A dissertation is "a lengthy, formal written treatise or thesis, especially an account of scholarly investigation or original research on a specialized topic, submitted to a university in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Ph.D. degree." ¹
Usually, dissertations are available only at the degree-granting institution. Sometimes the author submits multiple copies of the dissertation, and the library will have a lending copy. You may also be able to find the dissertation published as a book or selected chapters published as articles. If we are not able to borrow the dissertation and it has not been published in other formats, we may be able to purchase it (usually only for thesis students or others doing in-depth research).
- Some dissertations are available free online. Try searching the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
- To borrow a dissertation, search WorldCat and submit a request through Interlibrary Loan using the FindIt@Wellesley button.
- Or, if the dissertation was later published as a book, search for the author in WorldCat.
- To find dissertation chapters published as articles, search for the author in an article database covering that subject area.
- To request that the library purchase the dissertation, submit a purchase request.
¹Text of page adapted from Williams College Library, with permission