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Searching for Dissertations and Theses
Dissertations and Theses can be found in many places on the web. A thorough search sometimes requires using several of them, especially if you are looking for dissertations or theses from outside the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
ProQuest Dissertations and Theses
PQDT is a comprehensive collection of citations to dissertations and theses worldwide from 1861 to the present day. Full-text is available for most of the dissertations added since 1997 and some of the older graduate works. PQDT is also the official digital dissertations archive for the Library of Congress and the database of record for graduate research. Also included are the citations to British and Irish dissertations and theses (PQDT: UK & Ireland) since 1761 and abstracts for content since 1986.
WorldCat is a worldwide union catalog created and maintained collectively by more than 9,000 member institutions. With millions of online records built from the bibliographic and ownership information of contributing libraries, it is the largest and most comprehensive database of its kind. To search only for theses and dissertations, go to the "Content Type" menu at the bottom of the advanced search page and select "Thesis/dissertations."
Dance materials in IDEALS @ Illinois
In addition to databases that aggregate theses and dissertations from multiple institutions, many colleges and universities are building their own digital repositories where students and faculty can store their research and writing. At the University of Illinois, our digital repository is called IDEALS (Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship).
I found the Dissertation or Thesis, now how do I get it?
The UIUC Library should have at least one copy of all theses and dissertations granted at UIUC. The UIUC Library may also have selected theses and dissertations from other institutions, so the online catalog is a good place to look first. Copies of dissertations deposited at UIUC from 1978 to the present are accessible by author and title through the Catalog Beginning with 1983, archival copies can also be searched by department and year.
UIUC's Interlibrary Loan Office can help you obtain theses and dissertations not owned by the UIUC and not available in pdf format through Dissertation Abstracts. They provide 2 options:
- Place a standard online ILL request using the "Request a Book" form. If they can't find a free copy, they will email you and give you the option of placing an order through the Dissertation Express service (via the Interlibrary Loan Office), described immediately below.
- Dissertation Express (via the Interlibrary Loan Office) is a fee-based service that obtains dissertations in 4-5 business days. The Library will pay for the item, but you are responsible for a $15 shipping charge. For more information on this service, see the Interlibrary Loan Office's Dissertation Express FAQ entry.
If you quickly need a print copy of a dissertation that is not available for download and don't mind paying the full cost yourself, you can order it directly from Proquest's Dissertation Express as an individual. Otherwise, use one of the Interlibrary loan options described above.