On this page you’ll find information on prizes and scholarships available to Book History students at the University of Edinburgh.



  • G.P. Johnston Prize in Scottish History and Bibliography (Edinburgh Bibliographical Society)
  • Penguin Collectors Society Bursary (Penguin Collectors Society)
  • The David Laing Book Collecting Prize (Edinburgh University Library’s Centre for Research Collections)


G.P. Johnston Prize in Scottish Book History and Bibliography

The Edinburgh Bibliographical Society has invited submissions for the G.P. Johnston Prize in Scottish Book History and Bibliography.

‘Named after the Edinburgh bookseller and bibliophile George P. Johnston, founder of the EBS and its secretary from 1890-1932, this essay competition is run annually and is open to postgraduate students or scholars who have been awarded a Ph.D. or Masters degree within the three years prior to competition year.

Essays submitted for the annual competition must have a Scottish focus but may cover any period of book history or subject of bibliographic interest.

The winner will receive £200, and submitted essays will be considered for publication in the Journal of the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society.

Submissions should not exceed 8,000 words and should not have been published previously. The deadline for submissions is March 31.

See the EBS website for details of how to submit your essay!’


The Penguin Collectors Society Bursary

The Penguin Collectors Society Bursary, valued at £500, supports research on the history of Penguin publishing house. It is available to support travel and access to archival material, library collections, named people employed by Penguin Books or authors/illustrators involved in Penguin publications.

The University of Edinburgh is one of seven universities affiliated with the Penguin Collectors Society. Masters students at these universities can apply for the bursary at the dissertation stage through their home institutions. Students apply for the bursary as part of the approval of their dissertation proposal in the second semester. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of April. For more information on the Penguin Collectors Society, see their website.


The David Laing Book Collecting Prize

‘Edinburgh University Library’s Centre for Research Collections is offering, for the first time, a prize to an undergraduate or graduate student of the University for a collection of printed books or other written materials. For the purpose of the prize a ‘book’ is very loosely defined as anything with writing on it.

The prize will be of two parts: a payment of £500 to the winner, and an allowance of £250 for a book to be purchased for the University of Edinburgh’s Special Collections. The winner will also be given the possibility of exhibiting a selection of his or her collection in the Centre for Research Collections and a membership of the Friends of Edinburgh University Library.

The prize is offered in honour of David Laing (1793 -1878), the distinguished antiquarian, collector and librarian who bequeathed his important collection of manuscripts and other materials to the University of Edinburgh in 1878.

The spirit of collecting is a core principle in Edinburgh University Library, the foundation collection having been presented by Clement Little in 1580. Since then the library collections have grown immensely, in a great part from donations of alumni and friends of the University as well as from acquisitions by the University itself.

The David Laing Student Book Collecting Prize is intended to encourage collecting by undergraduates and graduate students of the University by recognising with a monetary prize a collection formed by a student. The age, size and monetary value of the collection will not be relevant criteria. The collection must consist of not less than ten items, comprising printed books and/or ephemera and/or other printed or handwritten material on a common theme. The decision will be made based on the interest, originality, thoughtfulness and creativity of the collection and vision and persistence of the collector.

The prize is intended to follow the tradition of similar prizes at Universities in the United States, Canada and England.

The procedure to apply for the prize, and the detailed rules, are set out in the DAVID LAING STUDENT BOOK COLLECTING PRIZE 2014-15 RULES document.’

Deadline: 1 June 2015.


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