University PhD theses digitisation project

The University Library PhD digitisation project will complete the digitisation of the University of Edinburgh’s collection of roughly 25,000 PhDs.
Approximately 10,000 PhDs are already accessible online through the Edinburgh Research Archive, our institutional repository, and this project will digitise the remaining 15,000, thereby making unique Edinburgh research available to all.
The collection dates from the early 1600s to the present day and includes theses of varying sizes, styles and formats. Duplicate theses will have their spines removed using an IDEAL 4705 Guillotine and will then be fed through the 100-page-per minute Kodak i4250 document scanner. These copies will be recycled, freeing up around 500 linear metres of storage space in the Main Library building.
Unique theses will be scanned manually using a Copibook Cobalt flatbed scanner and any items in poor condition will receive conservation treatment.
Following scanning, digital images will undergo several post-processing procedures, such as de-skewing, cropping and de-blurring, and will also be OCR-ed to enable keyword searching. Fully processed files will be uploaded to ERA as searchable multipage PDFs.
All files are due to be made available online by the end of 2018. For further information, please contact
You can find more information on the project blog at:
To search our databases for other PhDs and dissertations from across the world, go to our webpage for theses databases at:

Finding full text theses and dissertations

The Library offers access to a wide range of online dissertations and theses via the Theses Databases webpage which you can access via
Our theses databases include ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Full Text online. This resource contains millions of searchable citations to dissertations and theses from around the world from 1861 to the present day, together with over a million full text dissertations that are available for download in PDF format. Around 70,000 new dissertations and theses are added annually. It is available on and off campus using your EASE log-in.
The Theses Databases webpage mentioned above also gives guidance about how to submit a thesis, how to find theses by University of Edinburgh students and what the Edinburgh Research Archive (ERA) is.
More help can be found at the Scholarly Communications webpage: