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How to find PhD theses

Dutch theses: full-text online

Dutch theses can be found in UvA-DARE (UvA) and NARCIS (all Dutch universities).

Dutch theses: print edition

To find theses in print editions, search the UvA catalogue or PiCarta.

 UvA catalogue

  • go to Advanced Search
  • select the search key Subject from the drop-down menu at the first search window
  • enter proefschriften
  • at the next search window, select Author if you are looking for a specific author, or Subject if you wish to search by topic
  • combine both search windows with AND

Or use the search key All words and enter your search terms including thesis.


  • select Advanced 
  • select the search key Subject heading for the first search window
  • for the second search window select the search key Subject heading or All words if you are looking for theses on a specific topic, or Author if you are looking for the thesis of a specific author.

Bibliographies Dutch theses 1924-1986

The following reference works list older Dutch theses:  Catalogus van academische geschriften in Nederland en Nederlandsch Indië verschenen (1924-1945), continued as Catalogus van academische geschriften in Nederland verschenen (1946-1976). Bibliografie van Nederlandse proefschriften (1977-1986) is an annual bibliography, ordered by faculty, with author index.

International theses

Full-text theses may be downloaded from:

More databases with dissertations:

  • Registry of Open Access Repositories: select a country and select from the pulldown menu: Any Repository Type for e-Theses.
  • Open DOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories): click Search for repositories, select from the pulldown menu Any Content Type for Theses and select a country.

A number of subject-specific databases contain the data of dissertations. Each database has specific descriptors, publication types and options to limit the search results. In Sociological Abstracts, for example, you can limit to Publication Type Dissertations & Theses. If you find an interesting reference, the thesis may be full-text available through one of the resources mentioned above. If this is not the case, you might try ordering it from Dissertation Express.

Published by  Library UvA

16 September 2016