Scope and Content
Title: Campbell Student Book Collection Competition Committee Administrative Files
Date (inclusive): 1949-1983
Record Series number: 382
Creator: University of California, Los Angeles.
34 boxes (17 linear ft.)
University of California, Los Angeles. Library.
Department of Special Collections. University Archives.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department
of Special Collections, University Archives Reference Desk for paging information.
Scope and Content
Since 1949, an annual student book collection contest has been held at the University of California, Los Angeles, to stimulate
student interest in reading and book collecting. From its inception, the contest has been sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Robert
B. Campbell. Mr. Campbell is the founder of Campbell's Book Store which has served the UCLA community since 1924 when it originally
opened its doors across the street from the Vermont campus. In 1929, the shop moved to Westwood Village. The contest has received
additional support from the Friends of the UCLA Library, organized in 1951 for the purpose of enriching the resources of the
Library. Beginning in 1966, organizations such as the Graduate Students' Association, the UCLA Library Staff Association,
the ASUCLA Students' Bookstore and the Book Publishers' Association of Southern California have sponsored "special" prizes
to be awarded at the discretion of the judges. Instrumental in establishing guidelines and procedures for the competition
were Andrew H. Horn, Robert L. Quinsey, Lawrence Clark Powell and Robert Vosper.
For fifteen years, the contest gave undergraduates the opportunity to submit book collections which they had assembled and
organized; in 1964, all students regularly enrolled at UCLA were invited to participate; and in 1966, separate prizes were
offered to undergraduate and graduate students. At that time, two series of first, second and third prizes were awarded. The
undergraduate prizes were donated by Mr. Campbell and were offered in the form of books to be selected by the winners through
Campbell's Book Store. Graduate prizes consisted of monetary awards donated by the Friends of the UCLA Library. Special cash
prizes were also offered. As of 1975, three undergraduate and three graduate prizes of $100 each are awarded. In addition,
special prizes of $25 donated by the Graduate Students' Association and the UCLA Library Staff Association are awarded. All
entrants in the competition receive a prize of selected UCLA Library publications, and all winners receive one-year honorary
memberships in the Friends of the UCLA Library. Until 1970, undergraduate winners were eligible for nomination for the $1,000
Amy Loveman National Award for a personal library.
Each new academic year, steps are taken by the assistant university librarian to appoint a preliminary contest committee and
a committee chairperson. The committee is responsible for determining the dates of the activities, for publicizing the contest,
for distributing brochures and posters, for selecting judges, for screening the student collections, for planning the awards'
luncheon and program and for maintaining correspondence with the entrants. The publicity campaign begins in early February;
the contest is generally scheduled for mid-April; normally a report is submitted by the chairperson in May.
Students who were previous first prize winners may not reenter the contest; however, second and third prize winners may reenter
provided that different collections are submitted. Only one collection may be submitted by each entrant. The entrant must
own and have collected the books submitted. With each collection, the contestant is to submit a briefly annotated bibliography
and a short statement how and why the collection was assembled. The bibliography is retained by the committee. The collection
is judged according to substance, to excellence of design and production and to the extent to which its books represent a
well-defined field of interest in which the owner has chosen to collect. A limit of fifty titles is placed on each collection
which may include paperbound books, manuscripts, graphic or ephemeral material. Once the preliminary judging is realized,
finalists bring their collections to the University Research Library for final judging. Winners are asked to allow the display
of their collections in the Library.
These guidelines are set forth annually in the brochure that publicizes the competition. Until 1970, a short bibliography
on "book collecting and its pleasures" was included in the brochure. Currently it is thought that such a list might discourage
students from participating in the contest. In addition, 1970 marked the first year in which a procedural checklist was designed
to facilitate the organization and administration of the event. The checklist has served as a guideline to the new chairperson
and has been regularly revised. A second method for recommending change is the annual report which summarizes the success
of the activities and provides the chairperson the opportunity of enumerating suggestions.
The official name of the competition has undergone minor changes throughout its existence. Following is a list of the name
changes and the date in which the change occurred:
Robert B. Campbell Student Book Collection Contest (1949),
Robert B. Campbell Undergraduate Book Collection Contest (1961),
Robert B. Campbell Student Book Collection Competitions (1966),
Robert B. Campbell Student Book Collection Competition (1975).
The Collection has been arranged chronologically, year by year. Somewhat standard subdivisions which reflect the nature of
the contest's activities serve to divide the material preserved each year by the committee chairperson. Following is a list
of the subdivisions and short explanatory statements about the material generally found in each:
Correspondence and working papers - arranged chronologically from back to front, this file includes letters, memos, reports,
rough drafts made by the judges concerning the merit of each contestant's collection, procedural checklists and material relating
to the preliminary arrangements of the contest;
Publicity - consists of memoranda to department heads and branch librarians, press releases, magazine and newspaper clippings,
and correspondence with other institutions interested in sponsoring similar contests;
Brochures and Posters - include the unfinished (blue-print) and completed (printed) stages of the brochures and posters used
to publicize the contest. In some cases the previous year's design is retained;
Non-finalists - includes the bibliographies which were not acceptable to the preliminary committee;
Finalists - consists of those bibliographies selected by the preliminary committee as worthy of being submitted to the judges;
Prize winners - includes the bibliographies of the students who won prizes in the competition;
Photographs - taken after the awards were presented, the pictures are of donors Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Campbell, the judges,
the prize winners and the display of books.
Files which do not appear yearly are:
Establishment of the Campbell Contest - 1948-49, Other Book Collecting Contests (1969), Amy Loveman Award Information (1970),
Campbell Mailing List (1971), Awards Certificate (from 1970), Tapes and transcripts (from 1970).
For ready reference, an ephemera file is maintained. Included in it are updated lists of the participants in the Campbell
contest (judges, committee members and prize winners), sample brochures and posters and procedural checklists.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the repository's online public access catalog.
Campbell, Robert, 1898-1985.