In the past, dissertations and theses were often difficult to access. But in recent years, many universities have begun to make them available electronically. When not electronic, the Library can often borrow a copy. Consider also looking for articles and books the author has created from dissertation and thesis research.
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We are supposed to lose this version of WorldCat / UNC Library Express on July 1, 2015. But worldcat.org will work just as well, for almost all purposes.
WorldCat (also known as UNC Library Express)
WorldCat covers all subjects and includes records for over 95 million items held in thousands of libraries throughout the United States and Europe. Search by keyword, author, or title.
Look for on the left column of results. Click on that box to get a (usually) much smaller number of results. (Of course, for some searches, there might not be any theses or dissertations. In that case, you will not see a box for Thesis/dissertation.)
Some authors publish their dissertations as articles or books. The titles may be different from the original title. Consider searching for those too, using the author's name.
We have 2 versions of WorldCat. Your results should be identical.
Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations includes only electronic theses and dissertations. There are 2 search engines for the NDLTD database. Take your pick.
Starting in 2010, all Appalachian State University masters theses and doctoral dissertations are available electronically through NC DOCKS. Google crawls NC DOCKS, so they are available through Google Web searches also. You can also still find them through the Library Catalog.