2015 RBMS Leab Exhibition award winners

For Immediate Release
Fri, 05/08/2015


Chase Ollis

Program Coordinator



CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) has selected five winners and two honorable mentions for the 2015 Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab “American Book Prices Current” Exhibition Awards.

The awards, funded by an endowment established by Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab, editors of “American Book Prices Current,” recognize outstanding printed exhibition catalogs and guides, and electronic exhibitions, produced by North America and Caribbean institutions. Certificates will be presented to each winner on Sunday, June 28, 2015, at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

The Division One (expensive) winner is the Grolier Club for “Pop-Ups from Prague: A Centennial Celebration of the Graphic Artistry of Vojtěch Kubašta (1914-1992) from the Collection of Ellen G. K. Rubin.”

“The committee appreciated the unusual subject matter of this catalog, how it described the way Kubašta’s art changed over time, and the influence of politics and printing technology affected his career,” said David Faulds, chair of the RBMS Exhibition Awards committee and curator of rare books and literary manuscripts at the University of California-Berkeley. “As befitting such a visual subject, the catalog influenced beautiful color reproductions with the photography revealing the three-dimensional nature of pop-up books.”

The Division Two (moderately expensive) winner is the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto for “Vesalius at 500: An Exhibition Commemorating the Five-Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of Andreas Vesalius.”

“The committee found this catalog to be well written and designed, and predicted that it will be used as a scholarly resource on Vesalius for years to come,” noted Faulds. “The unusual tall and narrow format and well reproduced images, including some on useful foldouts, helped showcase the famous illustrations from Vesalius’ most famous work, the landmark work on human anatomy “De humani corporis fabrica’.”

The Division Three (inexpensive) winner is the Saint Louis University Libraries, Archives and Records Management for “Saint Louis University Libraries Special Collections Presents (Please Don’t) Steal this Poster! An Exhibition of Letterpress Prints by The Firecracker Press for the Billiken Club.”

“This well designed catalog features an eye-catching letterpress printed cover which derives from the featured posters’ aesthetic,” remarked Faulds. “The design of the catalog echoes the DIY, underground nature of the posters, and the glossary incorporates a clever use of icons.”

The Division Four (brochures) winner is the Bruce Peel Special Collections Library at the University of Alberta for “‘Wow, open this!’: Paper Engineering in Books & Artists’ Books.”

“The brochure stood out as a true keepsake from the exhibition with an appeal for all ages,” stated Faulds. “It featured an innovative pop-up feature that tied it to the exhibition theme and was also educational.”

The Division Four (brochures) honorable mention is the Getty Research Institute for “A Kid’s Guide to Connecting Seas: A Visual History of Discoveries and Encounters.”

“The committee thought that this brochure deserved an honorable mention, as it was a creative and fun way to engage a younger audience than might normally visit such an exhibition,” noted Faulds.

The Division Five (electronic exhibition) winner is the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library at Harvard University for “Music, First and Last: Scores from the Sir Georg Solti Archive.”

“This online exhibition had a clean, uncluttered design, and it was easy to navigate,” stated Faulds. “The ability to access complete scores is good for scholarship, while the ability to easily access audio and video enhances the experience for the visitor.”

The Division Five (electronic exhibition) honorable mention is the University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections for “Gebhardt Mexican Foods Company Collection: A Virtual Exhibit.”

“This online exhibition merited an honorable mention for the quality of both its content and design,” remarked Faulds. “Based on the corporate archive of a local company, the colorful exhibition included fun audio and video clips and bilingual content brought together with a distinctive look and feel.”

For more information regarding the ACRL RBMS Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab “American Book Prices Current” Exhibition Awards, including a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship.