December 01, 2023

Attention, book collectors!

The Himes & Duniway Society, a rare and antiquarian bibliographic society in Portland, is bringing their book collection competition to Lewis & Clark again this year! Current undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply for the $500 prize, to be awarded to two students with the most compelling personal book collections and accompanying essays.

Himes & Duniway Society Book Collecting Prize

The Himes & Duniway Society generously supports an annual book collecting competition to recognize and encourage undergraduate and graduate students at Lewis & Clark College who collect printed works to enable them to continue building their own libraries, to appreciate the special qualities of the printed word, and to read and collect for pleasure and education.

In 2023, the Book Collecting Prize will be awarded to two students for outstanding book collections and essays explaining their collection choices. Each prize will be $500 to be spent on further bibliographic acquisitions. In order to enter the competition, collections must have been started by the contestant and all items in the collection must be owned but not created by them. A collection may include any printed item, such as books, posters, broadsides, postcards, or ephemera (in paper-based formats); it may be organized by theme, author, illustrator, publisher, printing technique, binding style, or another clearly articulated principle. The winning collection will be more than a reading list of favorite texts: it will be a chosen group of printed items, creatively put together. Collections will not be judged on their size or their market value, but on their originality and success in illuminating their chosen subjects or formats.

Application Details

The competition is open only to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at Lewis & Clark College.

To enter, each contestant must submit a portfolio to apply for the competition by February 5, 2024.

The portfolio should be sent as a PDF document attachment via email to Hannah Leah Crummé, Head of Special Collections and College Archivist, Watzek Library ( with the subject line “Book Collecting 2024.” It should include:

  1. the contestant’s phone number, email address, and mailing address, and expected graduating class
  2. an essay of up to 1000 words describing:
    • the nature and character of the collection;
    • how and why it was assembled;
    • when it was begun;
    • its significance;
    • the future direction(s) the collection may take
    • a bibliography (using the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style) of at least 25 items in the collection, selected to illustrate its nature citing type of binding or housing, condition, and any other annotations on the importance of individual pieces
    • a minimum of five photographs including both the entire collection and selected collection items

Additional Guidelines

Judges may ask to speak with contestants about their collection. For this reason, the custom of making prize submissions anonymous or under pseudonyms is not observed for this contest.

Judges will give special consideration to how well the collection reflects the student’s stated goals and interests. Age, rarity, or monetary value of material in the collections submitted is less important than the thought, creativity, and persistence demonstrated in defining a collection and bringing it into being.

To be eligible, collections must be personally owned and must have been formed by the contestant. Collections may be of any kind, whether they deal with authors, subjects, kinds of books, bindings, illustrations, printing processes and technology, etc. Collections may be allied to the student’s career or educational interests but cannot include a collection of contemporary textbooks. Collections do not have to be limited to rare or antiquarian materials.

The Himes & Duniway Society will award two prizes in the amount of $500 each. The judges reserve the right to divide the prize in other proportions if it seems appropriate, or to award no prizes if in their view no submissions warrant it.

An award ceremony will be held on campus in March and winners will be expected to attend and speak about their collecting.