Samuel V. Lemley Wins the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest

Samuel V. Lemley displays his 2018 National Student Book Collecting Contest First Prize certificate.

On Friday, October 19, bibliophiles from around the nation gathered at the Library of Congress for the presentation of the 2018 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest awards. Established in 2005 to recognize bibliophilic excellence among American college and university students, the annual competition is open to the first place winners of the over 40 collegiate book collecting competitions held nationwide. The national contest is jointly administered by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America, the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies, the Grolier Club, and the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book and Rare Books and Special Collections Division.

Samuel V. Lemley discusses his collection of Sicilian imprints at the awards ceremony for the 2018 National Student Book Collecting Contest. Seated behind is awards presenter Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress.

This year’s First Prize winner is U.Va. doctoral candidate in English Samuel V. Lemley, whose entry, Biblioteca Genealogica: Sicilian Printing, 1704-1893, won the 52nd U.Va. Student Book Collecting Contest held earlier this year.  Several U.Va. Contest winners have won national awards in previous years, but Sam is the first to claim the top prize.  In addition to a cash award of $2,500, he will receive a year’s membership in the Grolier Club, the nation’s leading bibliophilic society.  Students from the University of Kansas, Harvard University, and Washington University also received national awards at the awards presentation in the Library of Congress’s Montpelier Room.

Visitors under Grounds may recall seeing highlights from Sam’s collection on display last spring in the First Floor corridor leading to the Special Collections Reading Room.  Special Collections was pleased to honor the winners of the 52nd U.Va. Student Book Collecting Contest–Samuel V. Lemley, James P. Ascher, and Philip M. Tan–by hosting an exhibition drawn from their collections.

The U.Va. Student Book Collecting Contest is one of many activities undertaken by the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia.  Watch their website for news of the 53rd U.Va. Student Book Collecting Contest!