Senior Theses to Go Digital in 2013

Access to the most frequently used collection at the Mudd Manuscript Library—the Senior Thesis Collection—will be greatly enhanced in 2013 as we transition from collecting paper copies to electronic copies (PDFs) of theses.  Dean of the College Valerie Smith has approved a plan for senior theses to be available online (but limited to the Princeton University community) through Princeton’s digital repository, DataSpace.

To this end, next summer DataSpace will become the main search interface for all theses.  Senior theses submitted in 2013 and in the future will be available only electronically (but limited to the Princeton University domain), while senior theses submitted in 2012 and before will be available in paper format at the Mudd Manuscript Library, as they are today.  In the second phase of the project, PDFs of legacy senior theses will be added to DataSpace as they are scanned for patrons, which will incrementally grow the number of theses available digitally.

“The senior thesis has a long history at Princeton,” said University Archivist Dan Linke. “This is just the next chapter for this important aspect of a Princeton education.”

The submission process for academic departments will evolve as we move to PDFs—all of the data entry and uploading will be done through a simple online form. Staff in the academic departments will do the initial data entry and uploading, and Library staff will make a final check and then release the theses to DataSpace. Training on the new process will be offered in the winter of 2013 and will include online videos as well as in-person demonstrations at the Mudd Manuscript Library.

Questions about the new process can be directed to the University Archivist, Dan Linke (609.258.5879; mudd@princeton.edu).