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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

April 20, 2009
MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Shields
(410) 516-8337

Johns Hopkins Honors Student Book Collectors

Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums Winston Tabb announced the winners of the 2009 Betty and Edgar Sweren Student Book Collecting Contest today. Sponsored by the Friends of the Johns Hopkins University Libraries, the contest was endowed in 2008 by long-time Friends Betty and Edgar Sweren, who wanted to recognize young bibliophiles and encourage students to develop their skills as thoughtful, focused collectors.

"The judges did not have an easy time deciding," said Tabb, who also serves as vice provost for the Arts at Johns Hopkins. "We were all struck not only by the depth of the collections but by the stories behind them. Each year the bar gets raised a little higher, and we have Betty and Edgar to thank for this wonderful gift to the Hopkins community."

The Sweren Student Book Collecting Contest is open to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a degree program at the university. Participants must write an essay describing how and why the collection was assembled and submit an annotated bibliography of up to 50 titles. Entrants must also submit a wish list of up to 10 titles to reflect future collection goals and areas of interest. Cash prizes are awarded to six students in all, honoring first and second place, and an honorable mention in separate graduate and undergraduate categories.

First place in the undergraduate category went to Whiting School sophomore Shrivats Iyer for his collection More than Saffron and Incense: Modern Indian and English Literature. Iyer is a biomedical engineering major from Dubai.

The winner in the graduate category was Sarah Richardson, a fourth-year graduate student in human genetics at the School of Medicine, for her collection, Voices from Conflict: Oral Histories from 20th Century Wars. Both Richardson and Iyer received $1,000 for their winning entries.

Second place honors and $500 prizes went to senior Emily Hoppe and second-year graduate student Rachel Monroe. Hoppe, an English and Italian major from Cambridge, Mass., was recognized for Italian Past and Present — A Personal Collection. Monroe, from Richmond, Va., is pursuing her MFA in fiction in the Krieger School's Writing Seminars and received the award for Individual Orientalisms: Ways of Imagining the East.

Honorable mentions and $250 cash prizes were awarded to Krieger School senior Matthew Pines and second-year graduate student Joanna Pearson. Pines, a physics and philosophy major, was honored for Mind and World: Where Philosophy and Physics Meet. Pearson, a second year MFA student in the Writing Seminars' poetry program, received an honorable mention for Contemporary Poetry: A 20th and 21st Century Sampler.

In addition to the cash awards, winners receive a one-year honorary membership in the Friends of the Johns Hopkins Libraries. Since 1931, the Friends of the Johns Hopkins Libraries have furthered the university's libraries' mission through lectures, programs and the support of acquisitions and technology.

Selections from the winners' collections are on display on the main level of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at 3400 North Charles St. from April 24 through Friday May, 29.

The Sheridan Libraries encompass the Milton S. Eisenhower Library and its collections at the Hutzler Reading Room, Garrett Library, and the George Peabody Library.