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Cambridge University Library


With effect from 1 October 1985, the prize was awarded annually, although some years there were no candidates. Regulations were altered in 1989 to permit one or two prizes at discretion in one year. It is also possible to co-write an essay, and to win the prize jointly.

You will find below a list of some of the previous winners. Those whose email addresses are offered are happy to be contacted if you have some questions about the prize. Copies of the essays can be consulted in the Manuscripts Room at Cambridge University Library. They should be ordered with the classmark “Gordon Duff” followed by their running number.



33 Peter Kornicki

Why typography was abandoned in 17th-century Japan

34 Paul Lennon

'Caveat emptor: the curious case of Scotland’s Astorga Collection’




32 Harry Spillane,

Two bibles, one printer: the Bishops’ and Geneva Bibles in Elizabethan and early Jacobean England



31 Micha Lazarus,

Roger Ascham’s working library



30 James Burke,

The custodial history of the ‘Sadler Partbooks’ (GB-Ob MSS Mus. e. 1–5)



29 Jonathan Nathan, 

Seventeenth-century benefactors’ books at Oxford and Cambridge colleges



28 Ryan Pepin, 

The volgarizzamento of the Imola commentary to the Commedia: the identification of a hand in MS Oxford, Bodleian Canon. Ital. 107, present in MS Paris, BNF Italien 78, with notes towards a Venetian milieu



27 Michael J. Sullivan, 

'The chips of the workshop': punctuation and revision in Tennyson’s early notebooks



25 Madeline McMahon, 

Dating manuscripts in sixteenth-century England: the efforts of Matthew Parker and his circle

26 Max Twivy, 

William Gladstone's book collection



23 Jamie Trace, 

An Analysis of Richard Etherington and Giovanni Botero’s Della Ragion di stato in MS Sloane 1065.

24 Rebecca Watts, 

‘Crazier and more of it than we think': Contextualising the production of Louis MacNeice’s unfinished autobiography



22 William Kynan-Wilson,

Ottoman costumes albums in Cambridge



21 Charlotte Anne Panofre

Printing Protestant texts under Mary Tudor: the role of Antwerp. 



20 Richard Serjeantson,, conjointly with Thomas Wooldford 

Scribal publication of a printed book: the printing, suppression, and manuscript completion of Francis Bacon’s Certaine considerations touching…the Church of England (1604).



19 Hope Johnston, 

Henry Pepwell, minor printer. 



17 Catherine Eagleton,

John Whetamstede, Abbot of St Albans, on discovery of the liberal arts and their tools. Or, why were astronomical instruments in late-medieval libraries?


18 Yu-Chiao Wang

The image of St George and the Dragon: Promoting Books and Book producers in the pre-reformation England



16 John Craig,

Forming a Protestant consciousness? Erasmus’ paraphrases in English Parishes, 1547-1666



14 Cathy Shrank,

“These Fewe scribbled words”: representing scribal intimacy in early modern print 


15  Beth Lynch

Mr Smirke and “Mr Filth”; a Bibliographic case study in Non conformist Print Culture



13 Nicolas Bell

The scribe as an editor in the musical codex of Las Huelgas, Burgos



12 Anne C. Henry (Toner) 

“to fill up chasms”, Reading ellipsis in the eighteenth-century novel



10 Susanna Avery-Quash

‘Cheapness of production and the valuable imitative faculty…the marvels of the present age’: Sir Henry Cole’s Interest in and Influence on Book binding design and production in the mid-nineteenth century.


11 Laura Sole

The Anglo-Saxon Office for St Cuthbert.



4 Mary Morrissey

A Layman’s reading of Religious controversies in the 1630s: A study of CUL MS Dd XIV. 25 9item 9, now item 3) 



8 J.J. Greenland

The iconography of the Hunterian Psalter, Glasgow University Library, MS. Hunter 229



7 A.R. Atkins 

A bibliographical analysis of the Manuscript of D.H. Lawrence’s “The White peacock”



6 K.A. Lowe

Latin versions of Old English Wills



9 Kathryn Lowe

The scribe of MS.CUL. Ff.2.33: How good a copist?



Timothy Crist

Government control of the press after the expiration of the Printing Act in 1679.



3 John Robert Harvey

The etchings by H.K. Browne (“phiz”) for Dickens’ s novels.



2 S.A. Skilliter

New light on Barton’s services for the levant company, a study of Additional Manuscript 461 preserved in Cambridge University Library, submitted as an essay for the Gordon Duff Prize, 1958. 



1 R. Vaughan

The handwriting of Matthew Paris (reprinted in Transcription of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society Vol. 1 part 5 pp. 376-394, P850.b.55.1).