Seth Trotter Special Collections Essay Contest

2020 Seth Trotter Special Collections Essay Contest

Have you used books, manuscripts, periodicals and other ephemera from Special Collections in your academic research? Have you had that research published by a peer-reviewed journal?

If so, submit your published or soon-to-be-published original research for your chance to cash in on your hard work. Applications are due May 22, 2020.


  • The contest is open to all University of Delaware students, faculty and staff.
  • All submitted entries must feature–and provide substantial evidence of–research discovered through the use of Special Collections materials.
  • The submitted work must be published (or accepted for publication) in 2018 or later by a peer-reviewed journal in either print or electronic format. Works published before 2018 will not be considered.


To apply, please submit:

  • A cover sheet with the following: your full name; status at the University of Delaware; title and length of your published work; journal in which your published work appears; date of publication; name of publisher; sources used from Special Collections; co-author (if any); date of application; and any final comments.
  • A copy of the published work.

Please send all questions and application materials to John Quintus at

Applications are due May 22, 2020.


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

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.