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Architecture & History of Art: Finding materials

How to search for dissertations and theses in the AHA Library on iDiscover

Please note that dissertations and theses are not borrowable and cannot be copied.

Next to the iDiscover search box, select ‘Advanced Search

Screenshot of iDiscover screen, with Advanced Search button at the top of the page next to the search field

You should now have arrived at the ‘Search Criteria’ box.  Here, under ‘Search Filters’:

  • leave the first search filter at ‘Any field’ and put in a keyword where it says ‘Enter a search term’ (if you’d like to keep your search and results broad* you can just put in a very general term, e.g. ‘Architecture’ as I have done on the example below) [1].
  • Then, under ‘Material Type’ select ‘Theses’ in the drop down menu [2].
  • Limit to our library (just above ‘Material Type’) [3].
  • Press ‘Search’.

Screenshot of the Advanced Search Criteria page: "Search fields" - "Any field" - "contains" - "Architecture" [1]. At the top right corner of the page: "Architecture and History of Art Library" [3]. Below "Material Type" - "Theses" [2]


Your results should be similar to the following search results.

If you see a title that interests you, you can find out more about it by clicking on the title. 

tick box

If you would like to have narrower results, you can target your search in the 'Any field' using kewords!


For Architecture courses:

Year 3 dissertations: "Architecture tripos"

M.St Building History: "Building History"

MPhil, MAUD, MAUS: "Architecture mphil"


For History of Art courses:

For all History of Art dissertations: "History art"

Part I short dissertation: "History art short"

Part IIB: "History art IIB"

MPhil: "History art mphil"

Requesting to view a dissertation

Please send a request to the library by email in advance of visiting (one day in advance, if possible) so that we have time to find and prepare the dissertations for you, with the following information:

  • Title and author [1]
  • The classmark which should look something like this: Architecture Tripos PtII Dis HAA 2014 [2]

A screenshot of the iDiscover record showing the title and author of the dissertation [1] "Spatial ambiguity in Japanese architecture" by Ines Li-Wearing, and the classmark [2] (Architecture Tripos Pt II Diss HAA 2014)

They cannot be copied, photographed or taken from the library. You will be asked to log the details of the dissertations you have requested to view in our Dissertations Book so that we have a record of who has viewed which dissertation. They are the intellectual property of the author and often our copy is the only copy existing in Cambridge Libraries, therefore we treat dissertations just as we treat a manuscripts. We ask that you take special care when viewing and using a dissertation.

Finding materials by classmark

All materials in the AHA Library are labeled by classmark, which is a combination of numbers and letters, often separated by a space (for example, 92.92 MUC, 473 BAR, etc.). The three letters after a number stand for the first three letters of the author's or the editor's last name, so if the letters after the number are missing, just add the first letters of the author's last name, and you'll find the book!

When you search for an item in iDiscover, it will display the item location (the library / libraries it is in) and its classmark.

A screenshot of iDiscover catalogue, showing the 'World impressionism : the international movement, 1860-1920' book and its classmark (92.3 BRO)


When you click on the link showing availability ("Available at..."), you will access more information about the item.

A screenshot of iDiscover catalogue, showing the 'World impressionism : the international movement, 1860-1920' book, its classmark (92.3 BRO) and how many copies are available

Useful tips:

  • If the item classmark starts GEN REF, it is a referencing item, and it cannot be borrowed.
  • Look out for the "R" or "Overnight Loan" stickers on the books - "R" means "Reference only", and for "Overnight Loan" you will need to return the book the next working day.
  • Book classmarks in the Technical Library start with letters (A - M)

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