The University Record, October 31, 1994

University Library and UMI offer Dissertation Express

Taking a cue from the Old West, albeit doing things a little more quickly, the University Library now offers “Dissertation Express.”

Individuals who need copies of dissertations now can get them in approximately two to three days, for only $15.

In the past, if you wanted a dissertation, you first had to visit a library and find out what library owned the dissertation. Then, if it was available, you’d have to borrow a microfilm copy, which might take several weeks to receive. Or you could contact University Microfilms Inc. (UMI) and purchase a copy, at approximately $35 and up to four weeks for delivery.

Thanks to a joint project of the Library and UMI, dissertations now are scanned on demand and then transformed from microfilm to digital text and printed unbound on 8 1/2 x 11 paper.

“The reproduction quality is excellent, including graphic material, and the response has been phenomenal,” says Wendy Lougee, director of the Digital Library Program. “We’ve done very basic advertising and had several hundred requests. And people are very pleased with the quality.”

Lougee says the next phase of the project will take the process at least one step further—sending digital images over the network to printers located on campus.

“This pilot project offers an attractive model for information delivery, Lougee notes, ‘just-in-time’ from publishers.”

Dissertation searchers also have access to Dissertation Abstracts International via the Internet through the “Ulibrary” gopher to help speed the search process.

Sample copies of digitally printed dissertations are available at the Graduate Library Reference and Information Center, the Interlibrary Loan Office (Room 106, Hatcher Library North) or the Engineering Library Reference Desk.

Express Dissertation orders can be placed at any University Library reference desk, and payment can be made by check (payable to UMI), money order or University account. Those using U-M accounts can place their orders via e-mail to