The Gordon Duff Prize 

Entries by 31 January 2018 

The Gordon Duff Prize is awarded for an unpublished essay on any of the following subjects: bibliography, palaeography, typography, book-binding, book illustration, the science of books and manuscripts, and the arts relating thereto.

The prize is open to all members of the University. The prize amount in 2018 is £500

How to enter:

Topics must be submitted by 31 January 2018 as a title and one-paragraph summary, by e-mail to :, with the subject line 'GORDON DUFF PRIZE ENTRY'

Entrants selected by the judges will be invited to submit an essay for the prize.

Complete essays of between 10,000 and 12,000 words must be received by 1 May 2018, by e-mail to :, with the subject line 'GORDON DUFF PRIZE ENTRY'

The Colin Franklin Prize for Book Collecting

Entries by 31 March 2018 


Entry form 

The Centre for the Study of the Book offers a prize to an under-graduate or post-graduate student of the University of Oxford for a collection of books or other printed materials. The prize will be of two parts: a payment of £600 to the winner, and an allowance of £300 for a book to be purchased for the Bodleian Library’s collections, selected by the winner in co-operation with the Bodleian’s Curator of Rare Books.

The prize is offered in honour of Colin Franklin, the distinguished author, book collector and bookseller who has over many decades encouraged numerous young book collectors at the University. It is funded by Anthony Davis.
The prize follows the tradition of similar prizes awarded at Cambridge and London and at universities in the United States and Canada. Collections which have won these prizes include a collection of books representing changes in the popular cannon and a collection of Oscar Wilde books used for teaching in an inner city school; Japanese popular books; books on Wales or Kurdistan; books on ornithology and canvassing books, among many examples. Further information on some of the other prizes – and the kind of collections that have won them - can be found at the following links: The Rose Book Collecting Prize, Cambridge University Library, the Anthony Davis Book Collecting Prize, London University, The Adrian Van Sinderen Book Collecting Prize, Yale University Philip Hofer Prize for Collecting Books or Art, Houghton Library, Harvard The Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize, Princeton University
Application process: see 'Rules'
To qualify, entries for the Colin Franklin Prize must include: 
(1) An essay describing how the collection illustrates a particular theme or type of material, and how the items were acquired. The essay should explain the significance of the collection to the student and may indicate how the process of collecting has developed the student's own ideas of the theme. The essay should include a section describing five items that the student would like to add to the collection.
(2) A bibliography detailing at least 10 items in the collection. 

Please note that the process will include a presentation to the judges about the collection, in Oxford.  This should normally include some of the books from the collection.

The prize is intended to encourage book collecting by under-graduates and graduate students of the University by recognising a collection formed by a student at the university. Judges will take into consideration the interest, originality, thoughtfulness, promise and creativity of the collection and persistence of the collector. Age, size and monetary value of the collection will not be relevant criteria. It is possible and even encouraged to enter the prize more than once if you are still at the university and still qualify.

There is no minimum size of the collection but as a guideline it should normally consist of not less than 10 items, comprising printed books or manuscripts and/or printed ephemera and/or other printed materials with a common theme. For example, a thoughtful and interesting collection of pamphlets or paperbacks might qualify. So might books on a particular historical, geographical, linguistic or literary theme, or with common bibliographic or literary qualities, interesting printing or unusual bindings.
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