A Short List of Sources about MIT’s History

Want to know more? Explore the detailed list of sources.

HISTORY

Philip N. Alexander. A Widening Sphere: Evolving Cultures at MIT. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2011
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
How MIT’s first nine presidents helped transform the Institute from a small technical school into a major research university.

David Kaiser, ed. Becoming MIT: Moments of Decision. Cambridge, Mass.:  MIT Press, 2010.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
Essays on crucial decisions that influenced the evolution of MIT.

Stratton, Julius A., and Loretta H. Mannix. Mind and Hand: The Birth of MIT. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2005.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
An account of the origins, founding, and early years of MIT.

Wylie, Francis E. M.I.T. in Perspective: A Pictorial History of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Boston: Little, Brown, 1975.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
The only general history of MIT. Though missing the last quarter of the 20th century, it gives a good overview of the Institute.

Prescott, Samuel C. When M.I.T. Was “Boston Tech,” 1861-1916. Cambridge, Mass.: Technology Press, 1954.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
The story of MIT’s early history, up to the move to Cambridge. A relatively easy read.

MIT 125 Years. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1986.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
A booklet produced by MIT’s Quasquicentennial Committee and the Alumni Association giving a brief history of MIT and a timeline.

MIT CULTURE

Keyser, Samuel Jay. Mens et Mania: The MIT Nobody Knows. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2011.
Professor Emeritus in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Keyser has written an entertaining memoir of his academic and administrative adventures at MIT.

Williams, Rosalind H. Retooling: A Historian Confronts Technological Change. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
Bern Dibner Professor of the History of Science and Technology and former Dean of Undergraduates, Williams reflects on the changing culture of MIT.

White, Pepper. The Idea Factory: Learning to Think at MIT. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
An undergraduate’s view of life at MIT.

Hapgood, Fred. Up the Infinite Corridor: MIT and the Technical Imagination. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1993.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
A look into the creative mindset of MIT. The author uses some MIT research to follow the thinking of MIT faculty, staff and students.

MIT SPACES

Mitchell, William J. Imagining MIT: Designing a Campus for the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2007, 2011.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
The story of the evolution of the MIT campus, culminating in major works of architecture by Charles Correa, Frank Gehry, Steven Holl, Fumihiko Maki, and Kevin Roche.

Joyce, Nancy E. Building Stata: The Design and Construction of Frank O. Gehry’s Stata Center at MIT. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.

Simha, O. Robert. MIT Campus Planning, 1960-2000: An Annotated Chronology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT, Office of the Executive Vice President, 2001.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
A chronicle of campus building in the latter half of the 20th century, written by long-time MIT planner Robert Simha.

Art and Architecture at MIT: A Walking Tour of the Campus. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT, Committee on the Visual Arts, 1988.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.

MIT PRESIDENTS’ VIEWS

Hockfield, Susan. Speeches and essays .

Vest, Charles M. Pursuing the Endless Frontier: Essays on MIT and the Role of Research Universities. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.

Rosenblith, Walter A., ed. Jerry Wiesner: Scientist, Statesman, Humanist: Memories and Memoirs. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2003.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
An unfinished memoir of MIT’s 13th president, and others’ reminiscences.

Johnson, Howard Wesley. Holding the Center: Memoirs of a Life in Higher Education. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
Autobiography of MIT’s 12th president with particular attention to his and MIT’s coping with issues surrounding the Vietnam War. Book contains biographical index to MIT names.

Killian, James Rhyne. The Education of a College President: A Memoir. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1985.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
Memoir of MIT’s 10th president and his excursions into the public sector.

DIVERSITY

Blacks at MIT

Williams, Clarence G. Technology and the Dream: Reflections on the Black Experience at MIT, 1941-1999. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.
Result of hundreds of oral history interviews. This large volume includes interviews with students, alumni/ae, faculty, and staff.

Women at MIT

A Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT: how a committee on women faculty came to be established by the Dean of the School of Science, what the committee and the Dean learned and accomplished, and recommendations for the future. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999.
Find it at the MIT Libraries.

Want to know more? Explore the detailed list of sources.