Cornell University Library Announces Book Collection Contest Winners


FOR RELEASE: 6 p.m., Monday, April 30
Contact: Lance Heidig
Phone: (607) 255-2954

Cornell University Library Announces Book Collection Contest Winners

Cornell University Library, together with the Library Advisory Council, has selected the winners of its annual student book collection contest. The winners are:

Undergraduate Category
First Prize:

  • John McReynolds
    Title of Collection: Travels in Poetry
    Major: English
    College: Arts and Sciences
    Class Year: 2007

Honorable Mentions:

  • Megan Berry
    Title of Collection: World Awareness: The Horror and The Beauty
    Major: Mechanical Engineering
    College: Engineering
    Class Year: 2007

  • Scott McKinney
    Title of Collection: The Rational Life
    Major: Mathematics
    College: Arts and Sciences
    Class Year: 2008

  • Stephen Pietruszka
    Title of Collection: The Pursuit of Wisdom
    Major: Crop and Soil Sciences
    College: Agriculture and Life Sciences
    Class Year: 2010


Graduate Category
First Prize – Tie

  • Diana Looser
    Title of Collection: Dramatic Literature of Oceania, c.1970 - Present 
    Status: Graduate
    Major: Theatre Studies
    College: Graduate School
    Class Year: 2009

  • Brent Morris
    Title of Collection: The Abolitionist Mind
    Status: Graduate
    Major: History
    College: Arts and Sciences
    Class Year: 2009

Second Prize:

  • Jonathan Senchyne
    Title of Collection: Printing In Paradise, 1906-2006: A Century of Fine Letterpress Printing in Western New York
    Status: Graduate
    Major: Ph.D. English
    College: Graduate School
    Class Year: 2010

Third Prize:

  • Lauren Sawchyn
    Title of Collection: From Scalpel to Sketch: The Library of a Medical Illustrator
    Status: Graduate
    Major: Veterinary Student
    College: College of Veterinary Medicine
    Class Year: 2009

Undergraduate and graduate students competed in separate competitions. Finalists from each group received cash awards. First-prize winners received $1,000 and prizes of $500 and $250 were awarded to second and third place winners, respectively. Honorable mention finalists received $100. Judges for this year’s contest were Elisabeth Boas; member of the Library Advisory Council, David Corson, history of science collections curator; and Kizer Walker, collection development coordinator in Olin Library.      

First-prize winners automatically qualify to compete in the national Collegiate Book-Collecting Championship, established and sponsored by Fine Books & Collections Magazine. In 2006, Cornell graduate students Daniel McKee and David Rando tied for first-prize locally and went on to win first and third prizes in the national competition.

Introduced in 2003, the Cornell University Library and Library Advisory Council Book Collection Contest is an annual competition for Cornell students interested in books and book collecting. It continues the tradition of the Arthur H. Dean and Mary Marden Dean Book Collection Contest, which was held in Uris Library from 1966 to 1987. The competition provides both undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to display their aptitude in assembling and organizing book collections and to articulate their interest in reading and collecting books.

For more information about Cornell’s Book Collection Contest, visit <>.