United States

Dissertations and Masters theses from most American and some foreign universities can be found in Dissertations and Theses: Full Text (formerly Dissertation Abstracts). American dissertations are recorded from 1861, Masters theses from 1962, and some foreign from 1976. Abstracts of dissertations are available electronically from 1980; for Masters theses, from 1988. Abstracts of dissertations prior to 1980, and theses pre-1988, are available in microfiche or print (see below).

Dissertations from 1997 to the present (and a few earlier) are available full text from Dissertations and Theses Full Text to members of the Harvard community. Interlibrary Loan will try to obtain dissertations not available through Dissertations and Theses: Full Text for current students, staff, and faculty of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. First check the HOLLIS Catalog, although Harvard owns relatively few.

Not all universities report to Dissertations and Theses: Full Text. Some additional items may be found by a search in WorldCat. On the Advanced Search screen, at <Subtype limits>, change <Any Content> to <Thesis/dissertation>.

Printed Sources for Abstracts of U.S. Dissertations (pre1980)

Dissertation Abstracts, 1952-1966
LOCATION: Countway Abstr & Ind Z5053 I5 (1955-63, v. 15-23)
LOCATION: Gutman Z5055.U5 A53 (1955-66, v. 15-26)
LOCATION: Widener: B335.3.15 (1952-66, v. 12-26) Harvard Depository

Dissertation Abstracts International A (Social Science & Humanities), 1966-
LOCATION: Countway Abstr & Ind Z5053 D5a (1966-95(Feb), v. 27-55(#8))
LOCATION: Gutman Ref Abstr Z5055.U5 A53 (1966- , v. 27- )
LOCATION: Widener: B 335.3.15 (1966-76, v. 27-37(#6)) Harvard Depository
LOCATION: Widener RR 2 (microfiche) (1977-94, v. 37 (#7)-53(#6))

Dissertation Abstracts International B (Science & Engineering), 1966-
LOCATION: Countway Abstr & Ind Z5053 D5b (1966-95(Feb), v. 27-55 (#8))
LOCATION: Widener: B 335.3.15 (1966-76, v. 27-37(#6)) Harvard Depository
LOCATION: Widener RR 2 (microfiche) (1977-94, v. 37(#7)-55(#6))

Dissertation Abstracts International C (International), 1976-
LOCATION: Countway Abstr & Ind Z5053 D5c (1976-94, v. 37-55)
LOCATION: Widener: B335.3.15 (1976-95, v. 37-56) Harvard Depository

Printed Sources for Abstracts of Master's Theses (pre1988)

Masters abstracts, 1962-
LOCATION: Widener: WID-LC Z1215.M37x

Master's theses directories [title varies], 1976- . Grouped under broad subject categories. Index by institution, author, subject.
LOCATION: Gutman Education: Ref Index Z5815.U5 M3
LOCATION: Widener: RR 707.9.5

Dissertations in Progress

American Historical Association Directory of Dissertations

Harvard Dissertations and Theses

Harvard Ph.D., Th.D., and Ed.D. dissertations and Honors theses are kept in the Harvard University Archives in the Pusey Library. Instructions for HOLLIS searching are available. Harvard dissertations may appear in Dissertations and Theses: Full Text (formerly called Dissertation Abstracts) before they are in HOLLIS.

Dissertations since 1982 are also available on microfiche in the Government Documents/Microforms Collection in Lamont Library.

Although all Harvard dissertations have records in the HOLLIS Catalog, pre-1982 records do not have subject headings. To find older dissertations in particular subject areas, see the following printed lists:

Doctors of philosophy and doctors of science: who have received their degree in course from Harvard University, 1873-1926, with the titles of their theses. (Official register of Harvard University.; v.XXIII, no. 39). [3rd. ed.]. Cambridge: Harvard University, 1926. 199 pp.
LOCATION: Harvard Archives: HU 20.38.3 Library has: 2 copies
LOCATION: Harvard Archives: HU 75.25 vol.23
LOCATION: Widener: Harvard Depository

Summaries of theses accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of doctor of philosophy, 1925-1945. Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
LOCATION: Harvard Archives: HU 137.501
LOCATION: Harvard Archives: HU 90.135
LOCATION: Harvard Archives: HU 137.226
LOCATION: Widener: Harvard Depository
(Incomplete holdings in several other Harvard libraries)

Doctors of philosophy with the titles of their theses, 1939-1990. Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
LOCATION: Harvard Archives: HU 20.38.5
LOCATION: Widener: Harvard Depository

Some issues do not include Doctors of Science. Radcliffe included 1939-1961/62.
First volume is: Doctors of philosophy, Radcliffe College, 1939-1945, with the titles of their theses.
LOCATION: Harvard Archives: HU 20.38.4

All the above lists are included in a microfilm:

Harvard University doctoral dissertations [microform] : primarily annual lists of authors and titles, arranged by subject with selected summaries, 1873-1983.
LOCATION: Microforms (Lamont): Harvard Depository Film W 8575 Consult Documents/Microtexts desk.
LOCATION: Harvard Archives: HU

Selected summaries of doctoral dissertations, 1873-1925
Doctors of philosophy and doctors of science of Harvard University, 1873-1926
Summaries of theses, 1925-[1945]
Doctors of philosophy [and doctors of science], with the titles of their theses, 1945-[1983].

Lists by Discipline

Harvard doctoral dissertations on sub-Saharan Africa, 1895 -1982, by Rita Mary Breen. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University, Committee on African Studies.
LOCATION: Baker Business: Archives
LOCATION: Harvard Archives: HUF 123.183.36
LOCATION: Kennedy Sch of Gov: DT351.B733
LOCATION: Law School: ILS DT 3.Z99 B73x 1983
LOCATION: Tozzer: REF DT351.Z99 B7 1983
LOCATION: Widener: Harvard Depository

Harvard Graduate School of Education: a bibliography of doctoral dissertations, 1918-1987, by John W. Collins. Westport, CT: Meckler, c1989.
LOCATION: Gutman Education: Ref. Z5811.C59 1989
LOCATION: Gutman Education: Z5811.C59 1989
LOCATION: Harvard Archives: HUE 22. 589.14

Several Harvard libraries have their own collections of dissertations, generally duplicating material in the Archives. Examples include Cabot Science Library (theses formerly in the Kummel Geological Science Library) and Physics Research Library. These can often be found in HOLLIS on the Expanded Search screen, using the search term <thesis> or <th> as an Other call number search, limited to the particular library. This search does not always work, and you may wish to contact the library in question for instructions. Some of these dissertation collections circulate.