Brooker Prize Information

Brooker Prize Symbol
Prize Announcement. 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. 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 $1,000 prize will be awarded to a second-year student, and one $2,000 prize 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.

Application. The 2017 application and more information about applying can be found on the Brooker Prize Application page.

Deadline. The deadline is Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. 

Copies of previous winning entries are available online on the Brooker Prize Recipients page. If you have any questions about the competition, please call the Library Development Office at 773.702.7695 or email