Once you locate a dissertation, there are several ways to try to acquire a copy:
1. Go to Google and type in the title of the dissertation. Many dissertations are now open access and will be available online fulltext!
2. Go to ProQuest Dissertation and Theses database and search for it by title. The UVA library subscribes to this database and many of the dissertations are online.:
3. Use the Library's free Interlibrary Loan service. If you need a copy of a dissertation that is not available online full text, you can use the UVa Library's free Interlibrary Loan Service (ILS). ILS staff will try to borrow a copy for you from a university that has a copy.
4. Purchase from a bookstore. Some bookstores such as Amazon also sell copies of dissertations.
5. Contact the author of the dissertation. You can also try to contact the author of a dissertation to find out if he or she would send you a PDF copy.
6. Special Collections. Authors of dissertations are usually required to deposit one copy with their university's special collections. This copy usually can be accessed by visitors/scholars, but can't be checked out. Contact the library where the author obtained their dissertation for availability. In most cases, the dissertations will be listed in that university's online catalog and provide information about availability.
5. Contact a Librarian. Ask your subject Librarian if you have additional questions.