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Collections & special collections

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Collections

Information resources are at the core of any research library, and MIT scholars draw on millions of research articles, tens of thousands of books, and countless additional data types in the course of their work.

The quality, quantity, and accessibility of our collections are vital to academic success and productivity. Demand for access to new materials in digital and tangible formats is greater than ever, but comes at a cost — a cost that consistently outpaces inflation each year.

What constitutes “collections” for the MIT community?  Here are a few examples:

  • Electronic books and journals in all subject categories
  • Digitized back issues of academic journals to complete online access to journal collections for all disciplines
  • Materials to support MIT’s Cancer and Innovation Initiatives
  • Key resources for use in MITx courses
  • Open Access ebook, journal, and pre-print models

Special collections

Collage of special collections materialOur special collections contain unique, rare, and/or original materials in many formats, including letters, diaries, videos, scrapbooks, and letterpress volumes. The distinctive nature of such collections often makes their care, preservation, and accessibility challenging and expensive. Our goal is to showcase and share these unique treasures with the MIT community and researchers around the world. A few examples:

  • Digitize and preserve the special collections and research materials of renowned MIT faculty:
  • Acquire audio-visual materials that document current and historical academic and other events at MIT, research outcomes, courses, and related content
  • Preserve and digitize at-risk rare books, antique maps, travel guides, and multimedia
  • Digitize all MIT theses
  • Digitize selected archival records, and technical reports from MIT labs for use in MIT classes