St. Louis Mercantile Library Prize

Funded by the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, an institutional member of the Society, this prize encourages scholarship in the bibliography of American history and literature. Awarded every three years, the prize brings a cash award of $2,000 and a year’s membership in the Society.

Submissions for the Mercantile Library Prize should concentrate on some aspect of American history and culture in territories that now comprise the United States, or on literature by American authors, or literature intended for publication in territories that now comprise the United States. They should involve research in bibliography and printing history broadly conceived and focus on the book (the physical object) as historical evidence for studying topics such as the history of book production, publication, distribution, collecting, or reading. Studies of the printing, publishing, and allied trades, as these relate to American history and literature, are also welcome.

Submissions may take the form of a published book or article, a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation defended and approved, or research results distributed in another manner, such as the World-Wide-Web site or CD-ROM. Submissions must have been published or, if a dissertation or thesis, approved the year of the deadline or the three previous calendar years. For the 2017 award, this means between 2014 and 2016. If a publication has an incorrect nominal date disqualifying it for submission but an actual date of publication within the prize period, it may be nominated with a letter by the publisher or editor testifying to the actual date of publication. Unpublished dissertations and theses must be accompanied by a letter from the director attesting their approval.

Scholars are eligible to apply for the Prize without regard to membership in the Bibliographical Society of America or any other society, and without regard to citizenship or academic affiliation, degree, or rank. The Prize will be awarded to the author of a particular work of scholarship without regard to the author’s prolonged or repeated contributions to the field. Applications are encouraged from young or junior scholars who have not as yet published extensively. Applicants may nominate themselves or be nominated by others.

Applications must contain the following items: a letter of intent addressed to the “Mercantile Prize Committee,” three copies of the work placed in nomination, a one-page curriculum vitae, and, if required, any documentation regarding the approval of a thesis or a dissertation or confirming the date of a publication. Web-based nominations do not require the submission of three copies, but free access to the website and instructions regarding its use must be offered, along with a statement regarding plans for maintaining and/or archiving the website. To assure consideration, applications must be received by 1 November. Address applications to:

The Mercantile Library Prize Committee
c/o the Executive Secretary
Bibliographical Society of America
P.O. Box 1537
Lenox Hill Station
New York, NY 10021
E-mail: bsa@bibsocamer.org

Questions regarding the award should be addressed to the Mercantile Library Prize Coordinator:

James N. Green
Library Company of Philadelphia
1314 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
E-mail: jgreen@librarycompany.org
Phone: 215-546-3181
Fax: 215-546-5167