Oxford Theses

Which theses are held

The Bodleian Library holds all non-scientific, postgraduate doctoral theses, and most non-scientific, postgraduate subdoctoral theses for which a deposit requirement is stipulated by the University:

D.Phil. (doctoral) theses
B.D. theses,
B.Litt./M.Litt. theses since Michaelmas Term 1953
B.Phil./M.Phil. theses since Michaelmas Term 1977

Some theses administered by the Bodleian Library are dispatched to other locations:

The Bodleian Law Library holds theses submitted to the Faculty of Law.

The Vere Harmsworth Library holds theses on the United States.

Theses held at the Bodleian Library, the Bodleian Law Library, and the Vere Harmsworth Library are administered by Oxford Theses (Humanities).

The Social Science Library holds a significant collection of taught-course, M.Phil. and M.Sc. theses including: Comparative Social Policy; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Development Studies (selected); Economics and Evidence Based Social Intervention. A number of other social science theses are deposited in the SSL on a voluntary basis

The Tylor Library holds M.Phils in Social Anthropology.

The Balfour Library holds M.Phils in Material and Visual Anthropology, and some older Prehistoric Archaeology.

The Sackler Library holds M.Phils in Classical Archaeology and European Archaeology.

The Radcliffe Science Library holds all postgraduate theses in the sciences for which a deposit requirement is stipulated by the University. Science theses are outside the scope of this department. Please contact: Marija Babic, Oxford Theses (Scientific).

Locating Oxford Theses


All D.Phil. and B.Litt./M.Litt. theses

All B.Phil./M.Phil. theses from 1993

All Law theses

All science theses

There is an ongoing project to convert earlier, B.Phil./M.Phil. theses from the card catalogues to SOLO and an increasing number can now be found.

Card index: the Rare Books department keeps an author card index of Oxford theses that includes all older, non-scientific theses not yet catalogued in SOLO. Please ask Weston Library staff for assistance, or contact the Theses Desk.

Social Science Library theses are held on open-shelf and can be browsed by Dept/Course/Year. All theses for courses currently taught in Oxford are catalogued in SOLO, and work is in progress to catalogue older theses (particularly the archive received from the Department of Social Policy and Social Work).

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses: UK & Ireland: Bibliographic details of Oxford theses not in SOLO.

To find the shelfmarks of such theses, apply to the staff of the Weston Library's Charles Wendell David Reading Room who will ask the Rare Books department to check the card catalogue of non-scientific theses that are not in SOLO.

ORA (Oxford University Research Archive): Provides full-text, PDF copies of most recent D.Phil. theses, and some earlier B.Litt./M.Litt. theses.

Ordering Oxford theses

Non-scientific theses held in the Bodleian Library may be ordered to the Charles Wendell David Reading Room in the Weston Library (Music theses may also be ordered to the Sir Charles Mackerras Reading Room). These are the only locations available to readers placing an order through SOLO. Theses that do not yet appear in SOLO may be requested using the green order slips in Weston Library reading rooms. Theses are now stored outside Oxford at our Swindon storage faculty (BSF) so please allow at least one weekday for delivery.


Please note that all those who consult an Oxford thesis are required to sign a declaration recognising that the copyright of the thesis rests with the author and that no quotation from it or information derived from it may be published without the prior consent of the author. Some Oxford theses cannot be consulted without the author's permission. Permission may in the form of a signed letter, or an email if sent from a verifiable (i.e., institutional) email address.

Obtaining copies of or from an Oxford thesis

Copying of Oxford theses, even of a single page, may require the author's written permission which must be submitted to reading room staff before such an order can be accepted. Digital copies of theses and copies made for library or institutional use always require the author's written permission. For individual copies, permission may in the form of a signed letter, or an email if sent from a verifiable (i.e., institutional) email address. If the thesis is to be placed in the Oxford University Research Archive (ORA) then a permissions form signed by the author is required because it contains the necessary legal statements.

Contact information for authors can often be found on the internet. If not, college development/alumni offices try to retain contact details for old members and can generally forward letters or emails. Often, the college can be found in the catalogue record for the thesis. You can also check the annual successful candidates list in the Weston Library's Rare Books & Manuscripts Reading Room which gives the author's college.

There are no conservation restrictions on the amount that you may copy so, with the rights-holder's consent, theses may be copied in their entirety. For reasons of copyright, only one purchase copy of a thesis may be acquired unless consent is first obtained to acquire multiple copies.

Note that all copies must be ordered through a staff-mediated service; self-service copying of theses is not permitted.

Contact us

Rare Books
Room 1.05
Weston Library
Bodleian Libraries
Broad Street
United Kingdom

+44 (0)1865 277609


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