Seth Trotter Special Collections Essay Contest

2021 Seth Trotter Special Collections Essay Contest

Have you used books, manuscripts, periodicals and other materials from Special Collections in your academic work? If so, submit your published or soon-to-be-published original research for your chance to cash in on your hard work.

The contest is open to all University of Delaware students, faculty and staff.


  • First place: $1,000
  • Second place: $500
  • Third place: $500


  • Entries must feature–and provide substantial evidence of–research using the holdings of Special Collections. Research can be done in person or remotely. Due to COVID-19, in-person visits must be scheduled in advanced. Please visit COVID-19 Special Collections Access for more information. To learn more about Special Collections digital resources, see Digital Collections. The University of Delaware has extensive holdings in the areas of the Book Arts, Africana Studies, Delawareana, Policy and Government, and Science and Technology.
  • The submitted work must be published (or accepted for publication) by a peer-reviewed journal in either print or electronic format. 


To apply, please submit:

  • A cover sheet with your name, contact details, status at the University of Delaware, title of work, title of journal in which your published work appears or will be published and date of publication.
  • A copy of the work (including illustrations) with indication of Special Collections materials used.

Please send questions and application materials to John Quintus at

The contest is sponsored by the Friends of the University of Delaware Library, an organization dedicated to expanding and enriching the research collections of the UD Library.

A Word about Seth Trotter ‘94

Seth Trotter, who passed away suddenly on November 7, 1995, graduated from the University of Delaware in 1994. While a student at UD, Seth was heavily involved with the Friends of the UD Library. As a member of the Friends, he readily enjoyed visiting the Library’s Special Collections exhibitions, attending Library lectures and going to the Friends’ Annual Dinner.

To honor his legacy, Seth’s parents created the Seth M. Trotter Memorial Fund in 1995 to keep alive not only his memory, but the values of scholarship and intellectual excitement that the Friends of the UD Library kindled within him.

In the summer of 2019, Joseph Trotter, Seth’s father, gave his blessing to the Friends of the UD Library to name its Book Collecting Contest and Special Collections Essay Contest after his son. The Friends are honored to pay tribute to Seth in such a meaningful way. To directly support this fund, please specify the “Seth M. Trotter Memorial Fund” when making a gift.