Answered By: Archives Reference Staff
Last Updated: Aug 09, 2022     Views: 4475

The University Archives maintains comprehensive holdings of undergraduate honors theses. Please note that theses written through 2019 are only available in paper and those written from 2020 and later are only available in digital form.

Most theses held by the Archives are cataloged in HOLLIS.

Searching for undergraduate theses

  1. Select "Library Catalog" instead of "Catalog & Articles"
  2. Search by author, title, keyword, name of academic department and/or date -- with the words: honors thesis
  3. As examples, you can consider trying a key word search in combination with the following words --


How to get access to recent digital theses?

For the 2020 and later academic years, honors theses held by the Archives are accessible from links in HOLLIS. Click "online access" to read the thesis. Access is currently restricted to Harvard affiliates and you will need to log in with your Harvard Key. Please note that the theses are fully readable but are not available for download.


How to request digital scans or reading room access to theses written through 2019?

You will need to create an online account in the HOLLIS Special Request system to submit requests for reading room use or digital copies. After you create an account, you may submit your request as either a Reading Room Request or a Copy Request.

As you complete the HOLLIS SPECIAL REQUEST online order form, please be sure to include the following information in the following fields to expedite the request.

  • Library: Harvard University Archives
  • Title: Enter the title of thesis
  • Author: Enter the name of the author
  • Call number: (for example:  HU 92.2010.50 or Accession 19419 or Accession 2016.437)


Please be sure to complete a separate request form for each unique title and call number.

Do note that the author’s written permission is required to copy theses and prize essays for the first five years after submission.

Imaging Services currently charges a flat rate of $135 to scan and deliver copies of Harvard theses, dissertations, and prize papers for reference use. If a digital version of the work already exists, Imaging Services only will charge a $30 fee to download a copy.

When you submit the online copy request, Imaging Services staff will reply with cost and delivery information.

Retrievals of prize essays from off-site storage can take up to three business days. For reading room or scan requests, you can check your HOLLIS Special Request account to monitor the status of your request.