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Obtaining theses in the Reading Rooms

 UK theses

Access to most UK doctoral theses is via EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service).

Further information about EThOS is provided here.

 
Bibliographical sources for UK theses include:
 
Index to Theses
HUR011.750941
 
The BRITS Index: an index to the British theses collections (1971-1987) held at the British Library and London University. The third volume of The BRITS Index is a Subjects volume.
HUR011.750941
 
Retrospective index to theses of Great Britain and Ireland 1716-1950 (Vol.1: Social sciences and humanities.)
HUR011.750941
 

 North American theses

US doctoral theses - distributed by University Microfilms International (UMI)

US doctoral theses distributed by UMI are not listed on Explore the British Library. However, if a thesis is listed in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses with a Publication Number (e.g. AAT 0219980), then it may be ordered using a Document Supply service form. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses is available online on the electronic resources terminals in Humanities - Floors 1 and 2. The Document Supply service holds almost all US doctoral theses distributed by UMI in the 1970s; holdings for pre-1970 and post-1979 are less extensive. Post-1978 UMI theses are generally held in microfiche format; pre-1978 theses are generally held on microfilm. With effect from 1 September 2001, US doctoral theses are no longer acquired by the Document Supply service. If the British Library does not hold the thesis you require, you may wish to contact UMI (Proquest Information and Learning, tel. 01223 271258) with a view to purchasing a copy.
 
The UMI Publication number should be used as the shelfmark.
 

US doctoral theses - not distributed by UMI

If a UMI number cannot be traced in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, check Explore the British Library if the thesis was awarded post-1979. If a US doctoral thesis is found on Explore the British Library it may be requested in the normal way using a Document Supply service form. If the British Library does not hold the thesis you wish to consult and it is not listed by UMI, you may wish to contact the awarding university direct with a view to purchasing a copy.
 

Canadian doctoral theses

Post-1979 Canadian theses held by the Document Supply service appear on the Document Supply Books file on Explore the British Library and may be ordered using a Document Supply service form. With effect from 1 September 2001, Canadian doctoral theses are no longer acquired by the Document Supply service.
 

 Other theses

Records for the Document Supply service's very selective holdings of other doctoral theses from 1980 will appear on the Document Supply Books File on Explore the British Library and may be ordered using the Document Supply service application form. As with other categories of theses, if the British Library does not hold the thesis you wish to consult, you should contact the awarding university direct with a view to purchasing a copy, or place an interlibrary loan request through your own college or local library.
 
The British Library has a collection of early dissertations, most of which are not recorded separately in its catalogues. The dissertations are mainly from European and North American universities and date from between 1590 and 1952. Please enquire at the Reference Enquiry Desk.
 
Theses for lower level degrees are not generally collected, but some may be held if they are issued for example in report series or working paper series.
 

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