Home > Collections > Rare Books and Manuscripts > Archives > Dissertations
Johns Hopkins Doctoral Dissertations and Master's Essays
Every graduate student at The Johns Hopkins University who completes a master's essay or doctoral dissertation is required to submit one paper copy to the Milton S. Eisenhower Library. This includes students receiving the Ph.D. from the School of Medicine, the School of Hygiene and Public Health, and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. The Library encourages the use of this material and will make dissertations and essays available to all Library patrons. Since 1978, Hopkins dissertations completed on the Homewood Campus have a microfilm copy available through the Audiovisual/Microform Center, in addition to the paper copy. The microfilm itself is housed at Libraries Service Center and will be returned to A/V on request. Master's essays have not been microfilmed.
TERMINOLOGY: The Johns Hopkins University uses the term thesis in reference to what is commonly called a dissertation, while Master's degree publications, otherwise known as theses, are known locally as essays.
If you have been denied access to a Hopkins dissertation due to a restriction notice in the catalog record, more information is available on the Policy For Handling Restricted Dissertations page.
Students who need more information about submitting an essay or dissertation for binding or microfilming should contact the Commercial Binding Office.
1878 - present
Affiliates of the Johns Hopkins University also have access to ProQuest Digital Dissertations, which includes online access to citations and abstracts for every title in the Dissertation Abstracts database. You may also download the full text of dissertations available in electronic form. If you are affiliated with another educational institution, check with your library to see if they participate in ProQuest Digital Dissertations. Anyone can order paper copies of any dissertation that has been microfilmed by visiting ProQuest Dissertation Express.
1921 - present
Annual Commencement programs -- located in Special Collections, A-Level [dissertations only]
1876 - 1957
Annual Reports of the President located in Special Collections, A- Level and also contained in the JHU Circular, AS 36 .J6 [dissertations only]
1876 - 1926
List of Dissertations Submitted in Conformity with the Requirements for the Degrees... -- Z 5055 .U5 J67 1926 [dissertations only]
If neither the catalogs nor the various other finding aids list the item, and you believe it to be a Hopkins product, contact the Archivist at (410) 516-8323.
Reading Dissertations and Essays
Patrons should be aware that it can take up to a year following submission of a dissertation or essay to the Library before it becomes available to the public. Manuscripts first are sent to ProQuest (PQ) for microfilming, then to a bindery. Upon return from the bindery, they go to the Cataloging Department. After being cataloged, they are sent to the shelves. While dissertations are at PQ, and while dissertations and essays are at the bindery, they will be unavailable. Patrons interested in a dissertation or essay submitted within the past year, but not yet cataloged, should check with the Archivist. Access arrangements often can be made if the title is on the premises.
Patrons should also be aware that a dissertation or essay submitted and approved during the summer or fall semester will be dated with the following calendar year. For example, a dissertation submitted in the fall of 1997 will be copyrighted as of that date, but, because the degree is not conferred until the following May, it will bear the date 1998 in the cataloging record, and this will be considered the date of publication.
Effective June 2007, all cataloged dissertations and essays are housed in the Libraries Service Center (LSC). Dissertations and essays at LSC can be retrieved by placing a Closed Stack Access (CSA) request via the ‘Request’ button in the public catalog record. Theses and dissertations will be delivered only to Special Collections. If a circulating copy exists, it can be picked up in Special Collections and taken to the Circ Desk and checked out, or, upon receipt of a standard interlibrary loan request (faxed to 410-516-7202), a circulating copy can be borrowed through interlibrary loan.
Photocopying is available for most non-circulating items; please contact the Archivist for details. Special Collections is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Thursdays until 8:00 p.m.). For patrons located beyond the Baltimore region, “circulating photocopies” may be made available for a fee, as long as the title is not available through ProQuest (see below). Please contact the Archivist for further details.
ProQuest has microfilm copies of Hopkins dissertations from 1967 to the present. ProQuest will sell paper or microfilm reproductions of dissertations in its collections. The address and telephone number to contact are: ProQuest Information and Learning, Customer Service, 789 E. Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346 (telephone 800-521-3042).