Searching for GSD Theses

Where do I search?

DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard) includes GSD theses submitted digitally as of Fall 2020 onwards. Any researcher can access and download, unless an embargo has been placed on it by the author.

HOLLIS (HarvardKey required) includes theses submitted between Fall 2012 and Fall 2020. A HarvardKey is required to access and download digital theses. Some theses during these years were still submitted in paper only (analog theses).

HOLLIS also includes analog theses submitted from early-1900s to 2012. 

The GSD History Collection includes theses submitted in the 1930s and 1940s.

How do I search?

You can search by subject, location, author, or advisor. Add additional terms to focus your results. Try the searches below in HOLLIS and then try them in DASH.

  • harvard graduate school design thesis coast* (for coast or coastal)
  • harvard graduate school design thesis housing
  • harvard graduate school design thesis beijing
  • harvard graduate school design thesis Mori, Toshiko 
  • harvard graduate school design thesis Rowe, Peter
How else can I search?

Another way to search is by program, click on the links below to view HOLLIS records for theses from these programs:


What else should I know? 

Thesis submission requirements and procedures change throughout the years and across academic departments. Because theses have not always been required the library does not necessarily have a thesis for every GSD graduate. 

The library’s collection practices and cataloging for theses also change throughout the decades, so you may have to search differently depending on what you're looking for, or what period you are interested in.

Where can I get help?

Accessing Copies of GSD Theses

Access a GSD Thesis

GSD theses from Fall 2020 onwards can be accessed and downloaded primarily in DASH, unless the author has requested an embargo on her thesis. They can also be accessed in HOLLIS and ProQuest.

GSD theses submitted between Fall 2012 and Fall 2020 can be accessed and downloaded in HOLLIS by members of the Harvard community (with Harvard ID and key access), or from computers within our library for everyone else. We do not offer remote access to theses for unaffiliated users. We also do not lend out print theses through interlibrary loan. 

GSD theses submitted before 2012 can be accessed onsite (see Request a GSD Thesis below).

Request a GSD Thesis

Researchers can view paper GSD theses on site by placing a Reading Room Request through HOLLIS Special Request.

Items are placed on the Special Collections Reading Room hold shelf for 1 week, and researchers will receive an email to schedule an appointment to view the requested items. Researchers can also check the status of their request in HOLLIS Special Request

Paper theses do not circulate nor can be borrowed. Exceptions can be made for GSD faculty to use in a class. 

Copies of a GSD Thesis

GSD theses five years and older from degree date that are in paper may be scanned or photographed by researchers on-site at no cost. If you can't come to the Special Collections Reading Room in person, a Copy Request can be placed through HOLLIS Special Request. You will receive a fee estimate from Harvard Library Imaging Services.

Please note: Most theses submitted within the last five years and before Fall 2020 are digital and are available through HOLLIS to Harvard affiliates only, who can access and download these digital theses from there. The library does not provide PDF or printed versions for theses within the last five years. The few that are available only in paper from the last five years have slips indicating that they may not be copied.

In addition, theses submitted on or after the Fall of 2020 are available through ProQuest and DASH globally, unless the author has requested an embargo.

Searching for Non-GSD Theses