We are delighted to announce that the winner of the inaugural David Murray Book Collecting Prize is Edward Cole.
Edward (who has just completed a PhD focusing on Glasgow Museum’s collections of birds’ eggs) submitted an entry describing his collection of books and other material relating to Scottish waterfalls – a subject which has enthralled him since childhood. Since there are few publications that directly relate to this subject area, Edward has built up a diverse collection that is focused in topic but wide ranging in format – encompassing regional and walking guides, maps, postcards and even literature and poetry (check out Gerald Manley Hopkin’s poem Inversnaid for an example). The judges were impressed by Edward’s tenacity and enthusiastic passion in building his collection, and also by his very detailed listing of desiderata. We hope that his prize of £500 goes towards filling in some of these gaps. A second element of the prize is to help Archives and Special Collections enhance the Library’s own Murray collection by selecting a book for purchase. Edward is currently browsing through various booksellers’ catalogues and we will update you on our new acquisition once the choice is made.
We would like to thank all our competition entrants for the time and effort they made in sending us descriptions of their varied collections. The quality of submissions was very high and we really enjoyed reading about all of them. We would like to thank in particular those who were shortlisted to come and make mini presentations about their collections – it was great fun hearing about the books and even meeting some of them! The final decision of selecting an outright winner was incredibly difficult. Since this was the first year we have run the prize, we therefore took the exceptional decision to award two runner up prizes of £100. So congratulations are also due to Stephen Hall for his entry on the John Smith Collection and Becca Gauldie (not pictured above) for A Cabinet of Curiosities.
The David Murray Book Collecting Prize was made available through a generous donation and was open to all currently registered students of the University of Glasgow. The Friends of Glasgow University Library additionally contributed £250 towards the £500 fund for the Library acquisition. If your submission was unsuccessful or you did not have the opportunity to submit an entry this time round – despair not. We will be running the prize again next year and resubmissions are welcome, so start thinking about your collection now and watch this space for further details. We look forward to hearing from you!