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UA Book Arts students win “Distinguished Book Award” at the MBS Competition

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Tuscaloosa, Alabama—Master of Fine Arts students Alana Baldwin and Caroline Anderson at the School of Library and Information Studies won the Distinguished Book Award from the Miniature Book Society (MBS) in August. MBS is a juried competition for writers, illustrators, editors and publishers of miniature books.

Anderson’s “Song of the Valkyrie” and Baldwin’s “Less than Human” were two of the three miniature books chosen this year.

The University Libraries and the Alabama Center for the Book sponsored these students and encouraged them to submit their work in the competition.

Participants created a bound book that was no greater than 3”x 3”, and designed it so that it told the story in a convincing way.

Steve Miller, professor and MFA coordinator, worked extensively with Anderson and Baldwin on their project.

“We teach our students how to make technically excellent and conceptually solid books,” said Miller

Book artists have been making traditional miniature books for centuries and Miller said, his students have put a modern twist on a historic tradition.

Tony Firman, the MBS Competition Chair, was greatly impressed with the level of work the two graduate students submitted in order to compete with seasoned book artists and win the Distinguished Book Award.

“When you consider that these awards generally go to well established book binders for fancy leather bindings, you realize that your students are truly exceptional,” said Firman.

Books that are chosen will be included in the MBS traveling miniature book show that will be exhibited across the nation. In May, the University Libraries sponsored the MBS traveling exhibition and the Kate W. Ragsdale Memorial Miniature Book Collection at the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library.

The MBS is a national non-profit organization that promotes all aspects of the book arts with a special emphasis in miniature books.

Contact: Julessa Oglen, Office Associate II, 205/348-4610, joglen@slis.ua.edu
Source: Steve Miller, professor and MFA coordinator, stevemiller@bookarts.ua.edu 205/348-1525