The Fifth Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition for American Bookbinding 2009

Bridwell Library’s triennial bookbinding competition is named for Helen Warren DeGolyer (1926–1995), a well-known supporter of the arts and education in Dallas, as well as a skilled devotee of design bookbinding. Following her testamentary wishes, her brother, Joseph Warren, and her children, Everett Lee DeGolyer and Edith DeGolyer, established in 1996 an endowment to support a triennial bookbinding competition, exhibition, and conference on the contemporary book arts to be held at Bridwell Library.

The competition challenges bookbinders to submit their proposals for a specific book held by Bridwell Library, as well as a recent example of their work. While the DeGolyer Award winner receives a commission to bind the book according to his or her proposal, the jury also selects award winners for excellence in fine binding and artistic design. The judges for this year’s competition include

Michael Collins, private book collector

Celia Warren Fowler, niece of Helen Warren DeGolyer

Daniel J. Slive, Head of Special Collections, Bridwell Library

James Tapley, commission winner The Fourth Triennial Helen Warren DeGolyer Award, 2006

Thomas Taylor, designer and printer Goodbye to a River, 1989 Book Club of Texas edition

Goodbye to a River

John Graves (1899–1986). Goodbye to a River: A Narrative. Austin: Book Club of Texas, 1989.

Goodbye to a River: A Narrative recounts the author’s “farewell” canoe trip along a stretch of the Brazos River in Texas during the Fall of 1957. Fearing that planned construction of a series of dams soon would change the Brazos irrevocably, Graves set out to experience its natural beauty one last time, accompanied only by his dachshund.

An inspiration to generations of environmentalists, the book won the Carr P. Collins Award of the Texas Institute of Letters in 1961 and was nominated for a National Book Award. The success of Goodbye to a River is believed to be a major reason that only three of the proposed thirteen dams were built on the Brazos. The 1989 Book Club of Texas edition of Goodbye to a River was limited to 550 copies, designed and printed at the press of W. Thomas Taylor in Austin, Texas.


Bridwell Library