Call for Nominations: Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award

Members of the Library History Round Table (LHRT) of American Library Association (ALA) created the Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award to recognize outstanding work in our field by emerging library historians. The committee for the selection of the 2021 Dain Dissertation Award winner is seeking submissions by January 8, 2021.

The full description of the Dain Award and the submission process follows and will be updated to reflect the current biennial cycle and available at:

Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award

The Library History Round Table (LHRT) 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 Dain 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 during any time period or region of the world. Five hundred dollars and a certificate are given for the best dissertation that embodies original research on a significant topic relating to the history of libraries.

Eligibility and Criteria

Dissertations completed and accepted during the preceding two academic years are eligible. Dissertations from 2018-19 and 2019-2020 will compete for the 2021 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 LHRT 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 informed before May 1st and 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 awards ceremony LHRT during the Annual Conference of ALA.

Submit one electronic copy of the approved and signed dissertation and a signed letter of support from the doctoral advisor or dissertation committee chair at the degree-granting institution. Submissions must be received by January 8, 2021. Receipt will be confirmed within four business days. Send submission to LHRT Liaison Danielle Ponton at:

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