Many senior projects were written about Cal Poly, and can be useful as a primary source or a secondary source, depending on how you use the source. Senior projects date back to 1942, which is when our collections start. You can search senior projects in the library's catalog and access them either in the library or online.
Senior projects pre-2009 are only searchable by author name, author's department, and project title. There are no subject headings, keywords, abstracts, or full-text searching of pre-2009 senior projects.
Note: It was optional for students to submit senior projects to the library, so specific senior projects may not be included in the library's collections.
Finding Senior Projects
Senior Projects prior to Fall 2009 are on microfiche (miniaturized cards) and are available to view in Crandall (Bldg 60) during open hours. You can identify these older Senior Projects by using OneSearch. You will be able to retrieve them and view them on the nearby microfilm readers, and you can also scan to a flashdrive or take pictures with a smartphone.
Senior Projects AFTER Fall 2009 are available digitally at the DigitalCommons@CalPoly. You can search by title author or keyword on DigitalCommons or on OneSearch..
How do I Find both older and newer Senior Projects in OneSearch ? Use ADVANCED search: set lefthand pull down to LOCAL COLLECTIONS and type in Senior Projects. Then type in author and/or title information as relevant in another box.
You can search older and newer Senior Projects here. Use ADVANCED search: set lefthand pull down to LOCAL COLLECTION and type in Senior Projects. Then type in author and/or title information as relevant in another box. Projects from 1942 to Fall 2009 are on microfiche and can be viewed in Crandall (bldg. 60).
Masters' theses produced by students at Cal Poly from 1968-2009.
Using wildcards to expand your search
Because a search will only search the title of the senior project, wildcards are a useful way to search more broadly.
If you use an astrisk (*) at the end of a word or part of a word, anything starting with those letters will be included in your results.
For example: Poly* will search Poly AND Polytechnic (and polymers, polyhedron....etc)
Accessing pre-2009 Senior Projects on microfilm
Senior Projects before 2009 are only available on microfiche.
Senior projects are accessed in Crandall, adjacent to the microfilm readers.
From the catalog record for the senior project you'll need the Number that looks like XX-XXXX to find the project.
Locate the senior project microfilm cabinets in Crandall. Make sure to have the Senior Project number in order to locate and pull the microfiche.
What the microfiche look like in the drawer. They are organized numerically by senior project number.
Close-up view of a senior project on microfilm.
Bring the senior project microfiche to the readers to view. There are instructions for how to use the readers at the tables. If the research help desk is open, you can check to see if they can help troubleshoot issues.