The David Murray Book Collecting Prize, 2017

Examples of items in the Murray Collection.

Examples of items in the Murray Collection.

Follow in the footsteps of bibliophile David Murray by telling us about your collection! Do you collect novels? Comic books? Artists’ books? Biographies? Or posters or theatre programmes? Photograph albums, maybe? Whatever it is, if you collect the written word in some form we’d love to know about it!

The David Murray Book Collecting Prize is made available through a generous donation and is open to all currently registered students of the University of Glasgow. For your chance to win £500, a chance to choose an item to purchase for the University’s Archives and Special Collections, and one year’s membership of the Friends of the University of Glasgow Library, please read on to find out more about the prize and how to enter. The closing date for entries is Friday 28th April!

David Murray. Ref: PH PR 2471


The prize is named for the Glasgow lawyer, antiquary, and bibliographer who lived between 1842 and 1928 and presented his library, some 15,000 books and 200 manuscripts, to the University in 1927.

Murray had a longstanding relationship with the University of Glasgow, graduating with an MA in 1863 and awarded an LLD in 1888, while holding different positions in the University Court from 1896 until his death. In 1871 he was a founder of the law firm Maclay, Murray and Spens, which is active to this day!

David Murray had a sweeping range of interests and his collection reflects that containing five-hundred-plus year old incunabula to ephemeral nineteenth century chapbooks. Particularly special is the number of Glasgow printed items that Murray collected, giving a wonderful representation of printing in Glasgow in the 17th and 18th century, as well as reflecting what was happening in Glasgow at the time – in the University and in the city, through maps, directories, periodicals and newspapers and ephemeral street literature.

We’d love to hear more about how University of Glasgow students value and collect the written word. No matter the monetary value of the collected items or the subject matter, we want to know what matters to you and why.

Interested? Read the below to find out what you need to do to enter!



The prize is in three parts:

£500 for the winning entry

£500 for the purchase of an item for the Library’s Archives and Special Collections

One year’s membership of the Friends of the University of Glasgow Library


Entries should be submitted to or to Special Collections, University of Glasgow Library, Hillhead Street, Glasgow, G12 8QE


The closing date for entries is Friday 28th April 2017.


Entries should include:

  • Title of the collection
  • An annotated list of all the items in the collection
  • A short essay (no more than 2500 words) explaining your interest in the collection
  • Images of your collection – this is optional
  • Personal Details – name, address, student number, email address and telephone number.


Conditions of Entry

The collection must have been owned and put together entirely by the entrant. It may consist of printed books, printed ephemera, manuscripts, photographic material, or a combination of these, with a common theme.

The prize will be awarded at the judges’ discretion and will be based on the interest, originality and creativity of the collection and the persistence of the collector. Age, size and monetary value of the collection will not be relevant criteria. The judges’ decision will be final.

By submitting entry materials, the entrant agrees that the University Library may reproduce any party of the entry materials in connection with the prize or future prizes in any form it considers appropriate.

David Murray's bookplate.

David Murray’s bookplate.

Categories: Archives and Special Collections, Library

Tags: ,

2 replies


  1. An Excursus into Bookbinding: MacLehose of Glasgow – Kelsey Jackson Williams

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: