Minutes of MIT's First Faculty Meeting,
September 25, 1865
Shown here are the minutes of the first meeting of MIT faculty, held on September 25, 1865.
These and subsequent minutes and other documentary records of the faculty meetings were the first accession of official Institute records into the MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections in 1977.
The Archives began in 1961 after efforts to track down documentation of MIT's history for the centennial celebration revealed that there was no centralized location, much less repository, of information or records. Recognizing the need to ensure the preservation and availability of the official records of the Institute for legal, administrative, fiscal, and historical purposes, the MIT Corporation officially established policies for the Institute Archives and Special Collections in 1976.
During the past 25 years the Institute Archives and Special Collections has worked with staff throughout the Institute to collect official records that document the mission and the administrative as well as academic and research work of MIT. In addition, personal papers of faculty that complement the official records are collected, making the Institute Archives one of the richest sources in the world for studying the history of science and technology.
At age 40, the Institute Archives is taking a year to deal systematically with a voluminous collection that grew very rapidly. In the coming year, staff will undertake a special processing project to organize a number of important administrative and research records. The project will give staff the time to organize and catalog the materials, making them accessible for those seeking factual information or research resources about MIT and its history. It is likely that many important yet never-used documents will be "discovered" in the process. The "Object of the Project" will highlight items found in the course of the project.
Object of the Project, 2002-2003