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Durham University

University Library


Durham theses

All Durham theses passed after 1st October 2009, as well as selected theses dating back to 1938, are available in full at Durham e-Theses. The service enabling you to borrow printed theses is currently suspended (as of 9th September) in order to scan the entire collection. Theses published before 1st October 2009 which have not already been scanned will not be available to view until they have been added to Durham e-Theses. Please see the news item for further information.

Theses produced at Durham University can be identified in a number of ways via the catalogue. Theses produced at other institutions are not listed on the library catalogue. Please see finding theses in another institution below for how to find those.

Searching the catalogue for Durham theses

When searching the catalogue via the advanced search you can limit to just theses by clicking on the down arrow next to Full Catalogue and selecting Durham Theses. If you wish to futher limit your search, for example to e-theses, select Modify search from your results screen. From this screen select EBOOK from the drop down list next to Other material types to limit the results to e-theses only.

Browsing Durham theses

You can browse all printed theses by doing a shelfmark search for Thesis. You can then search for an author or a word in the title or subject by selecting the Limit/Sort search button above or below your search results. Because this only finds printed theses, titles identified in this way will not be available to view until scanning is complete.

Find Durham theses by subject

You can also browse theses by subject using the following drop-down menu

Try the online tutorial. This tool gives you step-by-step instructions to searching the catalogue, alongside a live web page so you can try them out.

Finding theses in another institution

Finding UK theses

Index to Theses has details for theses from Great Britain and Ireland dating from 1716 to the present and includes abstracts in many cases. It covers many subject areas and can be searched in a number of ways, including by institution.

Try the online tutorial. This gives you the opportunity to search Index to Theses with instructions on how to get the most from searching the database.

Requesting theses from a British university

The most popular British theses are now freely available electronically through the British Library's EThOS service. EThOS now holds thousands of theses which have already been scanned, and thousands more can be scanned (on request) free of charge. Some theses are only available for a fee: if this is the case then place a DDS request via the thesis request form and we will either borrow the thesis or arrange for a subsidized request.

Watch this video (.wmv) to see how to search for and download a thesis from EThOS. Please note that you will need speakers or headphones to follow the narration.
Several guides are available on the Document Delivery Page for accessing theses if you require more information about using the service.

Finding international theses

North American theses are covered in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Details date from 1861 to the present and abstracts are included from 1980 onwards. In many cases you can access the full text of the thesis online.
Try the online tutorial. This is a split screen tool to help you use the database while following instructions for searching and browsing ProQuest.

Many European theses are available online through DART - the Europe e-theses portal, while some Australian theses are available from ADT - the Australasian Digital Theses Program.

The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations is an international project with contributions from across five continents.

You may also find theses in the Open Access repository OAIster. This database also contains journal articles, reports and book chapters. To narrow your search to theses only, enter 'thesis' as the content type.