2015 Phyllis Dain Library Dissertation Award Winner

Dr. Barry W. Seaver, Chair of the Phyllis Dain Dissertation Award Committee, announces Miriam Intrator as the winner of the 2015 Phyllis Dain Library Dissertation Award for her dissertation, “Books Across Borders and Between Libraries: UNESCO and the Politics of Postwar Cultural Reconstruction, 1945-1951.”

According to Seaver, “Intrator received her doctoral degree in 2013 from the Graduate Faculty in History of the City University of New York. She is currently the Special Collections Librarian for the Ohio University Libraries. Her dissertation focuses on the response of UNESCO’s Library Section, in cooperation with other international, national and Jewish organizations, to the cultural and intellectual destruction suffered in Europe during WWII and their plans for postwar reconstruction regarding books, libraries, and archives. The dissertation offers original insights into the recovery of cultural life in postwar and post-Holocaust Europe and highlights the individuals who formulated the argument for access to books and libraries, to knowledge and culture, as a fundamental human right within the context of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

The committee reviewed five other dissertations produced during the past two years.

Derek Attig, University of Illinois. “Here Comes the Bookmoblie: Public Culture and the Shape of Belonging” (2014)

Ann Bourne, University of Alabama. “Enriching the Collective Resources: An Historical Analysis of the Network of Alabama Academic Libraries, 1984-2009” (2013)

Su Kim Chung, UCLA. “We Seek to Be Patient: Jeanne Wier and the Nevada Historical Society, 1904-1950” (2014)

Elisabeth A. Jones, University of Washington. “Constructing the Universal Library” (2014)

Ellen Marie Pozzi, Rutgers University. “The Public Library in an Immigrant Neighborhood: Italian Immigrants’ Information Ecologies in Newark, NJ, 1889-1919” (2013)

Congratulations to Dr. Intrator for the award, and to the other scholars for their superb work and for adding to the body of knowledge in library history. Thank you Phyllis Dain Dissertation Award Committee for your hard work in reading through these excellent submissions and making the difficult decision of choosing a winner. Committee members include:

Barry W. Seaver (Chair, July 1, 2013, to July 1, 2015)
Tanya Ducker Finchum (Member, July 1, 2013, to July 1, 2015)
Tom P. Glynn (Member, July 1, 2013, to July 1, 2015)
Mr. David Brett Spencer (Member, July 1, 2013, to July 1, 2015)
Rudolph Rose (Staff Liaison, July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2015)

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.
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