Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award winner is Dr. Cindy Anh Nguyen

For Immediate Release
Tue, 05/11/2021


Danielle Ponton

Program Manager for Round Tables

American Library Association



CHICAGO — The Library History Round Table (LHRT) is pleased to announce that this year’s Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award winner is Dr. Cindy Anh Nguyen for her dissertation, “Reading and Misreading: The Social Life of Libraries and Colonial Control in Vietnam, 1865-1958.” Dr. Nguyen is a Postdoctoral Fellow in International Humanities at Brown University. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Berkeley (2019). Her dissertation examines the cultural and political history of libraries in Hanoi and Saigon from the French colonial period through to the decolonization of libraries.

Dr. Nguyen's work impressed members of the award committee for breadth and depth. Her massive research scope included government reports, library staff evaluations, and circulation records—and was conducted in three languages and across several countries. Committee members noted the project encompassed all the elements the award was created to celebrate. One commented “I have read many dissertations (for my sins) and Nguyen's is one of the best, if not the best.”

The biennial Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation 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 receives a certificate and five hundred dollars.