The University of Kansas Libraries announce the winners of the 61st annual Snyder Book Collecting Contest. The contest was established in 1957 by a gift from Elizabeth Snyder, in hopes to cultivate and recognize KU undergraduate and graduate students’ interest in collecting books. Judges selected first, second and honorable mention from finalists in the undergraduate and graduate divisions.
Elizabeth Wenger, with her collection “Defeating Isolation Through Queer Literature,” placed first in the undergraduate division. Second place was awarded to the collection prepared by Reece Rogers, titled “American Socialist Literature and Printed Ephemera.” Aubrey Burgess received honorable mention for her collection, “Design Hunger.”
In the graduate division, Austin Charron won first place with his collection “A Medal Upon the Chest of Planet Earth: Crimea and the Crimean Tatars.” David Snyder placed second with “Infinity and the Unsolvable: Selections in mathematical beauty.” Honorable mention was given to Silvia Sánchez for “Ethnographies: A gateway to people and cultures of the world.”
The winner of each division received a cash prize and a gift card from Jayhawk Ink, a division of the KU Bookstore and longtime partner in the competition. Wenger and Charron are also eligible for entry into the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, with a top prize of $2,500.
Judges for this year’s competition were KU Libraries Assistant Dean of Distinctive Collections and Director of Kenneth Spencer Research Library Beth Whittaker, winner of the 2016 Snyder Book Collecting Contest Megan Jones, and James Grauerholz, editor and executor of the William S. Burroughs Estate.
“Serving as a judge for the Snyder contest is a highlight of my work every year. With each experience, I learn something new about an area that our students care passionately about,” explained Whittaker. “The students’ essays and collections provide a window into their lives that inspires and enchants me. I am continually grateful for the generosity and support that sustain this tradition.”