical Etiquette

1991

2nd Prize

Ina Warriner (1991)

Souvenir Books about Finland

1992

1st Prize

Leili Towfigh (1992)

Baha'i Faith

1992

2nd Prize

Sara Rubin (1992)

African and African-American Writers

1993

1st Prize

Catherine C. Hoffman (1995)

Lucy Maud Montgomery

1993

2nd Prize

Carrie LaSeur (1993)

American West

1993

2nd Prize

Gretchen Maxeiner (1994)

Latin Literature

1994

1st Prize

Jennifer K. Jackson (1994)

Preserving the Past

1994

2nd Prize

Melanie Evans (1997)

Children's Books

1994

2nd Prize

Joanna Reiner (1995)

Tea

1995

1st Prize

Melissa Cohn (1997)

Autograph Books

1995

2nd Prize

Gabrielle Costanzo (1997)

Eclectic

1996

1st Prize

Brenda Fishman (1998)

Learning Languages

1996

2nd Prize

Jane J. Park (1996)

Asian-American Literature

1996

2nd Prize

Sara Wakefield (1997)

Fairy Tales

1997

1st Prize

Robin Brenner (1999)

Picture Books

1997

2nd Prize

Heather McLees (1998)

Scottish History and Culture

1997

3rd Prize

Astrid Cook (1997)

20th Century Books by Women

1998

1st Prize

Virginia Hutton (2000)

 

1998

2nd Prize

Rebecca Silverman (2001)

 

1998

3rd Prize

Jill Baron (2000)

 

1999

1st Prize

Elizabeth Scanlon (1999)

Poetry

2000

1st Prize

Ada Palmer (2001)

Distopia

2000

2nd Prize

Virginia Hutton (2000)

Ghost Stories

2001

1st Prize

Elaine Massung (2004)

Modern Fiction (firsts)

2001

2nd Prize

Jenny Lentz (2002)

19th Century Writers

2001

2nd Prize

Amanda Pegg (2001)

Science Fiction

2002

1st Prize

Jenny Lentz (2002)

Nancy Drew

2002

2nd Prize

Susannah Smith (2003)

Edward Gorey

2002

2nd Prize Sally Lemmon (2003) Hawai'i
2003 1st Prize Susan Howson (2003) Young Adult Classics
2003 2nd Prize Laura Nuffer (2005) Anthropology
2004 1st Prize Lawral Wornek (2004) Ballet
2004 2nd Prize Molly Tamulevich (2007) Unexplained Phenomena
2005 1st Prize Elizabeth Kestler (2008) Science Fiction / Fantasy
2005 2nd Prize Joanna Karpinski (2005) The Titanic
2006 1st Prize Melody Brandston (2008) Juvenile Series Fiction
2006 2nd Prize Meridel Newton (2006) Anne McCaffrey
2007 1st Prize Vanessa Poggioli (2007)    New York, NY
2007 2nd Prize Christen Gore (2007)   Scottish Country Dance
2008 1st Prize Helen Cosgrove-Davies (2010) Fashion
2009

1st Prize

Anna Van Brookhoven (2009)

Children's Books

2009

2nd Prize

Megan Clark (2011)

19th-Century Costume

2009 2nd Prize Jessica Schwartz (2009) Seeing America
2010 1st Prize Madeline Birkner (2010) Photography
2010 2nd Prize Helen Cosgrove-Davies (2010) Knitting
2011

1st Prize

Maggie Stack (2011)

Men and Women at Sea

2011

2nd Prize

Nicole Yulo (2011)

Contemporary Picture Books

2011 2nd Prize Anne Harding (2012) Books on Books
2012 Prize Stephanie Trott

Food Studies

2013 1st Prize Katherine Littrell  (2014)  Early Modern Theater  
2013 2nd Prize Lauren Malamed (2015)      

Zines

2014 Prize Karuna Doraiswamy (2014) South Asians in America
2014 Prize Sophie Mankins   (2014) Young Adult Fantasy
2015 1st Prize Amy Miles (2015) Natural History
2015 2nd Prize Anna Kalinsky (2015) Etiquette Books
2016 Prize Jo Dutilloy (2016) Genre Classics and Spin-offs

2016

Prize Amy Wiedenfeld (2016)

Nancy Drew

2017 1st Prize Alina van Ryzin (2017) Photography Books
2017 2nd Prize Lily Jewell (2020) Barnes and Noble Special Editions
2018 1st Prize Lou Longo (2021) Shakespeare
2018 2nd Prize Musckaan Chauhan  (2020) Discontents of History: India and Its People
2019 1st Prize Iman Qazi (2019) Pakistani authors
2019 2nd Prize Peyton Moriarty  (2021) World of Warcraft
2020 1st Prize Chloë Epstein  (2021) Comic Books and Graphic Novel
2021 1st Prize Viviana Freyer  (2024) Banned and Challenged Books

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