Duke Psychology & Neuroscience Dissertation Digitization Project

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thanks to Duke Library Staff, a number of dissertations and theses from Duke's Department of Psychology & Neuroscience (P&N)  are available in electronic format for the first time.

It all started when P&N staff were cleaning out offices in Duke's social-psychology building, home to the department of Psychology & Neuroscience. They found boxes of old, musty dissertations, some of which had been in storage for many years. These boxes made their way to Jeff Kosokoff, Head of Collection Strategy and Development for Duke Libraries.

From there, the books made their way to Duke's Library Service Center, a state-of-the-art, high-density repository that opened in 2001 to store and to preserve the expanding collections of the Duke University Libraries. Located about 10 minutes from Duke's main campus, the LSC currently stores more than 3 million books and has the potential to store more than 15 million.

At the LSC, library staff used special vacuums to remove the dust and debris from the books.  The dissertations were then digitized and made available for the public for the first time.

According to P&N librarian Ciara Healy, this is this first retrospective digitization project of theses and dissertations of its kind at the University. Although dissertations and theses have been available in electronic format since 2006, older copies of theses, some going back as far as 1930, have either been missing or not available in print.

A link to the collection can be found here.

Inspired by this project, P&N recently constructed a comprehensive dissertation archive now featured on the alumni section of their  website. The archive includes listings of authors, dates, and titles of P&N dissertations, with links to the items from Duke's library catalog. These links point to all dissertations in electronic format, including the ones that were recently scanned. For those dissertations not available in electronic format, a link to the Duke Library location is provided. Most print copies are available at Duke's Library Service Center.

Healy has provided instructions for searching for dissertations and theses in Duke's Library Catalog below:

Duke catalog title search: https://screencast.com/t/Yv0AZz5Z
Duke catalog author search: https://screencast.com/t/It55niWMjkOX

If a dissertation was submitted in electronic form, the best place to search is in DukeSpace:

Search by tile in DukeSpace: https://screencast.com/t/C0o4ub8zYc
Search by Author in DukeSpace: https://screencast.com/t/Te9CD3Hcb