Prizes

The Colin Franklin Prize for Book Collecting | The Gordon Duff Prize

The Colin Franklin Prize for Book Collecting

Deadline: 18 March 2022
Download the entry form (Word)

The Bodleian Centre for the Study of the Book offers a prize to an undergraduate or postgraduate 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 funded from a donation 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. The prize is intended to encourage book collecting by undergraduates 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.

The prize amount and deadline are announced in November each year in the Oxford Gazette and via the Bodleian Special Collections blog, ‘The Conveyor’.

Rules

  1. The prize is offered by the Bodleian Library’s Centre for the Study of the Book. Its purpose is to encourage the collecting of books and other printed material by students of the University of Oxford.
  2. The prize will be awarded to a current undergraduate or graduate student of the University of Oxford in good standing. It will be in two parts: the first consisting of a payment to the winner and the second of an allowance for the purchase (within 6 months of the date of the award) of a book for the Bodleian Library’s collections to be selected by the winner in co-operation with the Head of Rare Books.
  3. The collection must be owned and collected solely by the entrant. The collection must consist of not fewer than 10 items comprising printed books, printed ephemera or other printed items, or a combination of any of these, with a common theme. Other media may supplement the collection but the central theme must involve printed material in some way.
  4. The prize will be awarded at the judges’ discretion, having regard to the purpose of the prize. The award will be based on 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. The quality of the essay and other materials submitted by the entrant, as described in paragraph 5, will be taken into account. The judges’ decision on any matter is final.
  5. Entrants should submit an essay of not more than 2500 words explaining the interest of the collection and how and why it was assembled, including a section listing five items the entrant would like to add to the collection, with a brief explanation of how these would improve the collection. In addition, every entry must be accompanied by a bibliography of the items in the collection, and an entry form downloadable from the CSB Prizes webpage.
  6. Essays submitted may be retained by the Bodleian Library which will be entitled to reproduce them in any form it considers appropriate. By submitting entry materials, the entrant agrees that the Bodleian may reproduce any part of the entry materials in connection with the prize or future prizes.
  7. Entry forms are available to students of the University of Oxford. Email your request to bookcentre@bodleian.ox.ac.uk. Essays and completed forms must be submitted by email to bookcentre@bodleian.ox.ac.uk with the subject line ‘COLIN FRANKLIN PRIZE’, before the deadline.

The Gordon Duff Prize

Deadline for topic proposals: 17 January 2022
Deadline for essays (subject to approval of the topic): 24 June 2022
Download the entry form (Word)

The Gordon Duff Prize of £500 will be 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 competition is open to all current members of the collegiate University. The essay shall be of not more than 12,000 words. No essay may be submitted unless the topic has first been approved by the judges. Deadlines for topic proposals and completed essays are as shown. All communications should be addressed by email to bookcentre@bodleian.ox.ac.uk, with the subject line: Gordon Duff Prize Contest.