Publication Prizes

Each year, the BSA awards one of its three triennial, endowed prizes to recognize excellence in bibliographical publications.

Each prize has its own topical focus:

  • The Mitchell Prize recognizes scholarship on British serials.
    Next awarded in 2027.

  • The Schiller Prize recognizes scholarship on Children’s Books.
    Next awarded in 2025; the call for submissions opens in June 2024.

  • The Mercantile Prize recognizes scholarship in the bibliography of American history and literature.
    Next awarded in 2026.

Learn more by scrolling down or following the links below. All of these prizes were generously endowed through gifts. Interested in funding a publication prize? Contact the BSA President today!

William L. Mitchell Prize ↑

The Mitchell Prize for research on British serials was endowed to honor William L. Mitchell, former librarian at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas, where he was curator of the Richmond P. and Marjorie N. Bond Collection of 18th-Century British Newspapers and Periodicals and of the Edmund Curll Collection. Awarded every three years, the prize brings a cash award of $1,000 and a year’s membership in the Society.

The next Mitchell Prize will be awarded in January 2027. The call for submissions will be announced in summer 2026. Please scroll down for eligibility and submission information.

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The Prize serves as an encouragement to scholars engaged in bibliographical scholarship on 18th-century periodicals published in English or in any language (including Indigenous languages) within the British Isles, its colonies, former colonies, and occupied territories including those in North America, Australia, the Caribbean, South Africa, and modern-day Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The prize defines 18th-century periodicals as serial publications produced no earlier than 1688 and no later than the first decade of the 19th century; subject materials must be firmly rooted within the 1700–1800 time period.

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Eligibility

Eligible scholarship may take the form of a book or article, a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation defended and approved, or research results distributed in another manner, such as on a website. Eligible scholarship must have been published or, if a dissertation or thesis, approved during the year of the deadline or the three previous calendar years. 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 their authors’ directors attesting to their having been approved.

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All scholars are eligible to apply for the Mitchell Prize without regard to their membership in the Bibliographical Society of America, or any other society, and without regard to their 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. Since the prize is designed to promote research on the history of the periodical and the periodical press, the prize committee encourages applications by young or junior scholars who have not as yet published extensively. Applicants may nominate themselves or be nominated by other persons, including publishers, journal editors, and dissertation and thesis directors.

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Submit

Please send the following as separate PDF or Word (.doc or .docx) files to mitchell.prize@bibsocamer.org:

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  • A letter of intent addressed to the “Mitchell Prize Committee”

  • A curriculum vitae

  • Any documentation regarding the approval of a theses or a dissertation or confirming the date of a publication

Mailed copies of these documents will not be accepted.

Web-based nominations do not require the submission of print 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.

If you are submitting a book for consideration, please also secure delivery of four (4) print copies of the nominated work to:

Erin McGuirl
Bibliographical Society of America
PO Box 67
Shutesbury, MA 01071

If for any reason the cost of securing review copies is prohibitive to submitting a nomination, please contact the BSA executive director by email at executive.director@bibsocamer.org.

Questions regarding the award should be addressed to the chair of the Mitchell Prize jury, Dr. Jill Gage:

Dr. Jill Gage, Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing
Newberry Library, Chicago IL
Email: gagej@newberry.org

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Justin G. Schiller Prize ↑

Endowed by Justin G. Schiller, a dealer in antiquarian children’s books and past member of the BSA Council, the Schiller Prize for Bibliographical Work on Pre-20th-Century Children’s Books is intended to encourage scholarship in the bibliography of historical children’s books. It brings a cash award of $3,000 and a year’s membership in the Society.

The submission deadline for the 2025 Prize is November 1, 2024. Details below.

Eligibility

All scholars are eligible to apply for the Schiller 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. Since the prize is designed to promote research on the bibliography of children’s books, applications are encouraged from young or junior scholars who have not as yet published extensively. Applicants may nominate themselves or be nominated by others, including publishers, journal editors, and dissertation or thesis directors.

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Eligible scholarship may take the form of a published book or article, a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation that has been defended and approved, or research results distributed in another manner, such as on a website. Eligible scholarship must have been published, approved, or posted between 1 January 2021 and 1 October 2023.

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.

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Submit

Applications must contain the following items:

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  • A letter of intent addressed to the “Schiller Prize Committee”

  • A one-page curriculum vitae

  • Any documentation regarding the approval of a thesis or a dissertation or confirming the date of a publication, if required

Web-based nominations must include a URL, and 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. This information should be included in the required letter of intent. Applications and all materials should be submitted by email to schiller.prize@bibsocamer.org.

Please also secure delivery of four (4) print copies of the nominated work to:

Erin McGuirl
Bibliographical Society of America
PO Box 67
Shutesbury, MA 01071

If for any reason the cost of securing review copies is prohibitive to submitting a nomination, please contact the BSA executive director by email at executive.director@bibsocamer.org.

Questions regarding the award should be addressed to the Schiller Prize jury chair, Laura E. Wasowiczaura at schiller.prize@bibsocamer.org.

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St. Louis Mercantile Library Prize ↑

Funded by the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, 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. The next prize will be awarded in January 2026; submissions will open in June 2025.

Eligibility

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 website.

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Submissions must have been published or, if a dissertation or thesis, approved the year of the deadline or in the three previous calendar years. For the 2026 award, this means between January 2023 and January 2026. 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.

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Submit

The next prize will be awarded in January 2026; submissions will open in June 2025.

Please send the following as separate PDF or Word (.doc or .docx) files to mercantile.prize@bibsocamer.org:

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  • A one-page letter of intent addressed to the “Mercantile Prize Committee” describing your submission and its relevance to bibliographical study

  • A one-page curriculum vitae

  • If required, any documentation regarding the approval of a thesis or a dissertation, or confirming the date of a publication. Web-based nominations must include a URL, and 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. This information should be included in the required letter of intent.

Mailed print copies of these documents will not be accepted.

Please also secure delivery of four (4) print copies of the nominated work to:

Erin McGuirl
Bibliographical Society of America
PO Box 67
Shutesbury, MA 01071

If for any reason the cost of securing review copies is prohibitive to submitting a nomination, please contact the BSA executive director by email at executive.director@bibsocamer.org.

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