The David Murray Book Collecting Prize

The David Murray Book Collecting Prize is made available through a generous donation and is open to all currently registered students of the University of Glasgow. The purpose of the prize is to encourage collecting of books/other printed material – anything with the written word. Applications are based around an annotated list or catalogue of items owned and anticipated future additions, with a separate statement of the concept of the collection.

The prize is offered in honour of David Murray (1842-1928) the Glasgow lawyer and passionate book collector who had a long association with the University of Glasgow. He presented his personal library of some 15,000 printed books and 200 manuscripts to the University in 1927. Regarded as one of the most important of our Special Collections today, many of the books he acquired relate to Glasgow and the West of Scotland.


  • £500 for the winning entry
  • £250 towards the purchase of an item for the Library (this will be matched by the Friends of the University of Glasgow Library giving a total of £500) to be chosen by the winner in collaboration with Library staff
  • One year’s membership of the Friends of the University of Glasgow Library

How to Enter

Entries should be submitted to or to Special Collections, University of Glasgow Library, Hillhead Street, Glasgow, G12 8QE

Entries should include:

  • Title of the collection
  • An annotated list of all the items in the collection
  • A short essay (no more than 2500 words) explaining your interest in the collection
  • Images of your collection – this is optional
  • Personal Details – name, address, student number, email address, and telephone number.

The prize will be judged by a panel including representatives from the Library, College of Arts, and the Friends of the University of Glasgow Library.

Shortlisted entrants will be invited to meet the judges and to make a brief presentation of their collection in the week commencing 21/03/22.

The judges do not necessarily expect a substantial existing collection and are looking for originality, creativity, and a vision of how the collection might be developed in the future

Read about the winners of the 2022 prize

Read about the winners of the 2020 prize

Read about the winner of the 2018 prize

Read about the winner of the 2017 prize

Conditions of Entry 

  1. The collection must have been owned and put together entirely by the entrant. It may consist of printed books, printed ephemera, manuscripts, photographic material, or a combination of these, with a common theme.
  2. The prize will be awarded at the judges’ discretion and will be based on the interest, originality and creativity of the collection and the persistence of the collector. Age, size and monetary value of the collection will not be relevant criteria. The judges’ decision will be final.
  3. By submitting entry materials, the entrant agrees that the University Library may reproduce any party of the entry materials in connection with the prize or future prizes in any form it considers appropriate.