Applications sought for Van Sinderen book prizes

Poster for the Van Sinderen book prizes.

Applications are now being accepted from seniors and sophomores for the Adrian Van Sinderen book collecting prizes.

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.

The underlying purpose of the competition is to encourage students to build collections characterized by unity of field or subject. First consideration is given to discrimination and judgment in the selection of titles. Collections acquired solely for courses are not acceptable.

Collections may cover specific subject fields, such as history, biography, literature, philosophy, or the sciences; pertain to a particular interest within one of these fields; be formed for their bibliographical features (e.g., edition, illustrations, bindings, etc.); or represent an intelligently chosen nucleus of a general library.

Rare editions and fine bindings receive no extra consideration. Paperbacks are acceptable if there is evidence of worthwhile thought and purpose. Subjects of winning collections have included beekeeping, food writing, Virginia Woolf, African-American literature, Buddhist scripture, the Esperanto language, architecture, Korea, poetry, Sherlock Holmes, and dance.

A prize of $1,000 will be awarded in the senior category. The sophomore prize will be $700. Prizes for honorable mention may be awarded at the discretion of the judges. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12.

For more information, visit the Van Sinderen prizes website.

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