2020–2021 Alcuin Society Excellence in Book Design Award Exhibit

2020–2021 Alcuin Society Excellence in Book Design Award
View the 2020–2021 Alcuin Society Excellence in Book Design Award-winning books, on display at the entrance to Special Collections, on the 7th floor, W.A.C. Bennett Library. 

Logo for the Alcuin Society Book Design Awards featuring that text and an open book

National book design competition

Since 1981, the Alcuin Society has sponsored the oldest competition recognizing fine book design in the country, the Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. The Alcuin Society held its 39th national book design competition on Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Vancouver. There were 305 submissions from 109 publishers from 9 provinces, and 37 winning titles!

Books on display

The display features a selection of winning titles from the categories of Children, Comics, Pictorial, Poetry, Prose Illustrated, and Reference. For a complete list of the winning books, and more information about the awards, see the Alcuin Society's Book Awards.

Our collection

Every year, the Alcuin Society also generously donates a nearly-complete selection of the annual award winners to SFU’s Special Collections & Rare Books. The Alcuin Society Collection is part of our larger Book History Collection.


The Alcuin Society logo featuring the name of the society on an orange background

The Alcuin Society

Founded in 1965 by Geoffrey Spencer and six other Vancouver bibliophiles, the Alcuin Society launched with the goal of promoting a wider appreciation of beautifully produced books. The society is named after Alcuin of York (735-804AD): Minister of Culture during the reign of Charlemagne, who was deeply interested in handwriting styles. He selected the most legible script of the time, the Caroline minuscule, precursor to our lower-case alphabet.

The Alcuin Society's mission is to promote interest in the book arts — writing, publishing, book design and production, book trade, book collecting, printing, binding, typography, paper making, calligraphy and illustration. In addition to Amphora, the Alcuin Society’s long-running journal, they have published limited edition books, chapbooks, pamphlets, and more than fifty keepsakes and broadsides throughout their history. In the best tradition of fine private presses, all are superbly printed and designed.


May 16 to June 30
7th floor, W.A.C. Bennett Library (SFU Burnaby)
Contact for further information
For more information, contact Special Collections and Rare Books at scrb@sfu.ca