Seniors submitting their theses for the 2015-2016 school year must do so electronically with the introduction of a new online service by the College Archives. The change marks the end of printed theses as the official archival record since 1938.
This decision to have the digital version of student theses be the official archival copy comes after several years of discussion. “I knew when I started that this was going to be a key project for me and the College Archives,” College Archivist and Special Collections Librarian Katie Nash said. Theses will now be integrated with Unbound, the digital publishing platform used by the College. “By having the student theses accessible through Williams’s institutional repository, Unbound, student scholarship will be available to a wider audience, more accessible, searchable, and contribute to scholarship in a broader way.”
To submit their theses, students will have to fill out a release form with their academic advisors and upload this document along with their theses. Details on the format for submission can be found at the Williams College Archives and Special Collections website.
In addition to this year’s theses digitization, College Archives has also been working on uploading certain student theses from the year 2004 and on at the request of student authors and faculty advisors.
While College Archives does not have any similar projects in the immediate future, the digitization marks an important step. “The College Archives continues to target key publications and collections that are in print and seek ways to get them digitized and made available through Unbound,” Nash said.