Snyder Contest frequently asked questions

Q. Do all the entries in a collection need to be books?

A. You may include materials other than books such as movies, music, graphic novels, ephemera, etc, but the majority should be print. You may include up to 5 digital objects/e-books but the items must be displayed and you are responsible for providing the platform for display. The items you include must be physical objects that you own and can produce for display. Regardless of format, each item you include must speak to the overall theme of your collection.

Q. Can I submit a collection with fewer than 25 items?

A. For best chances of success, we recommend having 25-50 items, or as close to that as possible. Keep in mind that many of the competing entries will be this size. However, judging will primarily be based on the strength of the collections as expressed in your essay and annotated bibliography. It's difficult for us to fully understand a collection's strength without the information from these entry materials. You know your collection better than anyone so we will leave it to your best judgment to determine if your collection is strong enough to compete with the larger collections.

Q. Can I submit a collection with more than 50 items?

A. Since you must submit for display all items cited in your bibliography, you may have difficulty displaying a larger collection due to space limitations. You will not be disqualified if you submit more than 50; however, we suggest you limit your selection to 50 items and mention in your essay that this is a sampling of your larger collection.

Q. What is the difference between a bibliography and an annotated bibliography?

A. For the purposes of this contest, a bibliography is a list of the items in your collection that includes information such as author, title, publisher, etc. An annotated bibliography entry is a brief paragraph that accompanies the citation. Typical annotations are 2-4 sentences in length, should describe how each item relates to the collection as a whole, and may address how and why it was acquired. Annotations are expected to display the collector's understanding and knowledge of his or her books. At least 10 of your entries must be annotated.

Q. What citation style should I use in my annotated bibliography?

A. You may use any citation style that you currently use in our research and coursework. Please ensure that you use a single citation style throughout your entire annotated bibliography. Please see our Helpful Resources page for more info about citation styles.

Q. Do you have to include rare and expensive 1st editions or signed copies to have a strong collection?

A. Not at all. A collection's strength is based on how well each item supports the overall theme of the collection, not on the monetary value of the materials.

Q. If selected as a finalist, what if I forget to bring one or more of the books cited in my bibliography for public display at the awards ceremony?

A. All entries you cite must be present for display. If items are missing you may be disqualified at the judges' discretion. Before you submit your entry for consideration, make sure you will have all cited items available for display.

Snyder Book Collecting Contest


Media & Publicity
LeAnn Meyer

Contest Entry Information
Kristin Sederstrom

Jayhawk Ink, a division of KU Bookstore
Meaghan Conant

KU Today