Brooker Prize for Book Collecting

T. Kimball Brooker Prize for Undergraduate Book Collecting

The Library is no longer accepting applications for the 2019 Prize.

Deadline: MARCH 8, 2019

The University of Chicago Library is pleased to sponsor the T. Kimball Brooker Prize for undergraduate book collecting. Mr. Brooker (PhD'96) established the Prize to foster a love of the book and to encourage book collecting among undergraduates.


Second- and fourth-year students at the University of Chicago.


Students are not expected to have collections that are large, valuable in monetary terms, or complete. Rather, the competition emphasizes thoughtfulness and intent in building a collection around the collector's interests. Collections may focus on a topic, the work of one or more authors, or physical features such as illustrations and bindings. In addition to books, collections of musical scores and printed maps may be entered into the prize competition.

Past winners have collections focused on subjects that range from religion in ancient Egypt to feminist zines, from cover art to Latin American poetry.

Prizes Awarded

$1,000 to a second-year student

$2,000 to a fourth-year student

Additionally, each winner will receive a one-year membership to the Caxton Club, including a subscription to the monthly Caxtonian and access to all Caxton Club events and meetings; a copy of Other People’s Books: Association Copies and the Stories They Tell; and two complimentary passes for Caxton lunch or dinner meetings of the winner's choosing.


Review and complete the Brooker Prize Application. Your application must be accompanied by an abstract describing your collection and its theme; a short essay (maximum of 2 single-spaced pages); and bibliography of books in your collection.


The panel of judges includes faculty and librarians, as well as representatives of the book trade, the Library Society, and a recent graduate of the College. This year's judges include Susie Allen, Associate Editor, University of Chicago Magazine; Susan Martin, Head of Acquisitions in Regenstein Library; Elizabeth Frengel, Curator of Rare Books in Special Collections; Jeff Deutsch, Executive Director of the Seminary Co-op Bookstore; Michael Thompson, President of the Library Society; Rosanna Warren, Hanna Holborn Gray Distinguished Professor, Committee on Social Thought; and Nancy Spiegel, Bibliographer for Art, Cinema and History, and Chair of the committee.


Winners will be asked to contribute a small selection (three to six works) from their collections to be included in the Brooker Prize display in Regenstein Library for the final weeks of spring quarter.


Collections not selected for the 2nd-year prize are eligible for re-submission in your 4th-year. In such cases, you should specify in your essay how your collection has grown and developed.

Additional information

Contact us at with questions about the competition or application requirements.