Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award

The membership of the American Library Association’s Library History Roundtable created and endowed the Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award to recognize outstanding work in our field by emerging library historians.  As chair of the committee to select the 2015 Dain Award winner, I am beginning the solicitation process for the submission of worthy dissertations.  The committee is using the solicitation period to promote library history research among doctoral candidates in library and information science programs as well as in university history departments.  We encourage doctoral students to pursue research on significant topics in the history of libraries, librarians, and librarianship and strongly encourage their faculty advisors to mentor and aid these historical explorations in order to promote interest and excellence in library history. I hope we can count on your active support.

Barry W. Seaver, Ph.D., American History Lecturer, Durham Technical Community College

The full description of the Dain Award and the submission process follows and is available at:

Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award

The Library History Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA) sponsors the biennial Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award. The award is offered only in odd-numbered years. The award, named in honor of a library historian widely known as a supportive advisor and mentor as well as a rigorous scholar and thinker, recognizes outstanding dissertations in English in the general area of library history. Five hundred dollars and a certificate are given for a selected dissertation that embodies original research on a significant topic relating to the history of libraries during any period, in any region of the world.

Eligibility and Criteria

Dissertations completed and accepted during the preceding two academic years are eligible. Dissertations from 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 will compete for the 2015 award. Entries are judged on: clear definition of the research questions and/or hypotheses; use of appropriate primary resources; depth of research; superior quality of writing; and significance of the conclusions. The round table is particularly interested in dissertations that place the subject within its broader historical, social, cultural, and political context and make interdisciplinary connections with print culture and information studies.

Submissions and Selection

The award winner will be selected by the Phyllis Dain Dissertation Award Committee appointed by the LHRT vice chair/chair elect. The winner will be announced in a press release on or about June 1st of the award year. A certificate honoring the author will be presented at the Library History Round Table awards ceremony during the American Library Association Annual Conference.

Four copies of the dissertation and a letter of support from the doctoral advisor or from another faculty member at the degree-granting institution are required. Submissions must be received by January 14, 2015.  Receipt will be confirmed within four business days.

Submit manuscripts to:

LHRT: Dain Award Committee
Office for Research and Statistics
American Library Association
50 East Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611

Fax and e-mail submissions are not acceptable.

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