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#DiggingTheCollections Contest Starts October 14, 2019!

images from special collections

All Smith students are invited to compete in the campus-wide #DiggingTheCollections contest starting on Monday, October 14. Submit your most thrilling/interesting/strange/cool finds from the Libraries’ Special Collections for a chance to win cash prizes.

What You Do

Pick an object, collection, set of papers, book, image, or other items that you find interesting in the Special Collections repositories (the Cllege Archives, the Mortimer Rare Book Collection, and the Sophia Smith Collection of Women’s History). Research the item or area of your choosing, and submit a reviewable product about your findings to Special Collections. Consider (and describe) why this item or collection is cool and of interest. What is the historical relevance of your findings? Why should someone care about this topic? Examples of submissions include:

  • Social media posts
  • Zines
  • Comics
  • Newspaper articles
  • And more  - be creative!

Projects can be submitted over email at or dropped off at the Special Collections Reading Room desk between 10-5 on weekdays. Projects should be labeled with name and contact information.

Note: not all submissions will be entered in the final contest; entries will be screened for appropriateness and historical accuracy.

How Entries are Judged

Submissions will be reviewed by collections stewards for accuracy and appropriateness, and then posted to all Special Collections social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) on November 4, 2019, to be voted on by followers. On November 8, the three submissions with the most “likes” combined across all social media platforms will be crowned winners and awarded $250 each for their creativity and hard work.

If you are a winner, you will be notified via email.

Important Dates

  • Contest start: Monday, October 14, 2019
  • Student submissions due to Special Collections: Monday, November 4, 2019
  • Posting (and voting) begins: November 18, 2019 (all posts that week)
  • Voting ends: November 22, 2019
  • Winners announced: Monday, December 2, 2019

Contest Rules


  1. All students currently enrolled at Smith College are eligible to participate.


  1. Each entrant must submit only one entry to the contest.
  2. Entries must be submitted by November 4, 2019, in order to be considered for a prize.
  3. By submitting an entry to the contest, students acknowledge that they give permission to Smith College to use the submission on the Internet, social media, or in any other form of advertising or publicity in perpetuity.
  4. Because this work is for educational purposes and because it includes commentary and analysis, the use of others' intellectual property will in almost all cases fall under the "fair use" exception of United States copyright law. However, the use of work that may impinge on the creator's ability to make money from her work should, in some cases, be cleared with the copyright owner. Don't hesitate to consult with Special Collections staff with questions about the use of archival materials. 
  5. Entries must be original and new work, created specifically for the contest. Projects created for a previous or current class cannot be submitted as entries.
  6. Not all entries will be considered for prize money; entries must first be deemed appropriate and historically accurate by Smith College Special Collections stewards. 

Collections materials

  1. All non-restricted archives and rare books held by Smith College Special Collections are open for use by students for this contest.


  1. Entries will first be reviewed by Smith College Special Collections stewards for appropriateness and historical accuracy. Entries that are deemed both appropriate and historically accurate will then be posted to Smith College Special Collections social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) to be voted on by SCSC followers.
  2. Social media voting, based on the number of Likes garnered, will begin at 9 a.m. on November 18, 2019, and end at 5 p.m. on November 22, 2019.
  3. The three entries with the most likes across all three social media platforms will be deemed winners. Contest winners will be notified by email on or after December 2, 2019.


  1. #DiggingTheCollections will award the entrants whose work garnered the most “likes” across SCSC’s social media platforms with $250 each.

#DiggingTheCollections is funded by a donation from Smith College Class of ‘68.


Alison Baitz