Many thanks to everyone who entered the 2022 competition. It was great fun reading your entries and each student this year had a passionate story to tell about their personal collecting journey. From a highly competitive field, we invited four students to make a virtual presentation to the judges to tell us more.
Each one had winning merit, but – after much deliberation – the judges agreed once more to award the prize jointly. Our two winning entries are very different in ethos and content, and yet both share a vision of building a cultural legacy for the future that the judges found impossible to resist.
Shona Holmes for Scottish Country Dance Books: A collection.
Shona is a student of linguistics with a passion for country dancing. She is in the process of amassing a personal archive of pocket books, dance manuals, ceilidh dancing books and ephemera related to Scottish country dancing. The judges were impressed by the focus and organisation of her collection, which even extended to index cards for accessing information about individual dances (were the librarians in the judging panel influenced by this? Possibly!).
The genesis of her collection lies in a legacy of country dancing, inherited from her grandmother who danced in Perthshire as a child when evacuated to Strathallan Castle. The collection has grown considerably since then, much of it passed on from other members of the dancing community. The collection acts both as a legacy to the past and an inspiration for the future, as Shona uses the material to help her write dance programmes, in teaching dancing, and even in devising her own dances. As Shona herself says of her collection:
Sydney Paige Guerrero for Philippine Mythology Komiks
Sydney is completing a masters in fantasy literature. Her nascent collection of Filipino comics (better known as ‘komiks’) is driven by the desire to fill a gap in archiving this genre, which might otherwise be lost forever. The judges found this vision to preserve a part of her own cultural heritage compelling, and were eager to support a collection in its early stages.
Sydney’s current collection consists of a small number of volumes from some of the most successful series such as “Trese” and “Ella Arcangel”. As Sydney explained in her submission, many komiks are ephemeral in nature and many are self published, or available only online to print out or produced in small numbers to be sold at specialist conventions, making the collecting itself a considerable challenge:
Many congratulations to Shona and Sydney! The Friends of Glasgow University Library have, on this occasion, generously augmented the prize fund. Our winners will therefore both receive £350 to spend on their own collections, as well as a year’s membership of the Friends of Glasgow University Library. The judges loved your ambitions to preserve two different cultures via your collecting. We hope you enjoy spending the prize money and that it helps realise some of your collecting dreams and wishes.
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. You can read more about it and find out about the winners of previous competitions from the prize website.