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Institute Archives & Special Collections

Manuscript Collections: Faculty Papers, etc.

Overview | Using manuscript collections | List of collections

From laboratory notebooks, Harold E. Edgerton Papers (MC 25).

The vast majority of the manuscript collections in the Institute Archives consist of personal papers of MIT faculty members. Among the Archives' holdings are the papers of such MIT pioneers as Vannevar Bush, Jule Charney, Harold Edgerton, John Ripley Freeman, Albert Hill, Jerome Hunsaker, Arthur Ippen, Thomas Kuhn, J. C. R. Licklider, Kevin Lynch, Max Millikan, William Barton Rogers, Robert Seamans, Julius Stratton, William Ware, Norbert Wiener, Jerome Wiesner, and Carroll Wilson. The remainder of the collections are from individuals or organizations with a close association to the Institute, such as the first women's architectural firm founded in Boston, Howe, Manning and Almy; the High Voltage Engineering Corporation founded by Robert J. Van de Graaff, Denis M. Robinson, and John G. Trump; and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Collections of personal papers at MIT document various aspects of an individual's teaching, research, and professional life. The contents of the collections are wide-ranging and include records such as research notes, course materials, reports, consulting or committee files, drafts of published works, and visual materials. The collections are often donated to MIT at the time of the faculty member's retirement, or as projects and completed and the files pertaining to them become inactive.

Over 600 manuscript collections constitute nearly half of the unpublished source materials in the Institute Archives. Individual collections range in size from one box to several hundred boxes. The manuscript collections date from as early as 1804; however, most cover the period from World War II to the end of the twentieth century. Although the Institute Archives does house some visual materials, most MIT photographs and moving images are located at the MIT Museum.


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