Doctoral Dissertation Library Of Congress

Alcove 9: An Annotated List of Reference Websites

Education: Dissertations/Theses

ABES (Agence Bibliographique de l'Enseignement Superieur)
Citations to French dissertations.

Australasian Digital Theses Project
From the Council of Australian University Librarians, a searchable database of Ph.D. dissertations from Australian and New Zealand universities. Many dissertations are freely available in PDF; some member institutions may charge a fee for full-text access to their dissertations.

Center for Research Libraries
Twenty thousand doctoral dissertations from outside of the United States and Canada are searchable from this site. No full text is available online, but items can be ordered through interlibrary loan by students, faculty, and staff.

Digital Library and Archives
Digital Library and Archives allows searching for citations and abstracts of thousands of theses and dissertations. Free full-text access is provided for a substantial percentage of these items.

Directory of Dissertations in Progress
From the American Historical Association, a directory containing citations to thousands of dissertations in progress from over 170 academic departments in Canada and the U.S. This is a citation database of dissertations in progress in the area of history. has relatively few dissertations and theses in its collection, but the site allows free, full-text access to the first twenty-five pages of each item.

Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology
This is an international database of citations for dissertations in musicology that contains over 12,000 records. Dissertations range from approximately 1950 to the present.

EthOS Open Access to UK Theses
EThOS is the UK’s national thesis service with approximately 300,000 records relating to theses awarded by over 120 institutions. Almost 100,000 of these also provide access to the full text theses, either via download from the EThOS database or via links to the institution’s own repository.

NDLTD (Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations)
NDLTD provides access to citations from thousands of digital dissertations and theses that are in PDF format. A significant number of these resources are freely available in full-text and can be viewed online.

OpenThesis is a searchable compendium of theses, dissertations and other academic documents from around the world. The site is completely free.

PhdData: The Universal Index of Dissertations in Progress
PhdData has citations from several thousand dissertations in progress from various parts of the world. Requires free registration for use.

Theses Canada Portal
Theses Canada provides access to bibliographic citations for all the theses in the National Library of Canada Theses Collection. Access to full-text theses is available for all items published between January 1, 1998 to August 31, 2002.

The deadline for 2018-2019 fellowship applications was 5:00 pm Eastern time on Monday, December 4, and CLIR is no longer accepting application materials. We regret that we cannot comment on the status of individual applications during the review period, but all applicants will be notified of their application’s status by Monday, April 2, 2018. CLIR will begin accepting applications for the 2019-2020 fellowships in fall 2018.

As part of its Mellon Fellowships program, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) offers a fellowship award to support original source dissertation research in the humanities or related social sciences at the Preservation Research and Testing Division of the Preservation Directorate at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The fellowship is offered as part of CLIR’s long-established Mellon Fellowship program and is generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

About the Fellowship

The Library of Congress has an array of new technologies and tools that can reveal hidden information on original sources and permit a more rigorous approach to scholarly questions concerning influence, provenance, intent, and object construction. CLIR seeks proposals from applicants whose dissertation projects would benefit from using these tools to examine the unique historical objects – books, maps, manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings, drawings, etc. – available at the Library of Congress.

The fellow will work on-site with the professional staff in the Preservation Research and Testing Division (PRTD). A mentor from the Division will work closely with the fellow, as well as the fellow’s dissertation advisor(s) and other professors at the fellow’s home institution, to ensure the fellow receives the training and support necessary to successfully complete the full year of research. PRTD staff will act as a liaison with special collection curators to ensure the fellow has access to a range of expertise and knowledge that supports their area of study. No prior technical experience or scientific background is required to apply for this fellowship.

How To Apply

To access the application guidelines, including a link to the online application form, click here >>.

  • Applications, including reference letters, will be due in the fall of 2018 for the 2019-2020 fellowship year.
  • Note that applicants interested in the Library of Congress fellowship opportunity are required to submit an additional essay as part of their research proposal.
  • Applicants requesting consideration of their proposal for the Library of Congress-specific fellowship will automatically also be considered for a regular CLIR Mellon dissertation fellowship.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility requirements are the same as those for the overall fellowship program, with the  additional requirement that the applicant must also plan to do dissertation research with original source material at the Library of Congress for a period of 9-12 months.

Fellowship Tenure and Conditions

The fellowship tenure and conditions are generally the same as those for the overall fellowship program.

In addition to the fellowship’s $2,000 monthly fellowship stipend, the CLIR/Library of Congress Mellon dissertation fellow will be granted an additional $500 per month to support living expenses in Washington, D.C. Thus the maximum award for 2018 will be $31,000.


If you have questions regarding the fellowship application process, click here to contact CLIR. For questions regarding the Library of Congress and the Preservation Directorate, please click here to contact Dr. Fenella France, Chief of the Library’s Preservation Research and Testing Division.

The information below is related specifically to the CLIR/Library of Congress Mellon fellowship. For general questions about the program, see the Questions section on the program’s main For Applicants page.

  1. What new technologies and equipment might I work with during my fellowship at The Library of Congress?
    The Preservation Research and Testing Divisionuse a range of technologies and methods of analysis to furnish new information useful to researchers investigating original sources.
  • hyperspectral imaging (HSI) system enables non-invasive recovery of obscured and degraded text, and unique identifiers such as fingerprints, as well as spectral analysis of pigments, inks, substrates, treatments and other conditions to reveal the history of technology, manufacture and use of original source materials.
  • An environmental scanning electron microscope (E-SEM) and an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer allow non-destructive or direct examination of collection and similar materials, enabling identification of inorganic pigments and colorants and new interpretations of the materials, treatments and changes effected by environmental conditions. The Library’s handheld XRF analyzer can be taken out of the lab and directly into collection storage areas to allow analysis in-situ. This can provide information about elements present in materials that can link them to specific regions, or time periods.
  • Raman and other spectroscopies enable identification of pigments and other colorants used in original sources and can help date/provenance the document or object to a specific time period.
  • The Library is also currently developing a handheld Fourier transform infrared spectroscope (FT-IR) to allow in-situ identification and assessment of magnetic tape and other modern storage media.
  • Gas chromatograph mass spectrometers (GC-MS) allow detection of minute quantities of organic compounds, enabling identification of modern and aged cultural heritage objects.
  • State-of-the-art environmental chambers, including a Weatherometer, allow accelerated and natural aging studies to forensically determine the nature and history of original source materials.
  • Finally, a specially designed scanning system, unique to the Library, can enable researches to capture sound from obsolete or damaged analog audio formats.

All these tools can enable a researcher to formulate new interpretations of geographical and cultural origin of materials; their period of manufacture, associated use, history and technology (such as possible source or trade routes for materials), identification of relevant time period of pigments and colorants; and, sometimes, the state of mind of the originators of original source materials.

  1. Is there original source material at the Library of Congress that is relevant to my dissertation research?

There are 160 million items in the Library of Congress, including international collections of original source material. Search the catalog to see if there are original sources related to your research.

  1. Where can I find more information about the work being done at the Library of Congress?
    You’ll find the website of the Library of Congress here, and their blog here. You may also wish to review the following articles and presentations regarding some of the available technologies and current initiatives at the Library of Congress:

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