- Location of Theses
- Borrowing Theses
- Call Number
McMaster theses in all formats (print, microfiche or online) are listed in McMaster's library catalogue. Theses can be searched by title, author (personal name or department), subject (LCSH or MeSH), keyword(s) or call number.
Location of Theses
McMaster theses are located in various areas of MILLS (Humanities and Social Sciences), INNIS (Business), THODE (Science and Engineering) and HEALTH SCIENCES libraries. The library and location of a particular McMaster thesis will be noted in the library catalogue. Theses available online can be accessed by clicking on the link in the library catalogue record.
McMaster theses in print format can be borrowed with a valid McMaster identification card (e.g. faculty, staff, current students, external borrowers, etc.). The availability or circulation status (e.g. checked out) of a thesis will be noted in the library catalogue.
ALL McMaster theses are searchable by the title of the thesis.
If you know the exact title of a thesis, or some of the words in the title, use one of the Title indexes in the library catalogue.
- Example: Title EVIL IN MODERN THEATRE
- This search will retrieve a thesis entitled Evil in Modern Theatre : Eschatology, Expediency and the Tragic Vision
- Example: in Title FOUR CAVES
- This search will retrieve a thesis entitled A Tale of Four Caves : ESR Dating of Mousterian Layers at Iberian Archaeological Sites
NOTE: To ensure that you have retrieved a thesis in your search results, view the full details and look for the words Thesis--McMaster University in the NOTES.
ALL McMaster theses are searchable by the personal name of the author.
If you know the proper name of the author, use the Search for words: in Author index in the library catalogue.
- Example: in Author TAMARA ROMANUK
- This search will retrieve Tamara Natasha Romanuk's thesis The Relationship Between Diversity and Stability in Tropical Rock Pools
SOME McMaster theses can be searched using MCMASTER UNIVERSITY and the department within which the degree program was offered as an author.
- Example: in Author MCMASTER UNIVERSITY DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
- This search will retrieve a list of thesis titles associated with the Department of Psychology.
To browse through a list of departments, select the Search begins with ... Author index in the library catalogue and type MCMASTER UNIVERSITY DEPT OF. This search strategy will result in a list of McMaster departments with thesis entries.
Things to Remember when Performing Departmental Searches
Department vs. Degree
It is important to distinguish between a department and the degree program. For example, the department of Classics has offered graduate programs in Classics, Classical Studies, Greek, Latin and Roman Studies. If you were looking for a thesis completed by a student who received a Master in Classical Studies, the appropriate department would be the Department of Classics.
- Example: Author MCMASTER UNIVERSITY DEPT OF CLASSICS
Not all McMaster theses are searchable by department. In some libraries, it was not until ca. 1991 that it became mandatory to have the McMaster department as a searchable field. This means that in Mills, Innis and Thode libraries, all theses written from 1990 to the present, and all theses written prior to 1983 (since this latter category was entered into the Library Catalogue beginning in September 1991), can be searched by department. However, most theses written between 1983 and 1989 cannot be accessed in this type of search.
- Example: Author MCMASTER UNIVERSITY DEPT OF HISTORY
Note the dates of the theses retrieved in this example.
It is also important to remember that some departments have changed over time. Departments may have split, merged or simply been renamed. When this occurred, the Library Catalogue provides See also: or Related author references directing you to other relevant departments you may wish to search.
- Example: Author MCMASTER UNIVERSITY DEPT OF RELIGION
- (Related author) McMaster University Dept. of Religious Studies
If you are unable to locate a McMaster department using the Search begins with ... Author index, try entering MCMASTER along with a word that describes a field of study in the Search for words: in Author index.
- Example: in Author MCMASTER DRAMA
- This search will retrieve theses with the heading McMaster University. School of Art, Drama and Music
Since author searching using the department is inconsistent, if you require only theses from a specific department, you may wish to consult convocation records in Mills Library to determine the names of graduates from specific programs. These names can then be used in an Author Search Using a Personal Name.
