Saturday, February 9, 2013

Free Access to "ProQuest Dissertations and Theses" for February 2013

Samuel Brainin (z''l), USC, 1966
Every month those who have signed up for the ProQuest Discover More Corps social network have free access to one database.  This month's database is "Dissertations and Theses."  Unfortunately, the dissertations themselves are not part of the database; it is actually only an index.  Some entries have abstracts.  For most you are given the option of purchasing a copy of the dissertation.

It was still fun to poke around in the index.  I have a photo (left) of my cousin when he graduated from the University of Southern California with his Ph.D.  Now I know that it was in 1966, his dissertation topic was "The Estimation of Randomly Varying Parameters in Linear Systems", and it was in Electrical Engineering.  I also found my sister-in-law's Mathematics dissertation from Howard University.  And that's about it for my family that I know of (although my sister is threatening to go for a Ph.D.).

In the San Francisco Bay area, we have three Steve's with Ph.D.'s who are involved with genealogy (Danko, Harris, and Morse).  All of them are in the database.

Finding a relative's dissertation topic usually isn't going to take your research back further generations, but it adds richness to the information you have.  So who are the academics in your family?

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