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Connecticut College Prize for Undergraduate Library Research: 2019 Prize

The official site for the Connecticut College Prize for Undergraduate Library Research.

Library Prize 2024

The 2024

Connecticut College


Prize for





$500 Award | Applications due 3/08/2024 | Winners published in Digital Commons

2019 Prize for Undergraduate Library Research


Information Services is excited to announce the winner of the 4th annual $500 Connecticut College Prize for Undergraduate Library Research:


Mimi Crawford '19

For the project:

"The Cause of the Guatemalan Civil War"‚Äč

Written in the Fall 2018 semester for Professor Andrew Levin's course, Civil Wars (GOV 329).


An excerpt from Mimi's application:

"First, I utilized OneSearch's advanced search feature by typing in various words and combinations of words to alter the search results. For example, I began with 'civil war guatemala', to return results most relevant to civil war generally and Guatemala as a nation. After getting numerous results related to the conduct of fighting, I began introducing more specific terms such as 'causes' and 'reasons'. Then, I focused on terms from theoretical perspectives on the causes of civil war, such as economics and grievances. To increase the number of relevant search results I truncated various terms, anything related to economics became 'econom*'.....

"Books in the library were crucial to my paper. I used the call number for Guatemala, F146 and the general J for political science. The Statesman's Year-Book was retrieved from the Dewey Book Collection in the basement. Additionally, I used the CIA Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room to view archives of declassified government documents pertaining to Guatemala."


The full-text of winning research statements is available in Digital Commons.



Many thanks to everyone who submitted their work or sponsored a student for this year's competition.The Library Prize Committee was impressed with the variety of disciplines and research methods employed in this year's applications. To give two examples, we have decided to recognize the accomplishment of two close runners-up who will receive Honorable Mention at this year's Honors & Awards Ceremony:

  • Isabelle Smith '19, for the project "Ophelia and the Queen: Women's Botanical Knowledge Leads to Murder," prepared in Fall 2018 for Professor Lina Wilder's course, Sickness and Health in Renaissance Literature (ENG 350). 
  • Allie Girouard '19, for the project "Transit-Induced Gentrification in Somerville, Massachusetts," prepared in Spring 2018 for Professor Catherine Stock's course, Globalization & American Culture Since 1945 (AMS 465).

We are thankful to have received so many scholarly entries for this year's prize from a variety of departments and programs, including: American Studies, Architecture, Biology, English, Gender & Women's Studies, Government & International Relations, and History.

About the Library Prize


The annual prize was awarded for the first time in 2016. It is the first award at Connecticut College specifically created to recognize excellence in the research process. Its purpose is to honor students who have demonstrated excellence in research, and to motivate students to learn and deploy sophisticated research strategies. The competition is judged by a team of librarians and faculty (see Library Prize Committee).


All currently enrolled undergraduate students are eligible for the prize, and any student work for a grade (excepting work for honors projects) was accepted. Entrants submitted a copy of their work and a research statement describing their process, along with a bibliography and a note of recommendation from a faculty member. 


Students are encouraged to consider applying, and faculty, similarly, are encouraged to suggest that students apply.

Sponsors and Thanks

The Library Prize Committee is grateful to the Friends of the Connecticut College Library for their generous sponsorship of this award.

The Connecticut College Prize for Undergraduate Library Research is adapted from UC, Berkeley, Library Prize for Undergraduate Research; Temple University, Library Prize for Undergraduate Research.