For the safety of our UL Lafayette community, Dupré Library is CLOSED until further notice. Access to online resources and research assistance via chat, text, and email remain available. See our COVID-19 Library FAQ for current services.

Edith Garland Dupré Library Annual Caffery Competition: Call for Student Papers 2020

The annual Caffery Competition honors the most outstanding original student scholarly paper written using special collections materials from Dupré Library.

Call for Papers 2020

Annual Caffery Competition: Call for Student Papers Fyler


History graduate student Kelsey Couvillion is the 2019 award winner of the annual Caffery Competition. Her paper “Attakapas Vigilante Committees: Race, Class, and Extrajudicial Violence in Antebellum Louisiana.” reveals the forgotten history of vigilantism in south Louisiana and examines the factors that motivated organized vigilantes in the region now known as Acadiana in the years prior to the Civil War.

Read the story about Kelsey's Caffery Award on the University's new feed: Caffery Prize winner lifts the veil on hidden history of region's vigilantes.

Kelsey Couvillion / 2019 Award Winner


The competition is open to both undergraduate and graduate students of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette who are not full-time continuing faculty or staff. The students must be currently enrolled or have completed the submitted paper during the previous two academic semesters (not counting summer school).

Papers will be reviewed and judged by a panel consisting of the University Library Committee, the Head of Special Collections, and referees designated by the panel. Papers will be judged on the quality of research, clarity and writing skill. The majority of primary source materials used to write a paper must reflect the use of materials held in the Special Collections Department of Dupré Library. Papers that do not meet this criterion will be disqualified. That paper which in the opinion of the panel, most merits the Jefferson Caffery Research Award, will be announced May 2020. Those reviewing the submissions will be guided by a rubric which is available in this guide. However, the panel may, at its option, decide that none of the submitted papers meet the criteria and standards of the Competition and that the award is to be returned to the Fund for reinvestment.

Deadline for submissions of papers: February 28, 2020

Winner will be announced: May 2020

Submission Information


No restrictions are placed on the topic or subject matter of submitted papers; however, all papers must cite or directly investigate primary source materials held in the Special Collections Department of Dupré Library (University Archives and Acadiana Manuscripts Collection, Louisiana Room, Rare Book Collection, Ernest J. Gaines Center, Cajun & Creole Music Collection, Microforms and U.S. Government Information).


All papers must be typed in a standard non-script font no smaller than twelve characters per inch, double-spaced, unbound and adherent to the style manual recommended in the author's discipline. The text of papers should not exceed thirty pages.


All papers are to include an abstract of no more than 250 words. Please identify the style manual being followed.


All papers must be in English and must be in the work of a single author.


Papers are to be submitted electronically with all contact information, including ULID, to no later than February 28, 2020.

For more information on the Jefferson Caffery Research Fund Annual Award, contact the Office of the Dean of Libraries at (337) 482-6396 or email

Special Collections Department of Dupré Library

The Special Collections Department of Dupré Library contains materials of relevance and scholarly interest to students from all academic departments of the University. Students interested in submitting a paper to the Competition should visit the Jefferson Caffery Reading Room on the 3rd Floor of Dupré Library to review the catalog of library holdings in these areas. The staff in the Special Collections Department are available for consultation. Interested students may call (337) 482-6031.