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Snyder Contest Resources

Getting started on your essay

Studies of collecting behaviors find that individuals collect for different reasons, including the desire to define one's identity, to interact with a collecting community, and to preserve culture. Some collectors also collect for the purpose of financial investment; some find that the activity has simply become an addiction (i.e. "the thrill of the hunt"). We have provided selected essays, bibliographies and a sample collection from previous contest winners to help give you an idea of what the judges will be seeking.

The following questions may be helpful for defining in your essay the purpose and method you use in building your collection.

  • Do you collect for any of the reasons above? For others?
  • What do you think your collection says about you?
  • When you acquire an item for your collection, you select it from among items that you choose NOT to collect. What do you value about the items you select that sets them apart from items you do not select?
  • What aspects of the items do you consider when collecting? (for example, but not limited to: the physical material, subject matter, aesthetics, craftsmanship)
  • Do you value some pieces of your collection more than others? Why?
  • Where do you keep your collection?
  • Do you display your collection? Why or why not?

Contestant checklist

To ensure your best chances of success, please complete this checklist (PDF) to confirm that you have met all of the requirements as outlined in the rules. If you have any questions about the rules, email Kristin Sederstrom at kaz@ku.edu.

Getting help with your annotated bibliography

At least 10 entries in the bibliography must be annotated. Typical annotations are 2-4 sentences in length and include the special interest of the work to you and/or your collection and a brief summarized description.

For citation resources and ideas on writing annotated bibliographies, visit:

Snyder Book Collecting Contest


Media & Publicity
LeAnn Meyer

Contest Entry Information
Kristin Sederstrom

Jayhawk Ink, a division of KU Bookstore
Lisa Eitner

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