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"In 1995, my lab co-discovered a new form of matter. It had been predicted in 1925 in a classic paper by Albert Einstein; when I went to the basement of Hayden, the original was right there." - Wolfgang Ketterle, Professor of Physics, 2001 Nobel laureate in Physics

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Archives and Conservation

Even our intrepid archivists can't preserve the physical thrill of being in Norbert Wiener's mathematics classroom or Doc Edgerton's legendary lab. But we can preserve their personal notebooks and papers, and in the Institute Archives, we do, along with an extraordinary array of rare and unique documents.

Perhaps just as important, the Archives capture the remarkable history of MIT itself, as a source of world-changing research, policy and innovation. And while the Archives aim to make time stand still, we grapple with the fact that it doesn't. Increasingly we need to be able to archive electronic data as effectively as illuminated manuscripts and digitize the unique items the Archives already hold to make them more accessible.

Thanks to recent endowment gifts, we're equipped to provide first-rate conservation for the objects in our care. Yet in terms of conservation, preservation and access, doing justice to the Institute's vast and superb collections requires reserves of time, funds and space we simply do not possess. Making these invaluable collections ever more accessible is a first-order challenge for MIT.

Institute Archives
MIT Libraries' Curation & Preservation Services
Find out how you can help: Contact Us

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