Nieuws - 21 juni 2012

All 5200 theses digitalized

The oldest dates from 1920, the thickest is by Theo Spek and has 1,100 pages, the thinnest is by J.P. Roozen and is only 11 pages long. The university's five thousand PhD theses have now been scanned and are available in digital format. Executive Board member Tijs Breukink (in the photo) scanned the last of the 930,000 theses pages on 18 June.

Librarian Ger Spikman calls it a milestone: all of Wageningen's 5200 theses have now been scanned and are available digitally. At first they had to be scanned manually, page by page. Then the library staff sacrificed one copy of each thesis, which was cut up so that the pages could be put through the scanner automatically. This way, they were able to digitize more than a hundred theses a day.
Incidentally, the library still keeps the print versions of the theses in storage in the Forum basement. They currently have a row of theses 125 metres long. That row will only grow over the next few years as more than two hundred new PhD theses are added every year. However these will not have to be scanned as doctoral students now provide the library with a digital version of their work.