Crazy Smart / Book Collectors Contest

Crazy Smart Book Collectors ContestEarlier this year, Ashley Young, a Ph.D. candidate in history, took first prize in the graduate category of the Andrew T. Nadell Book Collectors Contest, sponsored by the Friends of the Duke University Libraries.

In August, we were delighted to learn that she also took second prize in the National Collegiate Book Collectors Contestfor her collection of historical cookbooks and literary sources chronicling the history of Creole cuisine. The books are tied to her dissertation research on Southern foodways in the early years of American statehood.

This past October, Young and her fellow contest winners from around the country were recognized at a special awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Library of Congress. The National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest is the "James Beard Award" of book collecting competitions, bringing together the winners of more than three dozen local competitions at colleges and universities across the United States, including Duke. It is sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies, the Center for the Book, and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress.

Since 1947, the Friends of the Duke University Libraries have sponsored a book collecting contest to promote reading for enjoyment and the development of students' personal libraries. The 2013 contest is named for Dr. Andrew T. Nadell M'74, an avid collector in the areas of Gothic Revival, Doctors of Medicine, and Learned Professions and Occupations. The contest is open to all undergraduate and graduate students who are regularly enrolled at Duke University.

To hear what other Duke student bibliophiles have to say about their favorite books, check out this video from our 2013 contest.

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