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About Thesis Topics
The SCRC's collections can support a variety of thesis topics in American history, culture, religion, literature, and related fields. Finding a topic for your thesis or dissertation is part of the intellectual work--and fun (yes, really)--of being a scholar, so we are not going to tell you specific topics. What we will tell you is here are some primary sources that we think could support the writing of a senior thesis, M.A. thesis, or Ph.D. dissertation. In every case, you will need to do additional research, sometimes in other primary sources and always in secondary sources to help put your topic in context. Reference sources can help identify the people, places, and events mentioned in the primary sources.
Two ways of approaching a thesis topic are:
1. Find a great source and then figure out a topic using it. To that end, we have pages describing some of our collections by type of source--see the tabs above for "Diaries and Journals" and "Organizational Papers."
2. We also have created some pages describing some of our collections in other areas, such as the pages on 19th-century and 20th-century America. These tend to focus on our newer collections. We have more comprehensive, separate Lib guides for some other subject areas:
Enjoy yourselves! And if you have questions, please feel free to come into the SCRC to speak with a staff member or contact us via email.
About the SCRC
The Special Collections Research Center includes manuscripts, the University Archives, rare books and periodicals, and photographs that may be of use for writing theses. Our collections are very rich in Virginia and Southern topics from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, and we recently have begun acquiring selected collections in broader U.S. history. Please feel free to make an appointment with me--my contact information is to the right--if you'd like to discuss what we might have related to your interests. We also have worked hard on making our collections more accessible, and you'll find a lot more information about the SCRC at our home page: