Why use dissertations for your research?

Dissertations are excellent sources of trustworthy, thorough, and narrowly-focused research. They represent the cutting-edge of research on music, and provide in-depth analysis of everything for composers' styles, their works, and their lives. For performers, dissertations can be great sources for annotated bibliographies of repertoire, and they can also include detailed examination of specific works that can help with everything from tonal analysis to performance practice. Lastly, they include really helpful bibliographies and lists of references that can help you to find other relevant sources for your own research.

The dissertation databases below represent a range of resources:

  • Some provide full-text access to PDFs of dissertations (look for the PDF icon or a button that says download PDF)
     
  • Others list author names and other publication information that you can use to place a request for the item through interlibrary loan

Top pick for finding dissertations: ProQuest Dissertation and Theses

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses should be your first stop for searching for dissertations because:

  • Our subscription will give you full-text access to documents published through Big Ten institutions - just click the "download PDF" button. 
    An image of the "Download PDF" button from the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database.

     
  • This resource indexes dissertations published at universities all over North America - if you can't get access to a PDF from the database, click the M-Find it button to place an interlibrary loan request.
    An image of the "M-Find It" button that appears in UMN Libraries e-resources to make it possible to place an interlibrary loan request directly from a database interface.
     

Want to see what dissertations are available from other institutions around the world and that you can't access through ProQuest Dissertations & Theses? Check out the links at the bottom of this page. Contact Jessica Abbazio, Music Librarian at jabbazio@umn.edu for help!

What to do when you can't access a PDF/the full text of a dissertation

Dissertations are excellent sources of trustworthy, thorough, and narrowly-focused research. They represent the cutting-edge of research on music, and provide in-depth analysis of everything for composers' styles, their works, and their lives. For performers, dissertations can be great sources for annotated bibliographies of repertoire, and they can also include detailed examination of specific works that can help with everything from tonal analysis to performance practice. Lastly, they include really helpful bibliographies and lists of references that can help you to find other relevant sources for your own research.

The dissertation databases below represent a range of resources:

  • Some provide full-text access to PDFs of dissertations (look for the PDF icon or a button that says download PDF)
     
  • Others list author names and other publication information that you can use to place a request for the item through interlibrary loan. If you locate a dissertation you need but can't access a full-text document, try clicking the maroon and gold M-Find It button (if you see one):

An image of the M-Find It button that appears in Libraries digital resources when the Libraries does not have direct access to a resource and it's necessary to request it through interlibrary loan.

Clicking the M-Find It button will take you to the Libraries catalog, where you should click on the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) link to place a request through the ILL system:

An image of the interlibrary loan link that appears in the catalog record after a user clicks the M-Find It button to access an item to which the University Libraries does not have direct access.

 

If you don't see an M-Find It button, you can place a request for the item by filling out a form on the the Libraries Interlibrary Loan page:

  • Visit the ILL homepage at lib.umn.edu/interlibraryloan
     
  • Click the box labeled "Thesis" under the "Create a Delivery Request" heading

    An image of the University Libraries Interlibrary Loan homepage with an arrow pointing to the link for the form needed to create a delivery request for a thesis or dissertation.
     
  • Once you're logged in with your University ID and password, fill out the form with as much information as you have about the dissertation (NOTE: If you found the resource in one of the dissertation databases below, it's helpful to keep that page open in a tab on your browser; all of the information you'll need to complete this form should be available for you to copy and paste from the database.)

 

Questions? Need help? Contact Jessica Abbazio, Music Librarian, at jabbazio@umn.edu

Find Dissertations and Conference Papers

Last Updated: Oct 14, 2021 3:14 PM