Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab American Book Prices Current Exhibition Catalogue Awards

About the Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab American Book Prices Current Exhibition Catalogue Awards These awards are given annually in recognition of excellence in the publication of catalogues and brochures that accompany exhibitions of library and archival materials, as well as for electronic exhibitions of such materials. They are administered by the Exhibition Awards Committee of the ALA/ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS), whose operating expenses are covered by a generous endowment from Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab, editors of American Book Prices Current.

Administered by:

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Division Three (inexpensive)

2019 Winner(s)

Penn State Libraries Eberly Family Special Collections

for “Field Guide to Fairy-Tale Wolves,” curated by Clara Drummond.

“The committee was delighted by this entry’s innovative take on the exhibition catalogue format with its cheeky ‘field guide’ structure, which gives new meaning to the concept of the catalogue as a companion to a physical exhibition, and adds an interactive dimension to the exhibition experience,” Chen said.


2019 Honorable Mention(s)

Providence Public Library Special Collections
for “HairBrained,” curated by Sussy Santana, Angela DiVeglia, Kate Wells, and Jordan Goffin.

“This entry creatively and productively expands the boundaries of the exhibition catalogue by presenting original poetry that interprets and speaks in dialogue with the items in the exhibition,” noted Chen. “The catalogue’s visual design, moreover, makes the most of each compact page with vibrant, readable colors.”


2019 Honor(s)
Washington University Libraries Julian Edison Department of Special Collections
for “The Monster’s Library; An Exhibition Curated by Students Enrolled in Frankenstein, Origins & Afterlives,” curated by Amy Pawl, Erin Sutherland, Corinna Treitel, and students enrolled in Frankenstein: Origins & Afterlives.

“The committee felt that this entry deserves a citation for its clever and self-referential library-oriented thematic structure as a framework to explore Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as a ‘book made of books,’” stated Chen. “In particular, the committee wishes to recognize the extensively collaborative work underpinning this joint project, which emerged from a student-curated exhibition as part of a university course.”


Division One (expensive)

2019 Winner(s)

University of Alberta’s Bruce Peel Special Collections Library

for “Experiment: Printing the Canadian Imagination: Highlights from the David McKnight Canadian Little Magazine and Small Press Collection,” curated by David McKnight.

“This catalogue makes a significant contribution to scholarship on Canadian little magazines and small press and micro-press imprints,” said Anna Chen, chair of the RBMS Exhibition Awards Committee and head librarian at the University of California-Los Angeles Clark Library. “While it focuses on one press, the Coach House Press, the catalogue also highlights many smaller and lesser-known presses and magazines, offering audiences a refreshing deep dive into the production of Canadian Modernist poetry and avant-garde literature. The committee also praised the catalogue’s striking visual design choices, which evoke the designs of the exhibition items themselves.”


2019 Honorable Mention(s)

The Getty Research Institute
for “Artists and Their Books/Books and Their Artists,” curated by Marcia Reed and Glenn Phillips.

“The committee wishes to recognize this substantial catalogue’s luxurious design, from subtly textured pages to sharp photography and generous layout, culminating in a beautiful showcase for artists’ books,” noted Chen.


Division Five (electronic exhibition)

2019 Winner(s)

University of Victoria Libraries

for “Volatile Attractions: Saul Holiff, Johnny Cash, and Managing a Music Legend,” curated by Samantha MacFarlane.

“This digital exhibition incorporated an impressive range of photographs, audio recordings, and video clips to take advantage of the multimedia online platform,” stated Chen. “The committee also praised its multiple modes of navigation, and especially appreciated that the items were fully digitized, providing research value beyond the life of the exhibition.”


2019 Honorable Mention(s)

University of Delaware Library
for “Things Aren’t What They Seem: Forgeries and Deceptions from the UD Collections,” curated by Alexander Johnston.

“The committee wishes to recognize this exhibition for its extensively contextualized and substantial content covering wide-ranging historical period,” said Chen. “It will surely serve as a rich resource for interdisciplinary teaching and research.”


Division Four (brochures)

2019 Co-Winner(s)

Austin History Center, Austin Public Library

for “Taking it to the Streets: A Visual History of Protest and Demonstration in Austin, curated by Molly Hults and Amanda Jasso.

“The committee praised this brochure’s accessibility to a wide audience,” Chen said. “The well-chosen photographs radiate energy, providing an invigorating way in to the exhibition itself. Moreover, the brochure included call numbers in the photographs themselves, providing clear references for audiences wishing to research the collections further.”


University of Pennsylvania Libraries Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts

for “Ok, I’ll Do It Myself,” curated by Kislak Center Staff.

“The committee was taken with the innovative format of this exhibition guide, which includes 8 souvenir postcards, accordion-folded and perforated to encourage interactivity and multiple kinds of circulation and use,” noted Chen.


Division Two (moderately expensive)

2019 Winner(s)

University of Miami Lowe Art Museum and University of Miami Libraries

for “Antillean Visions; or, Maps and the Making of the Caribbean: An Exhibition of Cartographic Art at the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami,” curated by William Pestle and Ashli White, with additional contributions by Casey Elinor Lue, Timothy Norris, Diana Ter-Ghazaryan, and Nathan Timpano.

“The committee was impressed by this catalogue’s sensitive treatment of conquest and contested dominance, achieved through an interdisciplinary diversity of voices and perspectives,” stated Chen. “It stood out, moreover, for its accessible and thought-provoking presentations of maps in both informational and aesthetic ways, as well as its use of multiple languages to underscore its arguments about the international impacts of cartography.”