We are delighted to announce Ms Emily Porter, 35, of Bray Park, QLD, has won the inaugural Archives Fine Book Collecting Prize with her entry A Horse Lover’s Library.
"I ultimately want to do my best to select the finest of the books that interest me. It is also especially important to me to preserve the history of the horse in reality, literature, and art, and what better way to do that then to curate a glorious time capsule that can be opened at any time, continuously updated and refined, and equally provides physical comfort and intellectual inspiration. That is the purpose of my book collection for me. " (Emily Porter).
Ms Porter has been collecting horse books since the age of eight although she admits it may have started even before that, “I have another memory from a younger age… of hunting down the Phar Lap movie companion book in a second hand bookstore and proudly bearing it to my mother. The bookseller kindly gave a generous discount… he knew a booklover when he saw one.”
While all applicants demonstrated enormous enthusiasm and passion for their respective collections, judges were particularly impressed with Ms Porter’s well-written essay, her comprehensive bibliography and her “wish list” which demonstrated collection direction. As one judge commented, “I have less than no interest in horse books, but this entry had me thinking I would quite like to see some!”
Another judge appreciated her pleasure in various aspects of the book including paper, typeface and illustrations; her practice of supporting local bookshops and charities and her intention to develop a well-rounded collection.
Ms Porter takes out the inaugural prize ahead of eight other applicants aged 15 to 35. The judges particularly noted two other submissions for their clarity of collection focus and general excellence. Mr Timothy Roberts came a close second with his collection, Leather, love and literature: building a collection of LGBT text resources, and Mr Marcus Ray came third with his entry Africa Discovered: Collecting the unexplored.
Ms Porter wins $300 cash, a $300 ANZAAB book voucher, a $250 Archives Fine Books voucher, and year-long memberships to the Bibliographic Society of Australia and New South Wales and to The Book Collectors' Society of Australia. She said she was very excited to have had the opportunity to enter and expressed gratitude to everyone involved in supporting the Prize.
You can read Ms Porter's prize winning entry here.