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Who may compete?

The Gordon Duff Prize is an annual competition and is open to all Cambridge University members, students, staff and Alumni.

On what subject:

Any one of the following subjects: bibliography, palaeography, typography, book-binding, book-illustration, or the science of books and manuscripts and the arts relating thereto.

Proposal of subjects:

Please send a title and brief abstract of proposed subjects to Dr Jill Whitelock, Head of Special Collections, Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, CB3 9DR (jw330@cam.ac.uk) so as to reach her not later than last day of the Michaelmas Term (email preferred). Candidates will be informed whether their proposed subjects are approved by the Library Syndicate after its meeting in February.

Submission of essays:

If the proposed subject is approved, essays, which must not exceed 10,000 words in length, must be sent in hard-copy and electronic form to Dr Jill Whitelock, Head of Special Collections, Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, CB3 9DR (jw330@cam.ac.uk) by the last day of Lent Term.

Award: 

The Prize shall be awarded in the Easter Term. If essays of sufficient merit are submitted, it shall be open to the Adjudicators to award an additional Prize.

A copy of the winning essay will be deposited in the Manuscript Department of the University Library.

Image: Alfonsi regis dicta et facta (Pisa: Gregorius de Gente, 1485), the Library’s only Pisan incunable, which Edward Gordon Duff signed and presented to the Library in 1910.

Key Dates

  • Candidates must submit a title and brief abstract of proposed subjects to Dr Jill Whitelock, Head of Special Collections, Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, CB3 9DR (jw330@cam.ac.uk) so as to reach her not later than last day of the Michaelmas Term, 19 December 2016 (email preferred).
  • Candidates will be informed whether their proposed subjects are approved by the Library Syndicate after its meeting on 16 February 2017. 
  • If the proposed subject is approved, essays must be sent in hard-copy and electronic form to Dr Jill Whitelock, Head of Special Collections, Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, CB3 9DR (jw330@cam.ac.uk) by 25 March 2017.