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The contest is open to all undergraduate and graduate/professional students who are regularly enrolled in a degree program at Duke.

Submission Requirements

  1. Annotated bibliography of the collection (50 item maximum), with each title numbered
  2. Short essay describing how and why the collection as a whole was assembled (2 page maximum)
  3. Wish list of materials to be added to the collection (5 item maximum)
  4. Completed application form

Final Judging

Contestants will be judged on their submitted bibliography and essay. Contestants are not required to display a representation of their collection in 2023.

Rules and Guidelines

See the complete rules and guidelines for more information about submission materials and judging criteria.

Past Prizes

Since 1947, the Duke University Libraries have presented the contest in alternate years to promote reading for enjoyment and the development of students' personal libraries. See our previous prize recipients for sample entries and photos of collection displays.

National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest

Winners of the Nadell Prize will be eligible for entry into the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest. First prize in the national contest is awarded $2,500 and a trip to the awards ceremony at the Library of Congress.

About Andrew T. Nadell

The Nadell Prize for Book Collecting is named for Dr. Andrew T. Nadell M'74, who began collecting rare books when he was a student at Duke. He now collects early books and manuscripts on the learned professions and skilled trades, an expansion of his earlier interest in medicine as a profession. With his wife, Eleanore Edwards Ramsey, he also collects the nineteenth-century Gothic Revival. He credits his interest in rare books to two of his mentors at Duke, Professor of Medical Bibliography G.S.T. Cavanagh and Professor of the History of Medicine Gert H. Brieger. A special thanks to Dr. Nadell for his generous support of the Prize.