The Bodleian Libraries hold copies of many theses. These can be found on SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online) and may be ordered up from the bookstack.
Many continental European theses accepted for higher degrees and published before 1973 are held in the Bodleian Library but are not yet catalogued on SOLO. These holdings can be found in the Foreign Dissertations Catalogue card index. This catalogue is unfortunately not currently available to readers. Access to material in this catalogue is via staff at the Main Enquiry Desk in the Lower Reading Room of the Old Bodeian Library. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01865 277162.
It is also useful to check COPAC, which gives access to the online catalogues of some of the largest university and research libraries in the UK and Ireland, to see if the thesis has been purchased by one of these libraries. Such theses may be obtained by current members of Oxford University by interlibrary loan for a the standard subsidised fee.
Readers who are not current members of Oxford University will be charged differently; we recommend that such readers use the facilities provided by their own institution or their local public library.
Dissertations and Theses is a useful tool for locating theses from beyond Great Britain dating from 1861 to the present. Although the majority are US theses, Dissertations and Theses also includes many European, Canadian and Mexican theses.
More specific bibliographic resources for finding theses and dissertations:
Australia: Australasian Digital Theses Program
Canada: Theses Canada allows you to find theses in Library and Archives Canada's theses collection, which was established in 1965. Many Canadian theses dating from 1990 onwards can also be found on Dissertation and Theses.
Europe: DART-Europe E-theses Portal is a partnership of research libraries and library consortia who are working together to improve global access to European research theses. The DART-Europe partners help to provide researchers with a single European Potal for the discovery of Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs), and they participate in advocacy to influence future European e-theses developments. This resources is a search interface for thesis across Europe, containing over 220,200 full text thesis.
France: The Sudoc catalogue lets you search bibliographic information on all types of documents, including theses, held by French academic libraries, as well as other higher educational establishments. Instructions on searching are available in English as well as French.
Germany: All German doctoral theses have to be published (even if in limited runs), and should therefore be more widely available than their British counterparts.
The Deutsche Bibliothek is the central archival library and national bibliographic centre for the Federal Republic of Germany, serving the function of a national library. The ordinary catalogue/hochschulschriften option can be used to search for all German theses. This database can also be searched via Google.
Karlsruhe University hosts a meta search interface or “supra-catalogue” which allows you to simultaneously search across a number of library and book trade catalogues via the web. It is especially useful for searching for German theses, embracing a number of German resources, but also covers Austria, Switzerland and other countries to some extent. Information about searching is also available in English.
The following are commercial sites for German dissertations, but like Dissertations and Theses can be used as bibliographies. Only the first has an English language option:
Ireland: All Irish theses can be found using Index to Theses.
Spain: Bases de Datos de Tesis Doctorales (TESEO) is a Spanish bibliography. There is no English translation available. Some Spanish theses can also be found on Dissertations and Theses.
Alternatively, the catalogues of national libraries may help in tracking down theses from their countries. See:
Find other libraries through BUBL.
It may be possible for current members of Oxford University to obtain an interlibrary loan of a foreign dissertation from outside the UK. Please ensure that both sides of the interlibrary loan request form is completed correctly as incomplete forms cannot be processed. There is a standard subsidised charge for international interlibrary loans. Interlibrary loans staff will contact you by email when the item has arrived although considerable time may elapse before the thesis arrives.
Readers who are not current members of Oxford University will be charged differently for interlibrary loans; we recommend that such readers use the facilities provided by their own institution or their local public library.
Obtaining copies from other theses
Printed dissertations may be copied up to the normal limits, although some 19th-century theses may be subject to conservation restrictions. Please see the Making a Copy pages for more details.
Copying from paper theses obtained through interlibrary loans from international libraries will depend on restrictions imposed by the library lending the item.