American Women's History: A Research Guide
Finding Theses & Dissertations
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General Tips

  1. This section covers general tools for finding dissertations, regardless of your topic. References to topic-specific bibliographies of theses/dissertations are provided in some of the sections within the Subject Index to Research Sources.
  2. Most bibliographies covering the history of specific states provide good coverage of theses/dissertations. See the State and Regional History section for references to these bibliographies.
  3. As a general rule, theses/dissertations not written at your university will have to be obtained through your library's interlibrary loan department, or purchased from UMI (see "Obtaining Dissertations," below).



Dissertation Abstracts

Dissertation Abstracts International. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1938- . Also available on CD-ROM and on the Internet.
Dissertation Abstracts provides bibliographic citations for doctoral dissertations completed at North American colleges and universities from 1861 to the present; records appearing after 1980 include abstracts. A selection of masters theses citations is included from 1988 onward. UMI offers a subset of the database at
http://wwwlib.umi.com/dissertations/search.


WorldCat

WorldCat. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC. Updated daily.

Both Dissertation Abstracts and WorldCat should be searched for comprehensive coverage of the thesis/dissetation literature.


Dissertations in Progress

Directory of Dissertations in Progress [online]. [Washington, DC]: American Historical Association, [1999- ]. Available from: http://www.theaha.org/pubs/dissertations/.


Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations [online]. NDLTD, c2002.
Online access to theses and dissertations completed at a small but growing number of universities. A few examples of women's history titles:

Neely, Caroline Elizabeth. "'Dat's one chile of mine you ain't never gonna sell': Gynecological Resistance within the Plantation Community" [online]. M.A. Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2000. Available from: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-05262000-09340014/.

Taylor, Sarah Elizabeth. Remembering Elderly Women in Early America: A survey of how aged women were memorialized in late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century tombstone inscriptions, death notices, funeral sermons, and memoirs [online]. M.A. Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2002. Available from: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-05132002-210659/.


Other Indexes/Bibliographies

America: History and Life: A Guide to Periodical Literature. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-Clio, 1964- . Quarterly. Available online and as a CD-ROM product from the publisher.
The CD-ROM product allows one to limit a search by document format (e.g., dissertations). Records do not include abstracts.

Doctoral Dissertations in History. Washington, D.C.: American Historical Association, 1976- . Semiann.

Gilbert, V.F., and D.S. Tatla, comps. Women's Studies: A Bibliography of Dissertations, 1870-1982. New York: Basil Blackwell, 1985.

Master's Theses Directories. Cedar Falls, Iowa: H.M. Silvey, c1993- . Annual.

Retter, Yolanda. Dissertations and Theses on Lesbian History, 1968-1995 [online]. Available from: http://www-lib.usc.edu/~retter/diss.html.


Obtaining Dissertations

As a general rule, theses/dissertations not written at your university will have to be obtained through your library's interlibrary loan department, or purchased from UMI.

Dissertation Express [http://www.umi.com/hp/Products/DisExpress.html] offers another option. One can purchase paper copies of dissertations from UMI through this service.




American Women's History: A Research Guide

Ken Middleton kmiddlet@frank.mtsu.edu
Middle Tennessee State University Library