Undergraduates win Van Sinderen Prizes for their book collections

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A selection of books from Yale senior Alexander Jacobson's collection of books about the former Soviet Union.

Yale senior Alexander Jacobson of Saybrook College and sophomore Alexa Derman of Berkeley College have been named winners of this year’s Adrian Van Sinderen Book Collecting Prizes.

Jacobson won for his collection “The Soviet Experience: Printed Artifacts of the Former USSR,” while Derman won for “Plays That Yale Undergraduates Really Ought To Produce: 100+ Excellent Contemporary Plays.”

For more than half a century, student bibliophiles at Yale have been receiving prizes for the quality of their book collections. In 1957, Yale alumnus Adrian Van Sinderen, Class of 1910, established two prizes, for Yale seniors and sophomores, in order to encourage undergraduates to collect books, build up libraries of their own, and read for pleasure and learning 

In 2002 an annual poster competition was added, awarding a prize to the winning designer of the poster used to announce the book collecting competition. Isaac Morrier ’17 of Branford College was selected as the winning designer in this year’s competition.

The senior second prize for book collecting was awarded to Jacob Reed of Branford College for his collection exploring “Western Music in its Cultural Contexts.” Senior honorable mentions were awarded to Tess Hamilton of Pierson College for her collection on photography; Sergio Lopez of Berkeley College for his collection on American politics; and Emily Yankowitz of Pierson College for her collection, “History of the American Revolution and the Founding Era.”

Sophomore honorable mentions were awarded to Dante de Blasio of Calhoun College for his collection on political theory, and Jackson Leipzig of Silliman College for his collection on sailing and the sea.

In the poster competition, the second prize was awarded to William Kortum ’19 of Calhoun College. Cezar Mocan ’17 of Davenport College and Cameron Nelson ’18 of Morse College were awarded honorable mentions.

The judges for this year’s competition were William Reese ’77 (chair), Joseph Agostini ’93, Elisabeth Fairman, Basie Gitlin ’10, Eve  Houghton ’17, Rebecca Martz, Miko McGinty ’93, M.F.A. ’98, Stephen Parks ’61; E.C. Schroeder, and Sylvia Van Sinderen.

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