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The Manuscripts Reading Room administers the University's collection of doctoral and higher degree theses. Before 1920, degrees were awarded on the basis of examinations or certificates of research, and little written work composed specifically for such purposes survives, other than a small collection of Advanced Student Dissertations. Revised regulations were approved, instituting the new degree of PhD, which required a written work to be deposited in the University Library. Our collection of doctoral theses thus dates from 1921, when just four arrived in the Library. Statistics illustrate a great increase in output: for the academic year 2015-2016 just over one thousand new dissertations were approved and added to our collection. There are now over 39,000 volumes.

Contact: Manuscripts Reading Room (01223 333143,

Cambridge theses held by CUL

Finding and ordering Cambridge theses

A small but growing proportion of Cambridge theses are available to consult in digital form in the university repository Apollo.

See the Office of Scholarly Communication's webpages on theses.