These graphs show the output of masters and PhD theses from New Zealand university history departments in five year periods.
The top graph shows that there was a surprising number of history theses completed in the 1930s and 1940s. There was a heavy concentration (about half in the 1930s) on the early period of New Zealand history before the abolition of provincial government in 1876. After a boom in the late 1960s, numbers of theses began to rise again in the 1990s, by which time there was also a striking increase in doctoral theses being completed in New Zealand. This reflected a growing professionalism and the expectation that academic teachers had a doctorate.
The bottom graph shows that until the 1960s most theses completed in New Zealand universities focused on local subjects; but as the numbers of academic history teachers with overseas research increased, and as library holdings improved, there was a steady output of theses on non-New Zealand subjects. Two-thirds of theses were in British or European history, with smaller numbers in Asian and Pacific history.
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Source: Union list of higher degree theses in New Zealand libraries and New Zealand Journal of History