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Maihaugen Gallery Exhibits Archive: 2008-2014

April 1, 2008 - July 31, 2014

This page lists the exhibits from 2008-2014 at the MIT Libraries’ Maihaugen Gallery.


Thanks for the Memory: 50+ Years of Computing at MIT

March 10th – July 2014

MIT has a long history of working on analog and digital computers. This exhibit explores projects at MIT that contributed to the development of computer theory, software, and hardware in the 20th century.

Whirlwind 1

Stephen Dodd, Jay Forrester, Robert Everett, and Ramona Ferenz at Whirlwind I test control in the Barta Building, 1950

Noteworthy Connections: Music in the MIT Libraries

February – December 2013

This exhibition explores the extraordinary connection between the MIT mind and music. Delving into the holdings of the Lewis Music Library and the Institute Archives and Special Collections, the exhibit reveals MIT’s diverse musical interests, the accomplishments of its talented students and faculty, and the rich history the Institute’s musical groups and clubs.

Featured videos from the exhibit:

The Lewis Music Library’s Music at MIT Oral History Project was established in 1999 to document the vibrant history of music at MIT. Through in-depth recorded audio and video interviews with current and retired MIT music faculty, staff, former students, and visiting artists, the Music at MIT Oral History Project is preserving this valuable legacy.


Magnetic Resonance: Four Centuries of Science from the Vail Collection

September 17 – December 27, 2012

With its thousands of books and pamphlets spanning four centuries, MIT’s Vail Collection is among the world’s most expansive collections of material on electricity, magnetism, animal magnetism, and lighter-than-air travel. This exhibition features 16th century classics from the collection, writings personally inscribed by famous scientists, colorful works of popular science, and other treasures.

This is the first time many of these unique materials will be viewed by the public after an extensive cataloging and conservation project, funded by Thomas F. Peterson, Jr. ‘57, has made it possible to share these once hidden gems.

Videos from the exhibit:

The Vail Collection: An Introduction

This video tells the story of how this unique collection came to MIT.

The Vail Collection: Conservation and Cataloging

This video offers a glimpse at the extensive cataloging and conservation project, funded by Thomas F. Peterson, Jr. ‘57, that made it possible to share this once hidden collection.


Glass at MIT: Beauty and Utility

February 10 – July 25, 2012

This exhibition explores glass making as revealed in glassware from MIT laboratories, blown glass from the MIT Glass Lab, and stunning stained glass windows from the Libraries’ Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation Collection. Tools, early photographs, and selections from rare books demonstrate the combination of artistry and engineering that goes into the creation of glass.


Videos from the exhibit:
Charles J. Connick and MIT

Charles J. Connick (1875-1945) was a preeminent American stained glass artist whose work may be found in cities all across the United States. In 2008 the Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation generously donated its collection to the MIT Libraries. This video tells the story of Charles J. Connick the artist, his work, and his connection to MIT.


Technology Through Time: 150 Years of MIT History

February – December 2011

This multimedia exhibition showcases in words, documents, photos, video and sound, the broad and varied history of MIT. View original MIT documents and historically significant materials that played a role in making MIT the unique place it is today. The exhibit will also feature items from the MIT Museum’s 150 Exhibition, as well as Infinite Histories, video stories of those who have shaped – and been shaped by – MIT.

To see more MIT150 projects and explore MIT’s history by topic, visit: MIT History


“Tell Her to Go To It”: Women’s Experiences at MIT

September – December 2010

“If a girl comes along who really wants to be an engineer, tell her to go to it.”
Lydia Weld, Class of 1904

The wisdom and determination of MIT’s women were showcased in an exhibit that revealed the history of women establishing themselves as students, faculty, administrators and staff at MIT. From the first women’s labs and dorms, to finding community and parity in the ranks, their stories were told through original letters, publications, photos and records from the Institute Archives.


Technology and Enlightenment: The Mechanical Arts in Diderot’s Encyclopedia

February 2010 – July 2010

Curated by Jeffrey S. Ravel, MIT Professor of History, and Kristel Smentek, MIT Assistant Professor, History, Theory and Criticism

Casting an equestrian figure

Mining: Quarrying slate in the Meuse Valley: Different plans, cross-sections and elevations of the slate mines.

Mining: Quarrying slate in the Meuse Valley

Plate VI: Patterns and tools for women’s wigs

Plate VI: Patterns and tools for women’s wigs

This exhibit explored one of the most important and controversial publications of the eighteenth century, the Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. This massive work became infamous in its day as an enlightened attack on French and European religious dogmatism and monarchical inefficiency and injustice. Containing over 2,500 elaborately engraved plates, it documented the mechanical arts and technology, giving them equal billing alongside the arts and sciences. The exhibit featured fascinating images chosen from the 33 original folio volumes owned by the MIT Libraries, as well as multimedia components illustrating the Encylopédie‘s significance.

Videos from the exhibit:

Kristel Smentek, MIT Assistant Professor, History, Theory and Criticism, reveals how extensive illustrations in the Encyclopédie challenged long held biases against manual labor by showing the role of the mind, as well as the hand, in the mechanical arts.


Interview with Jeffrey Ravel, MIT Professor of History on the history and controversy behind an 18th century bestseller.


Power Supply: Energy Resources in the MIT Libraries

October, 2009 – January, 2010

Power Supply showcased energy resources in the MIT Libraries which have supported or resulted from research and education throughout the Institute’s history.

Included were books and articles from historical collections, examples of rich working collections, theses by MIT students, and a video, MIT and the Energy Challenge, highlighting MIT’s current efforts in energy research.


Fascination of Flight: Highlights from the MIT Libraries

March 2009 – September 2009

The Fascination of Flight showcased the dream and the reality of flight through historical materials, archival records, and current collections owned by the MIT Libraries.

The exhibit highlighted the pioneering and heroic work of the Institute’s faculty, students and graduates, and acknowledged their countless contributions to the science of powered flight.


A Celebration of Gifts

April 2008 – February 2009

Among the treasures exhibited to the public for the first time were items from the collection of the Institute’s founder, William Barton Rogers, original notebooks from Harold “Doc” Edgerton, a first edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, a book of illustrations from the 1553 volume Historiae animalium by Konrad Gesner, and items from the personal library of architect Charles Bulfinch.