On Aprril 7, Heather E. Cole, Librarian of Hilles and Lamont Libraries, announced that senior David Timothy Horn’s, ’00, book collection and essay, “French Colonialism in the 1920s and 1930s,” won the $500 first prize in the 1999-2000 Visiting Committee Book Prize for Undergraduate Book Collecting. The award is sponsored by the Members of the Committee of the Board of Overseers of Harvard College to Visit the University Library, and was established in the spring of 1977 to recognize and encourage book collecting by undergraduates at Harvard.

Mr. Horn explains that he became interested in the history of French colonialism and anti-colonialism as a freshman at Harvard: “The stacks of Widener (not to mention Lamont, Tozzer, the Fine Arts Library, and the Loeb Design Library) provided a spectacular wealth of materials, both primary and secondary. However, I was soon accumulating library fines to such an extent that I decided to purchase copies of the books I used quite often.” Mr. Horn’s collection now exceeds 30 titles, the bulk of which was purchased in Paris, France, during two trips there in 1999. Mr. Horn also discovered a limited selection of titles at the open-air markets in Aix.

The second prize of $400 was awarded to Social Studies major David Mihalyfy, ’02, for his collection and essay, “Autographed Books.” Mr. Mihalyfy writes that he began collecting autographed books as momentos of trips he’d taken to hear authors speak. In middle school, he begged his parents to take him to Michigan State University to hear Margaret Atwood read from her novel, The Robber Bride. This resulted in the first autographed book of his collection, which now numbers more than 60 items.

The third prize, $300, was awarded to Shawn P. Saler, ’03, for his collection and essay, “All I Needed to Know, I Learned from Comic Books: My Collection of Graphic Novels.” Mr. Saler writes that he first became interested in the genre when he received his first Spider-Man comic book. “Graphic novels are, in the simplest sense, the book form of comic books (the term ‘comic book’ is misleading, as it generally refers to a shorter, magazine-style periodical). My tastes have matured, my artistic and literary sensibilities developed, and I’ve found that the graphic novel is better able to accommodate these preferences.” Mr. Saler’s collection includes titles from Homage Comics, Marvel Comics, Image Comics, and DC Comics.

Ms. Cole, who has coordinated the competition since its inception, is responsible for selecting the award judges from among Harvard College Library staff with noted bibliographic expertise. This year’s jury was comprised of Michael Fitzgerald, Electronic Texts Librarian in Widener Library, Anne Tanguay, Head of Access Services in Hilles Library, and Ms. Cole herself. Lynn Sayers, Administrative and Events Coordinator for Lamont Library, curated an exhibition in Lamont Library to encourage entries in this year’s contest.

The winning essays will be forwarded to the Harvard University Library Archives to be added to its permanent collection.

Copyright © 2000 The President and Fellows of Harvard College