I have been trying for a few weeks now to obtain a published thesis (this one, if you're wondering), but have had no luck in doing so.

There currently exists only one copy of this thesis, at the Lewis Library of Princeton. It has not been digitized. I have contacted the library to enquire about obtaining it, but not being currently affiliated with any university, the best they could offer me was to ask local libraries about inter-library loan programs. I have done so, and discovered that people were amazed that inter-library loans were still a thing, and after ferreting out the person in charge of it, discovered that they would not even consider an ILL from the US (I am in France).

Are there any other process I can try to obtain a copy of that thesis?

  • 1
    It is interesting to me that they don't offer to make copies. My thesis (admittedly 25 years later) is in the Mudd Library collection, and has a little link to request a hard copy that takes you do library.princeton.edu/special-collections/…. I'd contact one of the librarians about that.
    – Jon Custer
    Dec 17 '19 at 15:26
  • Note that, if the catalog entry is right, this is an undergraduate thesis. That is part of what is making this hard; for instance, PhD dissertations are usually archived by UMI ProQuest which will sell you a digital or paper copy for a fee. On the other hand, it's also somewhat unusual for an undergraduate thesis to really be academically useful, since typically they don't contain significant original results (or if they do, then those results are usually published separately as articles). Dec 17 '19 at 23:46

You can try contacting Robert Marzke himself. There is a chance he has a digitized version of his own that he is willing to share.

  • I'll try, although as this was 60 years ago I have fairly slim hopes of that.
    – Slereah
    Dec 17 '19 at 9:04
  • He may be willing to get someone to digitize it for you, if legally possible.
    – til_b
    Dec 17 '19 at 9:13

You can try to find either a book that published that thesis as an article or another article by the same author that builds upon the original thesis.

Chiu & Hoffmann's (1964) Gravitation and Relativity, available for free loan with an account at the Internet Archive, contains a chapter by Robert F. Marzke and John A. Wheeler titled "Gravitation as geometry -- I: The geometry of space-time and the geometrodynamical standard meter." The references section of this article contains the following reference to the thesis you are looking for:

  1. R. F. Marzke, The Theory of Measurement in General Relativity, A. B. senior thesis, Princeton, 1959, unpublished (the present paper is based upon and constitutes a publication of the results in this thesis).

That is, the chapter in the book is based upon and constitutes a publication of the results in this thesis.

Reference for the book:

Chiu, H.-Y., & Hoffmann, W. F. (Eds.). (1964). Gravitation and relativity. New York, Amsterdam: W.A. Benjamin.

  • I already have this book, yes, that is where I heard of that thesis (I don't think it's mentionned anywhere else). The book only contains an article about it, which is a somewhat shortened version of the content of that thesis.
    – Slereah
    Dec 17 '19 at 19:09

You could see if you know anyone who is physically located in Princeton. Any faculty or student there could just go the library and put the thesis on a copy machine for you. Somebody you know academically might be easiest to ask this kind of favor.

  • 2
    Already tried this route, and although it netted me four pages of it, more is not forthcoming, and my list of friends at Princeton isn't that long.
    – Slereah
    Dec 17 '19 at 12:54

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