The Sweren Student Book Collecting Contest at the Sheridan Libraries recognizes the love of books and the delight in shaping a thoughtful and focused book collection. Established by longtime Friends of the Libraries Betty and Edgar Sweren, the annual contest is open to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a degree program at Johns Hopkins. All entries are welcome except past winning collections. The competition includes a graduate and undergraduate division, and winners in each division are awarded cash prizes.

  • $1,000 First Place
  • $500 Second Place
  • $250 Honorable Mention

The deadline to enter is Friday, February 15, 2019. Awards will be presented to the winners in the spring of 2019. In addition, selected titles from winning collections will be placed on display in the Special Collections Reading Room in the Brody Learning Commons. Top prize winners of the Sweren contest are also eligible to enter the 2019 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA), the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS), and the Center for the Book and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress. Contest criteria Each entry will be judged on the extent to which the items in the collection form a coherent pattern of inquiry and/or represent a well-defined field of interest. Additionally, consideration will be given to how well the collection reflects the student’s stated goals and interests. Guidelines

  1. Any student, undergraduate or graduate, enrolled in a degree program at the Johns Hopkins University is eligible to enter.
  2. All items must be owned and collected by the student who enters the contest.
  3. A collection need not consist of, or include, rare or valuable books. Paper-bound books may be included.
  4. Although the focus is books, the collection may include other media that support the collection.
  5. Collections can be on any subject. Entries in past years, for example, have included collections related to Colonial America, feminism, running, and music.

  Application information Each contestant must submit:

  1. cover sheet including the title of your collection
  2. A 2-3 page essay outlining the purpose of the collection, how you started and assembled the collection, items of greatest interest, and ideas for the collection’s future development.
  3. A bibliography of 20 or more items (maximum of 50) in the collection. Each item should be numbered, given a full bibliographic description, and briefly annotated as to its importance to the collection. Please use the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition.
  4. A wish list: A second bibliography listing up to ten items that you would like to add to your collection, with brief annotation stating the reason for adding each item.

Read examples of winning entries from previous year’s first place winners from the undergraduate and graduate divisions. The deadline to enter is Friday, February 15, 2019. For electronic entries, please submit application as one PDF document, including cover sheet, to Hard copy entries may be mailed to: Sweren Student Book Collecting Contest Dean’s Office, MSE Library Johns Hopkins University 3400 North Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21218 Finalists may be asked to bring a portion of their collection to the Milton S. Eisenhower Library for final judging. Please contact Shellie Dolan with questions at 410-516-8992 or