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The 24th Annual
T. Kimball Brooker Prize
For Undergraduate Book Collecting

Brooker Symbol


Prize Announcement. The University of Chicago Library is pleased to sponsor the T. Kimball Brooker Prize for undergraduate book collecting. Mr. Brooker (Ph.D.1996) established the Prize to foster a love of the book and to encourage book collecting among undergraduates. Entry in the competition is open to current second-year and fourth-year students at the University of Chicago.

Criteria of Evaluation. The competition is based on the care and judgment by which the student has shaped the collection. Monetary value and number of books are not critical in determining a winning collection. Primary consideration is given to discrimination and judgment in building the collection around the collector's interest. Collections may encompass a specific subject matter or the work of a particular author, or they may relate to special interests within a field. Bibliographical and physical features such as editions, illustrations, or bindings may also be the basis upon which a collection is developed. Whatever its defining quality may be, the organizing principle should be apparent in every item of the collection. An assemblage of miscellaneous volumes, it should be emphasized, does not constitute a true collection. Related information appears on the policies page.

Awarding Prizes. Collections will be judged by a committee consisting of members of the University faculty, staff and volunteers.  These judges will select semi-finalists based on the information presented in essays; then they will schedule appointments to examine the semi-finalists' collections to determine the prize recipients. One $2,000 prize will be awarded to a fourth-year student, and one $750 prize to a second-year student. Please note that the committee is not obligated to make an award each year in either category.

Application. To enter your collection in the competition, complete an application and email it to brookerprize [at]  

The deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. Copies of previous winning entries are available online. If you have any questions about the competition, please call the Library Development Office at 773.702.7695.