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Libraries join network for theses

MIT is joining the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), an initiative to increase the availability of student research for scholars and to preserve it electronically. The organization has an international membership of 78 universities/libraries.

The Libraries, working with Graduate Education Office and Information Systems, have developed a collection of electronically accessible theses for which copies have been requested, now numbering more than 3,800 titles in every subject area from the 1920s to the present.

"We are now poised to move with all deliberate speed into the era of electronic theses. We have confidence that our approach is robust and that it will provide broad access to these materials," said Dean for Graduate Students Isaac M. Colbert.

"What began as an experiment has blossomed into an operational system which allowed us to create a substantial online base for our thesis collection," said Keith Glavash, head of Document Services in the Libraries.

Participation in NDLTD will benefit MIT in two ways: the Institute will receive free access to electronic thesis submission/distribution software, and the availability of the MIT online thesis collection will be publicized.

The NDLTD was founded in the late 1980s by Edward A. Fox (SB 1972). The goals include lowering the cost of submitting and handling theses and dissertations, enabling students to convey a richer message through use of multimedia and hypermedia technologies, and advancing digital library technology.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 8, 2000.

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