Centre for the History of the Book

Prizes and Scholarships

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

Current opportunities

  • 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 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:

David Laing Book Collecting Prize: For the most enthusiastic student collector

The Centre for Research Collections in the Main Library offers an annual prize of £500 to the student with the best collection of printed books or other written materials.

The David Laing Student Book Collecting Prize is intended to encourage collecting by undergraduates and graduate students of the University by recognising a collection formed by a student. The winner will be decided based on the interest, originality, thoughtfulness and creativity of the collection and vision, enthusiasm and persistence of the collector.  The age, size and monetary value of the collection will not be relevant criteria.

Full information is on the website of the Centre for Research Collections.