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The Hill-Shumate Book Collecting Prize

Content section: 

Application deadline is the first Monday in February by 5 p.m.

Eligibility for Awards

Prizes are open to undergraduates currently enrolled at UC Berkeley. Kenneth E. Hill and Albert Shumate established the prizes to encourage Berkeley students to collect books, to build their own libraries, to appreciate the special qualities of the printed word, and to read for pleasure and education.

The Hill-Shumate Prize awards $1500 to the winning entry and $1000 for second place. In addition, all entrants will receive one-year gift memberships in the Friends of The Bancroft Library.

To be considered for the Hill-Shumate Prizes, collections must include at least 50 items. Collections may:

  • Cover specific authors or subjects, contemporary or historical
  • Stress bibliographical features (edition, illustrations, binding, etc.)
  • Include paperbacks and ephemeral material, as long as they significantly reflect the purposes of the collection 

Modern textbooks should not be submitted.

Judges will give special consideration to how well the collection reflects the student's stated goals and interests. Age, rarity, or monetary value of material in the collections submitted is less important than the thought, creativity, and persistence demonstrated in defining a collection and bringing it into being.

How to Apply

The statement of purpose section of your Hill-Shumate Book Collecting Prize application should include:

  • A brief essay of up to 1000 words describing:  

The nature and character of the collection

How and why it was assembled 

When it was begun 

Its significance

The future direction(s) the collection may take.

  • An informal list of the items in the collection, citing:



Place and date of publication

Type of binding


Optional annotations on the importance of individual pieces.

After reviewing the essays and lists, the judges may ask finalists to bring selected items from their collections to The Bancroft Library for final judging.

For further instructions regarding how to apply for The Hill-Shumate Book Collecting Prize, and to download the application form referenced above, please see the Fellowships and Awards page.


Past Hill-Shumate Book Collecting Prize Winners