The Library History Round Table (LHRT) sadly announces the passing of Phyllis Dain, a library historian widely known as a supportive advisor and mentor, rigorous scholar and thinker. The LHRT sponsors the biennial Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award. The award, named in honor of Dr. Dain, recognizes outstanding English-language dissertations in the general area of library history. Phyllis served as LHRT Chair during the late 1970’s.
Dr. Dain was born in 1929 in New York City. She earned a BA (1950) from Brooklyn College, MS (1953), MA (1957) and DLS (1966) from Columbia University. She worked as a cataloger at Columbia, and taught courses from 1957 until her retirement as Professor Emerita in 1995 (Marquis Who’s Who). She published many articles about library and social history, and several well-regarded books including The New York Public Library: A History of its Founding and Early Years; New York Public Library: A Universe of Knowledge; Libraries and Scholarly Communication in the United States: The Historical Dimension; and Civic Space/Cyberspace: The American Public Library in the Information Age. She died in June of this year, according to the announcement of the Leonia Public Library, Bergen county, NJ, where she served on its Board of Trustees from 1976 until this year.
Dr. Dain’s papers are located in the NYPL’s Archives & Manuscripts Division (NYPL Archives & Manuscripts Division).
Jenny S. Bossaller
Program Chair, Library and Information Science
School of Information Science & Learning Technologies
University of Missouri
Chair, Library History Round Table