In response to your questions, here’s some tips for finding New College theses on the University of Edinburgh Library catalogue.
Personally, I find using the Aquabrowser version of the catalogue quite useful for a quick (if dirty) search of what’s available. Type in theses + another search term – e.g. christianity, New Testament etc – into the search box. I searched for eschatology theses. Once you’ve got your list of results make sure that you select ‘New College Library’ from the list of library locations and you should get New College Library results only. One health warning here : you will also get books with the word ‘theses’ in the title and you may get theses from other universities if we have them in the library.
For more precision, you can use the ‘classic’ library catalogue interface. Go straight to the advanced search. Type theses into the search box . Add any additional keywords into the remaining search boxes. Make sure you choose a year of publication option – click one of the radio buttons. For instance you can click the first radio button and choose to search the last 50 years. Now go down to the Library location box and choose New College Library only.
Another tip – when you click the search button at the bottom of the form, choose the search button next to where it says ’10 records per page’. Don’t click the word ‘Search’ which is on the tab at the bottom of the page next to Saved Searches. If you do - as I’ve found to my frustration - it thinks you want to start a new search and you end up having to start over again.
Over 700 New College theses covering the period 1920-1985 have now been catalogued online as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects. Some of these theses have second copies at the main Library, but many others are unique copies only held in New College Library. The completion of this project means that all of New College Library’s theses are now listed on the University of Edinburgh Library’s online catalogue.
The Theses collection demonstrates the richness and diversity of Divinity research in the twentieth century, with topics ranging from the Buddhist conception of Man in relation to the Christian conception, to the Church in Shetland during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries – to pick just a few. Current Divinity PhD students now have improved access to the range of previous research done at New College, and New College alumni with PhDs will now be able to find the fruits of their efforts on the online catalogue.
Now that these theses are included in the University of Edinburgh online catalogue, the details of this research will be shared worldwide, not only by researchers looking for University of Edinburgh material but also by researchers using tools such as COPAC, the union catalogue of the UK’s major research libraries.