March 10, 2023

To:                   Members of the Class of 2023

From:              Jill Dolan, Dean of the College

Re:                   Digital archiving of senior theses

I write to provide you with important information regarding the process for submitting your senior thesis this spring.

You will be required to upload a PDF of your thesis by your home department’s thesis deadline, both for department review and for archiving via the Thesis Central website.  The site will be available for submissions starting March 22, 2023.  You will also be responsible for following any additional departmental requirements.

The Princeton University Archives in the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library is our central repository for senior theses submitted in fulfillment of undergraduate degree requirements.

As I hope you’ve already discovered, this collection of more than 70,000 Princeton theses serves as an important resource for undergraduate research.  Indeed, more than 17,000 theses are downloaded for reading every year.

The library’s senior thesis digital archive enables Princeton students, faculty, staff, and other authorized users of our computing network to access copies of senior theses online.  Subject to the limitations of copyright law, such authorized users may also make individual digital copies for private, scholarly purposes.

This digital archive is not freely available online to the general public.  The library does accommodate written requests, however, for copies of theses from anyone who agrees to follow the copyright law.

Given the sensitivities surrounding the circulation of copyrighted materials in digital form, it’s important to understand your options for depositing your work:

  1. Online Access:  Unless you elect either or both of the options described below, your thesis will automatically be deposited in the digital archive and accessible online to authorized users of the Princeton University computing network as described above.
  1. Walk-in Access Only:  If you feel that your thesis should not be made accessible online via our computing network, you may elect to limit access to those who visit Mudd Library in person.  These “walk-in” patrons, who may include members of the general public, will be able to access the thesis at a designated computer terminal in Mudd Library and, subject to the limitations of copyright law, will be permitted to make copies of individual theses.  Please note that a list of all theses in the University Archives is publicly available online.
  1. Embargo:  To protect a compelling interest, you may request that your thesis be embargoed so that it remains completely inaccessible for a specific, limited period of time.  For example, embargoing your thesis may be appropriate if its disclosure would compromise intellectual property or privacy interests, or if your thesis includes data that you or your faculty adviser are planning to publish at a later time.  Please be sure to consult with your adviser if you have questions about the sensitivity of the data in your thesis.  All embargo requests will be carefully reviewed.

            If you wish to embargo or limit access to your thesis to walk-in patrons in Mudd Library, please complete and submit a Restricted Access Form to the Office of the Dean of the College before 11:55 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.

If you wish to publish your thesis independently when you graduate, we ask that you consult with your faculty adviser before taking that step to confirm that its publication will not compromise the interests of others.

Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Research ([email protected]) or the University Archives ([email protected]) if you have any questions. 

            On behalf of all the deans and staff in the Office of the Dean of the College, I sincerely hope that your senior independent work proves to be a rich and exciting experience that brings your Princeton education to a proud and meaningful conclusion.  Good luck finishing!