Through the generosity of Thomas F. Peterson, Jr. ’57, the MIT Libraries have undertaken the conservation and digitization of the Theodore Newton Vail Collection of Aeronautical Prints, Broadsides and Clippings. “Balloon Prints from the Vail Collection” is the subject of the March Object of the Month exhibit by the Institute Archives and Special Collections. On display are images from the balloon collection and a short history of early ballooning.
The balloon collection is part of the Vail Rare Book Collection, given to MIT in 1912 by Theodore N. Vail, former president of AT&T and member of the MIT Corporation. All Vail Collection materials are available for research in the Institute Archives and Special Collections, 14N-118, and the Vail Collection of Aeronautical Prints, Broadsides and Clippings will soon be available in the MIT Libraries’ DOME collection of online resources. Some images from the collection will also be included in the “Fascination of Flight” exhibit opening soon in the Maihaugen Gallery, next to the Institute Archives.