Do your bookshelves at home have a theme? Whether it’s about scholarly monographs or sci-fi novels, collections of poetry or collections of comics, any book collection is welcome in the Leatherby Libraries’ annual Book Collection Contest.

The John and Margaret Class Student Book Collection Contest was established by Margaret Class in memory of her husband, John, to inspire students to create their own personal libraries and book collections and to take joy in the printed book. The contest is open to all currently enrolled full-time Chapman University undergraduate and graduate students and offers cash prizes to the first, second, and third place winners.

Each collection will be judged on how it represents a coherent pattern of inquiry or a well-defined field of interest. Judges are looking for quantity – not quality. Your collection does not have to be tied to your major, and the books don’t have to be old or rare. Additionally, consideration will be given to how well the collection reflects the student’s stated goals and interests in the student’s essay.

Three cash awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be presented in May in the Center for American War Letters Archives in the Leatherby Libraries. The top winner of our contest can enter the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest.Here are a few photos of last year’s winners:

Past collections have included:

  • Books related to the women’s suffrage movement
  • Graphic Novels as an Exploration of Gender
  • Contemporary Art in Catalogues, Collections & Criticism
  • Inspiring Tolerance and Understanding: A Collection of Asian Inspired Literature
  • Cultural Exploration through Animated Filmmaking

The deadline to apply is Monday, April 17, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. Application forms and complete contest information can be found at the Book Collection Contest page on Chapman University’s Digital Commons. Questions? Contact Stephanie George Associate Librarian, at (714) 532-7719 or