2016 RBMS Leab Exhibition Award winners

For Immediate Release
Thu, 03/10/2016


Chase Ollis
Program Coordinator

CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) has selected four winners and one honorable mention for the 2016 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 at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.

The Division One (expensive) winner is the Grolier Club for “One Hundred Books Famous in Children’s Literature.”

“This landmark catalog represents a significant scholarly contribution to book history while also being accessible to a broad audience,” said David Faulds, chair of the RBMS Exhibition Awards Committee and curator of rare books and literary manuscripts at the University of California, Berkeley. “The committee commented that the volume was ‘immediately canonical’ while noting the impressive amount of work that went into the detailed bibliographical descriptions for each entry. In addition to the engaging subject matter, the catalog was well designed with the entries clearly laid out with additional flourishes to evoke the subject matter.”

The Division One (expensive) honorable mention is the Herbert and Eileen Bernard Museum of Judaica for “The Writing on the Wall: A Catalogue of Judaica Broadsides from the Valmadonna Trust Library.”

“The committee felt this catalog deserved an honorable mention as it represents a significant addition to scholarship,” noted Faulds. “The book highlights a largely unknown and unexplored subject area while also providing access to a unique, privately held collection. The entries are thoroughly described and illustrated with high quality reproductions as part of an overall handsome design.”

The Division Two (moderately expensive) winner is the University of Pennsylvania Libraries Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts for “The Images Affair: Dreyfus in the Media, 1894-1906.”

“This catalog takes an innovative approach to an historical event by examining it through the visual culture that surrounded it,” remarked Faulds. “The committee acknowledged the very high quality of scholarly production including apparatus such as a chronology and a selected bibliography. The catalog has high production values with the detailed bibliographic entries being divided into compelling categories. It also displays subtle but beautiful and unifying graphic design elements. Finally, the committee felt it significant that such an excellent catalog was the result of a student-curated exhibition.”

The Division Three (inexpensive) winner is Yale University’s East Asia Library for “Treasures from Japan in the Yale University Library.”

“The committee felt this catalog, which was given away for free, demonstrated a strong combination of style and substance,” stated Faulds. “Befitting the subject matter, the text is in English and Japanese and the catalog was designed so that the two texts and images did not compete with one another on the page. The oblong format of the catalog helped present the content clearly while also evoking Japanese book design. Finally, the committee noted the high quality of the images which brought the subject to life.”

The Division Four (brochures) winner is Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library L. Tom Perry Special Collections for “Rose Marie Reid: Glamour by Design.”

“This brochure deservedly won in its category for its flair and unusual but engaging subject matter which combines swimsuit design and religion,” Faulds said. “Text and image are well integrated and make effective use of the accordion fold format. The color scheme, typography and layout echo the time period of Reid and her clothing designs. The committee was also delighted by playful elements such as a ‘Dive in’ link to the online exhibition.”

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 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) 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. ACRL is on the Web at acrl.org, Facebook at facebook.com/ala.acrl and Twitter at @ala_acrl.