Goucher Student Wins Book-collecting Prize

Micaela Beigel ’19 was a winner in the 2016 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest. The contest, sponsored by the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division, the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America, and the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies, recognizes and encourages young collectors.

“We are honored and delighted that Micaela won third prize in the 2016 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest,” said Associate Professor April Oettinger, director of Goucher’s Book Studies Program.

Beigel’s collection, “Once We Were Dreamers: A Collection of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust,” also won this year’s Applestein-Sweren Book Collecting Prize at Goucher. Oettinger said the annual competition “reflects Goucher students’ love of books” and provides a complement to the Book Studies Program. “Thanks to the generous support of the Swerens,” she said, “our bibliophilic Goucher students have the opportunity to explore their own collections of books, and to think deeply about the way that books shape stories of ourselves, our community, and our history.”

“In the book collecting prize entries students are able to combine their passion and their intellect in a very focused and personal way,” said Goucher College Librarian Nancy Magnuson. “The physicality of the collections lends them an enduring quality that follows in the tradition of earlier collectors who have helped build the libraries of the present that benefit us all.”

In an essay accompanying the collection, Beigel writes about receiving the first of the books, A Surplus of Memory, at age 11, and being too young to understand it. Later, though, she writes, “I found solace in the stories of the people who lead the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising because they were emissaries of an impossible dream, a dream in which the Jews stood tall and firm against those who sought to erase their existence. … It was the first time that I understood, with clarity, that the Holocaust was not only a narrative of tragedy, but a narrative of victory as well.”

Beigel received her award in an October ceremony at the Library of Congress. She shared the stage with winners from Harvard, University of Kansas, and Princeton.

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