SOME McMaster theses can be searched using subject headings. In MILLS, INNIS and THODE libraries, Master and PhD. theses from 1983 to the present have been assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and/or subject keywords.*
- Example: Subject SUFFRAGISTS GREAT BRITAIN
- This search will retrieve Beryl Haslam's 1990 thesis From Suffrage to Internationalism: The Impact of the Great War on Some Edwardian Women Activists
- All Bachelor theses and most Master and Ph.D theses before 1983 have only been assigned the generic subject heading MCMASTER UNIVERSITY DISSERTATIONS.
- Theses from 1983 to 2000 have been assigned both the generic subject heading and LCSH.
- Theses from 2001 onward have been assigned LCSH and/or subject keywords.
In the HEALTH SCIENCES library, theses have been assigned Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).*
- Example: Medical Subject HEART FAILURE PSYCHOLOGY
- This search will retrieve Jo-Anne Costello's 2003 thesis A Qualitative Case Study of the Experience of Men and Women with Congestive Heart Failure
NOTE: Many health sciences theses have also been assigned the generic medical subject heading DISSERTATIONS ACADEMIC MCMASTER UNIVERSITY HEALTH SCIENCES
|To determine the correct subject heading for a topic, consult LCSH
(click >> Search Authorities <<) or MeSH.
Print copies are located near the Service Desks of some campus libraries.
If you do NOT know the EXACT Library of Congress or Medical Subject Headings for your topic, try the Search for words: in Subject index in the library catalogue.
- Example: in Subject EXERCISE BLOOD PRESSURE
- This search will retrieve theses that contain the words "exercise" and "blood pressure" in the subject heading field (LCSH and MeSH) of the Library Catalogue records. e.g., Weightlifting Training: Effects on Circulatory Responses During Weightlifting and Activities of Daily Living in Older Men
NOTE: To ensure that you have retrieved a thesis in your search results, view the full details and look for the words Thesis--McMaster University in the NOTES field.
If you are unable to locate a thesis using the Title, Author, and Subject indexes in the library catalogue, select the Search for words: Anywhere index and enter the words MCMASTER and THESIS along with any information you might have about the thesis (e.g., word(s), date(s), department(s), author(s)).
- Example: Anywhere MCMASTER THESIS ENGLISH 1980
- This search will retrieve theses accepted by the Dept. of English in 1980.
e.g., The Implications of Chaos in Paradise Lost
To combine search words, try the Advanced Search in the library catalogue.
- Example: Anywhere MCMASTER THESIS (all of the words)
Anywhere CINEMA MOVIE "MOTION PICTURE" (any of the words)
- This search will retrieve theses that contain the first two words ("mcmaster" and "thesis") and at least one of these words ("cinema" or "movie(s)" or "motion picture(s)") anywhere in the library catalogue record.
e.g., Cinema As Secular Church: A Phenomenological Typology and Hermeneutics
- Example: Anywhere MCMASTER (all of the words)
Anywhere THESIS DISSERTATION (any of the words)
- This search will retrieve ALMOST all McMaster theses.
Most McMaster theses are searchable by their call numbers in the library catalogue. Theses may have two types of call numbers. All McMaster Master and Ph.D. theses that have been fully catalogued have full Library of Congress (LC) or National Library of Medicine (NLM) call numbers such as WK 815 .N162a 2003. Use the Search for words: in Standard No./Call No. or Search begins with ... Call Number- LC/NLM indexes in the library catalogue.
- Example: in Standard/Call No. QA 76.9 .U83H43 1997
All Bachelors theses and most Master and some Ph.D. theses before 1983 and after 2004 have short call numbers such as THESIS GN 968149. For short call numbers, a call number search must be prefaced with the word THESIS plus the call number. Use the Search for words: in Standard/Call No. or Search begins with ... Call Number - Local indexes in the library catalogue.
- Example: Call Number-Local THESIS GN 968149