Q. How can I obtain a copy of a Harvard thesis?

Harvard affiliates with HarvardKeys can access the full text of most Harvard PhD theses since 1990 from the database Dissertations and Theses Full Text. (In a few instances, full text Harvard dissertations from as early as 1952 are available.)

* 1990 to recent years: All scholars can order copies of many Harvard dissertations fromaround1970 to the present from Proquest dissertation services directly.

* March 2012 forward: Most PhD dissertations submitted from March 2012 forward are available online in DASH, Harvard’s central open-access repository. Permission of the author is usually required to copy theses within the last five years.

* Access to Harvard theses which are not available through ProQuest depends on the school of origin and its associated library.  Check the HOLLIS Catalog to see where a thesis is housed. 

The most frequently-requested theses are from

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the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  They can be consulted in the University Archives, and often in other FAS libraries as well.  For example, the Museum of Comparative Zoology and Tozzer Library house theses written by students in the departments they support, many of which are not in the University Archives, and Lamont library houses most PhD dissertations since 1982 on microfiche, so checking HOLLIS is important.

For theses in the University Archives, patrons can submit photocopy orders of up to thirty pages of undergraduate honors theses that were written before the last five years and PhD theses that were written before 1982.  For scholars off-site, photocopies of undergraduate honors theses older than five years and most PhD dissertations from 1981 and earlier, can be ordered from the Imaging Services Division of the Harvard College Library.

Category: Dissertation

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