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, 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. The author of the selected dissertation will receive a certificate and five hundred dollars.

For a list of previous winners, click here.

Eligibility and Criteria

The Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award is offered in odd-numbered years. Dissertations completed and accepted during the preceding two academic years are eligible. For example, dissertations from 2023 and 2024 will be considered for the 2025 award.

Dissertations must be original research on a significant topic relating to the history of libraries during any period, in any region of the world. Entries are judged on clear definition of research questions and/or hypotheses, use of appropriate primary resources, depth of research, superior quality of writing, and significance of conclusions. The LHRT is particularly interested in dissertations that place the subject within its broader historical, social, cultural, and political context and that make interdisciplinary connections with print culture and/or information studies.

Submissions and Selection

The winning dissertation will be selected by the Phyllis Dain Dissertation Award Committee appointed by the LHRT vice chair/chair elect. The winner be informed before May 1st and 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 LHRT Awards Ceremony during the ALA Annual Conference.

Please apply here.

Committee Members