May 20, 2022

UMass Amherst Libraries Launch Retrospective Digitization Project

From UMass Amherst Libraries:

The UMass Amherst Libraries have embarked on an ambitious program to digitize all theses and dissertations of the University. These research works have been available in electronic format since 1997 for dissertations and 2007 for theses, but public online access has not been available. Other dissertations and theses spanning more than a hundred years have long been available only in print.

Beginning with the oldest dissertations and theses, which are rarest and most at risk for physical damage, the University Libraries have begun digitizing the works and making them available in ScholarWorks @ UMass Amherst (

ScholarWorks will provide high visibility to the works, making them easily searchable via Google and the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), an international digital library that supports open access to theses and dissertations. The digitized dissertations are also fully accessible to persons with disabilities, which was not the case in their print forms.


After digitizing the oldest works in 2013-2014, the Libraries have begun digitizing works on a departmental basis. The first departments to be digitized include: Afro-American Studies, followed by Astronomy, Chinese, History, Psychology, and Polymer Science.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.