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Princeton University Doctoral Dissertations

The Mudd Manuscript Library holds most dissertations completed at Princeton since 1877, when the first graduate degree was awarded, and annually receives graduate students' most recent efforts. Of the few degrees awarded by departments originally offering doctoral programs, only about half are preserved in the archives. Because President McCosh supported the creation of the school of science, it is not surprising that a slight majority of the degrees awarded during his tenure are in the sciences. Modern dissertations represent 45 graduate departments and tend to be substantially lengthier than the earlier papers. For example, the 38 papers written between 1877 and 1899 span 0.45 linear feet of shelf space, papers from 1900 to 1920 span four feet, and the 1930s and 1940s about twelve feet apiece. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1950s and later, with the 1980s requiring over 500 linear feet of shelf space.Some security classified dissertations from the 1940s through the 1960s are not in the collection and could not be located.