What are the Middlesworth Awards?

The Middlesworth Awards were established to encourage and recognize excellence of analysis, research and writing by Duke University students in the use of primary sources and rare materials held by the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Funding for the awards was provided by Chester P. Middlesworth (A.B., 1949) of Statesville, N.C.

  • There are two-three awards given annually
  • Each award carries a cash prize of $1,000. For group papers or projects, the prize will be split between the group. 

Is my paper eligible?

 Your paper or project must have been written or created in the past academic year for a course in an academic department, an independent study project for credit at Duke University, or a program sponsored by Duke University.

  • Your paper or project must be based largely or wholly on sources in the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
  • Analytical essays, creative essays, research papers, annotated versions of one or more documents with a narrative introduction, as well as digital projects are acceptable.
  • There is no minimum or maximum length requirement for papers.
  • Group papers and projects are welcome to apply

How do I apply?

  • If your paper or project is eligible, it must also be nominated by the faculty member, instructor, or program sponsor for whose course or program you wrote the paper or created the project using the nomination form
  • For group papers or projects, all members must be included and sign the nomination form. 
  • Email a copy of your paper as a PDF or Word Document and the completed nomination form to Kate Collins, Research Services Librarian. For online digital projects, please include a link to your project in your email. If your project is in another format, email Kate Collins to make arrangements. The nominating faculty, instructor, or program sponsor may also email the nomination form themselves. 
  • Your paper should be double-spaced and formatted with standard margins.
  • Deadline for submissions is May 15, 2018.

How is a winner chosen?

  • A committee, consisting of the Head of Research Services at the Rubenstein Library, another Rubenstein Library librarian, and a faculty member, judges the papers.
  • Committee members look especially at the degree and effectiveness of the author’s use of sources from the Rubenstein Library.
  • Other criteria include clarity and persuasiveness of the paper’s thesis, excellence of writing style, quality of analysis and interpretation, integration of research findings with broader scholarship, originality, and thoroughness of documentation.