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Dissertations and theses from other colleges and universities: Finding dissertations on your topic

How to find and search for dissertations and theses, at both master's and PhD level.


Summon and ProQuest

Summon has a relatively small number of dissertations, which you will find while running a general search. It is possible to filter your search by choosing CONTENT TYPE - Dissertation. To filter, you may need to use the More... option to see all content types, and then, once you  have selected the Dissertation option, select Apply


ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: Humanities and Social Sciences
Large collection of doctoral and masters' dissertations.   Sotheby's Institute of Art - New York dissertations from 2011 onwards are included. pass. All content should appear reliably in Summon.   Some content from EThOS (see immediately below) is now duplicated in ProQuest, but not all: so it is better to search in Summon or directly in EThOS for UK doctoral dissertations.


Content should appear reliably in Summon. This is a database of doctoral theses (PhD and others) from the UK. Many are available in full online. Most are free to download, though a few institutions charge. It is mainly recent titles which are online, though some older dissertations which are much in demand have also been digitised
.   You can request the digitisation of dissertations which so far only exist in hard copy, via EThOS. However there is a charge for this, and  some waiting time.  


More options

There are many more options, listed here roughly in order of importance:


Global ETD (Electronic Thesis and Dissertation) Search
Search engine for free online copies of dissertations. 


EBSCO Open Dissertations
Largely duplicates content found in Summon, but includes some titles not found there.


Have been created by many universities and other degree-awarding institutions. These are free online stores of the scholarly material they have produced, usually including dissertations. 
The key information about this kind of database is in the repositories guide. The guide includes links to search engines for searching across many repositories at once.


DART-Europe E-theses Portal
Provides free online copies of dissertations from many European countries, including some not found by Global ETD (see above).


Courtauld Institute: recently completed PhD theses.  A list of recent work from the Courtauld, more up-to-date than any other source. The PhDs are not available online; to read them you will need to contact the Courtauld book library. Dissertations are stored off-campus, so you will need to make an appointment a few days in advance.


College Art Association: list of dissertations completed and in progress
Details of PhD dissertations in art history and visual studies from US and Canadian institutions. Titles can be browsed by subject category or year. The dissertations themselves are not available via this site.


Theses Canada
Doctoral and master's dissertations from Canada.  Many of the records in this database are only citations. Choose the option Electronic theses to limit your search to those available online.  


Dissertations in physical form

London and the rest of the UK

Library Hub Discover searches the collections of important academic libraries in Britain (plus Trinity College Dublin). Many (but not all) universities list their dissertations in this catalogue. There are rarely links to online dissertations. 

Library Hub Discover will not tell you whether you have access rights to a particular library. To check this, visit the other libraries guide, visit the website of the library you want to visit, or ask the SIA librarians if you still need help.  Please note that a few important university libraries are not included in Library Hub Discover.

To focus your search in Library Hub Discover, first go to Advanced Search.

Enter title words or keywords as you wish. Then select Theses from the Document Type menu:


Your selection will appear in the Selected Document Types in the right hand pane. You can now run your search.


Libraries worldwide

WorldCat finds hard-copy dissertations from libraries around the world.  After running your search, you can filter your results to find dissertations only: