How to Search for, Find, and View Princeton University Senior Theses

The University Archives has launched an online archive of senior theses, and now there are new ways to search for, find, and view Princeton University senior theses.

Senior theses created between 1924 and 2012:

Theses created between 1924 and 2012 are in paper format or on microfiche, and can only be viewed in the Mudd Manuscript Library Reading Room.

To find and request a thesis from 1924 to 2012:

  • Go to Books+ and enter the author’s name, title (or portion of the title)
  • When search results appear, choose “Senior Thesis” under resource type (on the left side of the screen), which will limit your results only to senior theses

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  • Choose the thesis record by clicking on the title
  • Go to the “Locations and Availability” tab, then click the blue button that says “Reading Room Request”
  • You will be prompted to log in with your netid (PU students, faculty and staff) or to create an account as a non-Princeton University Patron
  • Come to the Mudd Library to view the thesis during our hours of operation and let us know that you have a request in the system

Senior theses created in 2013:

All senior theses created in 2013 are in PDF format, but they are only viewable at the computers in the reference room of the Mudd Library (i.e. “Walk-in Access”). You do not need to request 2013 theses prior to visiting the library.

Senior theses created in 2014 and in the future:

All 2014 senior theses are in PDF format, and most are accessible on any computer connected to the Princeton University network. A small percentage of theses are subject to temporary restrictions (embargo) or are restricted to computers in the reference room of the Mudd Library (i.e. “Walk-in Access”).

To view 2014 (and future) theses, visit the Senior Thesis Community page in DataSpace.

Use the search box to enter the author’s name, the title, or keywords.

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You can limit the search to a specific department by using the dropdown box labeled “In”.

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To find a thesis written by a specific author:

Use the Browse button “Author” to see an alphabetical list of authors in the system.

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Then click on a name to see an author’s thesis.

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To find theses advised by a specific advisor:

Use the Browse button “Author” (which also includes advisors’ names) to see an alphabetical list of advisors in the system. Click on the name to see the theses advised by this person. Please note, there may be multiple forms of name for each advisor, so check under each of the name entries for that individual (e.g. Anthony Grafton, Anthony T. Grafton, Anthony Thomas Grafton).

If you have questions, please contact us at mudd@princeton.edu

University Archives Launches Digital Repository of Senior Theses

 Written by Lynn Durgin

Through a joint project of the University Archives, the Office of the Dean of the College, and the Office of Information Technology, senior theses for the Classes of 2013, 2014, and all future classes will be collected and made accessible to the campus community via Princeton University’s digital repository, DataSpace.

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The University Archives made the transition from collecting paper theses to theses in digital format (PDFs) to broaden accessibility of senior theses within the Princeton community. The Senior Thesis Collection is the most frequently used collection at the University Archives and, as such, are consulted by Princeton students at a rate of about 1,000 per year to explore topics, gather ideas for possible faculty advisers, find sources, gain familiarity with disciplinary writing styles, develop research methodologies for their own theses, and to generally understand what makes a good thesis. The DataSpace repository also has the capability to capture and deliver multiple file formats including text, video, audio, and image files.

“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.”

While most theses will be available in full-text on all Princeton-networked computers, a small number will only be available at computer terminals in the Mudd Manuscript Library, and none will be directly accessible to the general public. Senior theses submitted in 2012 and before will continue to be available in paper format at the Mudd Manuscript Library.

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A direct link to the Senior Thesis Collection in DataSpace is available here: http://dataspace.princeton.edu/jspui/handle/88435/dsp019c67wm88m.

For more information on the Senior Thesis Collection, contact mudd@princeton.edu.

Class of 2013 Senior Theses Now Available on DataSpace

UPDATE, June 2, 2014: Class of 2013 Senior Theses are now available for viewing and download at the public computers at the Mudd Manuscript Library. Class of 2014 Senior Theses will be available throughout the Princeton University network by September 2014, with the exception of a small number of theses that are temporarily restricted, or limited to the Mudd Manuscript Library public computers.

UPDATE, October 18, 2013: At the request of the Office of the Dean of the College, access to the PDF files is temporarily suspended. Those seeking copies of 2013 theses should visit the Mudd Manuscript Library to obtain access to the theses. We will need users to provide the author’s name and department.

The Class of 2013 senior theses are now available on DataSpace at Princeton University. Senior theses are accessible in full-text, digital format from any Princeton-networked computer.

Theses can be searched using text (such as the author’s name, advisor’s name, or words in the title), or browsed by author, department, or title. Searching and browsing can happen at the collection level (Senior Thesis collection) or at the department level (e.g. English Department).

Researchers will still need to come to the Mudd Manuscript Library to view theses created before 2013. In the coming weeks, however, the data from the Princeton University Catalog of Senior Theses will be migrated to DataSpace so all of the theses can be searched from a single interface.  In due course, senior theses will be searchable in Books+. There are no plans to systematically digitize 2012 and earlier theses at this time.

Access to senior theses for researchers outside of Princeton University remains unchanged regardless of when the thesis was created or its format—a copy may be ordered by submitting a written request to the University Archives.

The creation of the digital archive of senior theses is a joint project between the Office of the Dean of the College, the University Archives at the Mudd Manuscript Library, and the Office of Information Technology.  Its intent is to broaden accessibility to senior theses within the Princeton community, as Princeton seniors consult them at a rate of about 1,000 per year to explore topics, gather ideas for possible faculty advisers, find sources, gain familiarity with disciplinary writing styles, develop research methodologies for their own theses, and understand what makes a good thesis. The archive also has the capability to capture and deliver multiple file formats including text, video, audio, and image files.

For more information on senior theses, please contact the Princeton University Archives at 609-258-6345 or mudd@princeton.edu.

 

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).