| Using rare books | Exhibits
"Siluria," by Rodney I. Murcheson, 1854.
William Barton Rogers Collection.
the special collections held by the department are MIT's rare
book collections. The rare book collections consist of selected
volumes from the early MIT Libraries, the personal libraries
of several of MIT's founders, and smaller collections donated
by individuals. Among the latter are the Vail Collection, which
contains early works on electricity, ballooning,
and aeronautics; the Gaffield Collection about glass and glassmaking;
the Baldwin Collection containing works on nineteenth-century civil
engineering; and the I. Austin Kelly Collection, which includes
significant volumes on early European and American science, technology,
and industry. Volumes from the personal library of William Barton
Rogers, the first president of MIT, represent Rogers's broad interests
in the educational, scientific, and intellectual life of the nineteenth century--the
vision of the man who founded MIT.