Brooker Prize Information

Brooker Prize Symbol
The Prize. The T. Kimball Brooker Prize for undergraduate book collecting was established to foster a love of the book and to encourage book collecting among students in the College. The competition is open to current second-year and fourth-year students at the University of Chicago.

Criteria.  Primary consideration is given to the thoughtfulness and intent in building the collection around the collector's interest. Collections may focus on a specific topic or the work of a particular author or authors. In addition to books, collections of musical scores and printed maps may be entered into the competition. Bibliographical and physical features such as editions, illustrations, or bindings may also be the basis upon which a collection is developed. Monetary value is not critical in determining a winning collection. 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.

Judging. The committee will select the semi-finalists based on their essays and bibliographies. The committee will then contact each semi-finalist to schedule an individual, in-library meeting to examine and discuss their collection. Candidates will be asked to bring in a portion of their collection for viewing.

Prizes. 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, which includes 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.

Exhibit. 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.

Re-submission. 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.

Deadline. The deadline is March 16, 2018.

If you have any questions about the competition, please call the Library Development Office at 773.702.7695 or email