National Bibliographies and Abstracts


Canadian Theses / Thèses canadiennes, [1961–96]. Ottawa: Natl. Lib. of Canada, 1963–97. 2/yr., with cumulative index. Microfiche only since 1980–1981 (1984–97). 1947–1960. 2 vols. 1973. Z5055.C2 O883 013′.375′0971.

A bibliography of theses and dissertations accepted by Canadian institutions since 1947 or microfilmed by the National Library since 1981 and, beginning with the 1980–1981 volumes, foreign theses and dissertations by Canadians or related to Canada. Beginning with 1980–1981 entries are listed in processing order in two parts: works accepted by Canadian institutions; those by Canadians or about the country accepted by foreign institutions. Entries cite author, title, degree, institution, and date. Access to the parts is provided by four indexes (which cumulate with each issue): author and title; title keywords; Dewey Decimal Classification; ISBN. Before 1980–1981, entries are organized by Dewey Decimal Classification.

This work continues Canadian Graduate Theses in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 1921–1946 / Thèses des gradués canadiens dans les humanités et les sciences sociales (Ottawa: Cloutier, 1951; 194 pp.). Together, the two sources provide the fullest coverage of theses and dissertations accepted by Canadian institutions through 1996; however, researchers will find those on literature easier to identify in Antoine Naaman and Léo A. Brodeur, Répertoire des thèses littéraires canadiennes de 1921 à 1976, Collection “Bibliographies” 3 (Sherbrooke: Naaman, 1978; 453 pp.), a subject list that includes a few works in progress as of March 1976 and some written by Canadians at foreign universities. Canadian theses and dissertations on Canadian literature are covered by Gabel, Canadian Literature (R4660); several on British or American literature are listed in McNamee, Dissertations in English and American Literature (H490). Many Canadian dissertations—especially those received by the National Library of Canada since February 1991—are listed in American Doctoral Dissertations (H465a) and abstracted in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (H465). Theses/Thèses Canada ( allows users to search theses and dissertations in the Library and Archives Canada collection, to borrow copies, and to view a limited number in electronic form. For other bibliographies of Canadian dissertations and theses, see Denis Robitaille and Joan Waiser, Theses in Canada: A Bibliographic Guide / Thèses au Canada: Guide bibliographique (Ottawa: Natl. Lib. of Canada, 1986; 72 pp.).


ProQuest Dissertations and Theses: UK and Ireland. ProQuest. ProQuest, 2013. 23 Aug. 2013. <>. Updated regularly.

Index to Theses. Expert Information, 16 Oct. 2012. <>. Updated regularly.

Databases of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral theses accepted since 1716 by academic institutions in the British Isles. Records are taken from two publications:

  • Index to Theses with Abstracts on CD Accepted for Higher Degrees by the Universities of Great Britain and Ireland. London: Expert Information, 1953– . 8 issues and 2 CD-ROMs/yr. Frequency and title vary. A list of theses accepted since 1950. Currently, entries are listed alphabetically by author within classified subject divisions, including one for arts and humanities, with subdivisions for theater, cinema, broadcasting, and press; linguistics; and literature. The last has sections for general, classical, English (divided by period), American, Celtic, Romance (divided by language), Germanic (divided by language), Slavonic, and other languages. The organization has changed over the years. An entry includes title, author, institution, degree, date, and—since vol. 35 (1986)—an abstract (sometimes edited for length) for most PhD and DPhil theses. Since vol. 59 (2009), abstracts appear on the CD-ROM that accompanies the first and fifth issue of each volume; the microfilm abstracts for 1970–85 are available as PDF files through the database. Variations in institutional policies mean that the date can refer to submission, acceptance, or award of degree. Indexed by authors in each issue; the subject index was discontinued with vol. 48 (1999). Many theses can be downloaded from EThOS: Electronic Theses Online Service (

  • Retrospective Index to Theses of Great Britain and Ireland, 1716–1950. Ed. Roger R. Bilboul. 5 vols. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 1975–77. Addenda. 1977. 26 pp. Entries citing author, title, degree, date, and institution appear in two parts: (1) a subject index, which is based largely but not exclusively on title keywords, offers liberal cross-references, and provides several multiple entries; and (2) an author list. Since Retrospective Index is compiled from information supplied by institutions, there are inconsistencies and errors.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses: UK and Ireland uses ProQuest’s customized search form for dissertations and theses (see H465 for a description and discussion of the record structure). Because of the ability to sort records by date, set alerts, download records, and cross-search ProQuest Dissertations and Theses: Full Text (H465), ProQuest Dissertations and Theses: UK and Ireland offers the best access to the database.

The online Index to Theses offers four ways of searching the database:

  • Quick Search: keyword search of (presumably) all searchable record fields

  • Simple Search: keyword search of title, author, abstract; pull-down menu searches of university, classification scheme used by Index to Theses with Abstracts, and year (as designated in the Index to Theses with Abstracts record); fields must be combined by the Boolean “and” or “or”

  • Standard Search: combination keyword and pull-down menu searches of title, author, degree, classification, year, university, and any field; fields must be combined by “and” or “or”

  • Advanced Search: command line searches of title, author, university name, university identification code, classification, year, degree, and abstract; Help screen links (Search Tips and Various Examples) appear on only this page

Records are returned in no discernible order, although it is possible to limit the results of a search to records added or modified between two dates (for the search syntax, click the Various Examples link on the Advanced Search page). Full records include a link to full text. Unfortunately, the site does not allow users to mark records for printing, exporting, or downloading; indeed, the only way to extract a record is through a Web browser’s print or copy functions. Awkward to navigate (Simple Search and Standard Search should be combined into a single screen) and time-consuming to use if a researcher needs to examine and copy a large number of records, the online Index to Theses is no longer the preferred resource for identifying British and Irish theses.

Since 1988, many British doctoral dissertations are abstracted in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses: Full Text (H465) and available through UMI. The best general source for copies, however, remains EThOS: Electronic Theses Online Service (see above).


Union List of Higher Degree Theses in Australian University Libraries: Cumulative Edition to 1965. Hobart: U of Tasmania Lib., 1967. 568 pp. Supplement, [1966–89]. 1971–91. Irregular. Since the supplement for 1974, the main title omits University. Z5055.A698 U5 011′.7.

A union list of master’s theses and doctoral dissertations accepted by Australian universities and held by at least one Australian university library. Works are organized alphabetically by author within extensively classified subject divisions (including, in the later supplements, folklore, language, literature, and theater). Two indexes: authors; subject headings (the supplements have an additional one for title keywords). Although the subject classification is sometimes imprecise because it is based largely on titles and although coverage is not exhaustive, Union List offers the fullest record of theses and dissertations accepted by Australian universities. The National Library of Australia’s plan to assume publication of the Union List was never realized.

The prefatory matter of the last supplement discusses the availability of theses in Australian university libraries. For additional information, see How to Locate Australian Theses: A Guide to Theses in Progress or Completed at Australian Universities and the University of Papua New Guinea (Canberra: Lib., Australian Nat. U, 1979; 41 pp.). Recent Australian theses can be searched through Trove (R4462); see A Guide to Trove/Help on Finding Australian Theses. Most searches will return records for books and non-Australian theses.

The best resource for identifying Australian theses accepted after 1985 is Libraries Australia (

See also

English and American Studies in German (G440).