Exhibits

Paper and Bookbinding: The Making of Diderot’s Encyclopédie

Posted March 11th, 2010 by Heather Denny

Speaker: Nancy Schrock, Conservator for Special Collections

Date & Time: Friday, March 19 1:00–2:00pm

Location: 14N-118, Institute Archives Reading Room

MIT Libraries’ book conservator, Nancy Schrock, discusses Diderot’s Encyclopédie as an example 18th century French papermaking and bookbinding.

This event is part of a series of events associated with Technology and Enlightenment, an exhibition in the Libraries’ Maihaugen Gallery (14N-130) that explores one of the most important and controversial publications of the eighteenth century, Diderot’s Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers.

All spring exhibit events

Women’s Entrepreneurship: Empowerment through Innovation

Posted March 3rd, 2010 by mit-admin

Selected Photos from the Legatum Center’s 2nd Annual Photo Competition

The First Women Barefoot Solar Engineers of Mauritania Installing Solar Lighting Systems

The First Women Barefoot Solar Engineers of Mauritania Installing Solar Lighting Systems

On view at Rotch Library (7-238)

March 1 – 31, 2010

The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship presents this exhibit of winning and honorable mention photographs from the Center’s 2nd Annual Photo Competition, which sought photos of women entrepreneurs in low-income countries using transformative technologies. Drawing on photography as a powerful tool to spread the message of economic and social progress through entrepreneurship, the exhibit showcases stories of entrepreneurial activity, innovation, and empowerment in the developing world. By displaying the winning photos, chosen from nearly 700 submissions from 50 countries, the Legatum Center aims to present a new, dignified vision for development that inspires action.

photo credit: Bata Bhurji

For more information, visit the Rotch website.

Industrial Landscapes of Trinidad – Photography exhibition

Posted February 9th, 2010 by mit-admin

Mention of the Caribbean usually conjures mental images of sun, sea and sand. Mention of Trinidad and Tobago may invoke images of carnival and steelpan. This exhibition presents photographs  of another side of the twin-island state – its industrial landscape, specifically, the areas developed by heavy industries in the oil and gas sectors.

On view at Rotch Library (7-238) now through February 25, 2010.

Photographer: Kristal Peters

Funded (in part) by a Director’s Grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT, and MIT’s Caribbean Club.

For more information, click here.

Technology & Enlightenment in the Maihaugen Gallery

Posted February 2nd, 2010 by Heather Denny

A new exhibit opens in the Libraries’ Maihaugen Gallery on Wednesday, February 3. Technology and Enlightenment: The Mechanical Arts in Diderot’s Encyclopédie explores one of the most important and controversial publications of the eighteenth century, Diderot’s 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, placing equal importance on the manual trades as the arts and sciences.

Curated by Jeffrey S. Ravel, MIT Associate Professor of History, and Kristel Smentek, MIT Assistant Professor of Art History, the exhibit features fascinating images chosen from the 32 original folio volumes owned by the MIT Libraries, as well as multimedia components illustrating the Encylopedie’s significance.  The exhibit is open to the public Mon.-Thurs. during gallery hours, and runs through July 2010.

New photography exhibit at Rotch Library – An Uncertain Moment

Posted December 2nd, 2009 by mit-admin

KosovoAn Uncertain Moment
Laura Rushfeldt
December 1, 2009 – January 8, 2010

Rotch Library (7-238)

This exhibition provides a photo chronicle of contemporary life in Kosovo. Kosovo’s political condition and its effect on the Kosovar people is complex, ambiguous, and fluid. At best, this effect can be grasped only through examples and snapshots that provide momentary understanding. The exhibition is an attempt is to provide a lens into contemporary Kosovo through the individuals the artist met and the stories they were willing to share with her. The collection of many small stories culminated in two larger ones, the lives of Medina, an 11-year old girl growing up in a suburb of Prishtina, and Sabahet, a student at Prishtina University. This volume chronicles their daily life, with the remnants and ripples of past conflict still visible and affecting them today.

Read all about it–inside the Fall issue of BiblioTech

Posted November 24th, 2009 by Heather Denny

Inside this issue:

  • Learn about new and improved places to study in Barker & Dewey Libraries
  • Connect with the Libraries on your mobile phone
  • Read about the Libraries’ book that traveled into space
  • Discover how a generous gift from an MIT alumnus is revealing a hidden collection in the Libraries
  • Learn how Rotch librarians are helping to archive and share thousands of digital architectural images
  • Follow the latest Libraries exhibits, events and more

Get a PDF copy of BiblioTech or subscribe by emailing  dev-lib@mit.edu.

“Power Supply” Exhibition–Opening Reception Oct.23

Posted October 19th, 2009 by Heather Denny

Power Supply: Energy Resources in the MIT Libraries is a new exhibit in the Maihaugen Gallery that showcases “energy resources” in the Libraries that have supported and resulted from research and education throughout the Institute’s history. Included are books and articles from historical collections, examples of rich working collections, theses by MIT students, and video (below) highlighting MIT’s current efforts in energy research.

The MIT Community is invited to an opening reception on Friday, October 23, 1-3pm in the Maihaugen Gallery (14N-130). Check out the exhibit and enjoy refreshments with friends!

Tomes & Domes Exhibition in Rotch Library

Posted October 9th, 2009 by Heather Denny

Tomes & Domes: Islamic Architecture Collections at Rotch Library opens on Thursday, October 15 in Rotch Library of Architecture & Planning (7-238).  The exhibit highlights items from the library’s extensive collection of materials related to architecture and planning in the Islamic world.  It features items used in The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) and includes photographs taken by MIT students supported by the AKPIA Travel Grant.  It was funded in part by Robert M. Randolph, Chaplain to the Institute, Office of Religious Life and the Council for the Arts at MIT.  The exhibit will run through November 25.

From MIT to the moon–Celebrating Buzz Aldrin and the 40th anniversary of the moon landing

Posted July 17th, 2009 by Heather Denny

Monday, July 20th marks the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, when heroic MIT graduate Buzz Aldrin took his historic steps on the lunar surface.

Institute Archives’ records reveal that it was an accomplishment he had only dreamed about as a graduate student.  In the dedication of his PhD thesis, Aldrin wrote, “In the hopes that this work may in some way contribute to their exploration of space this is dedicated to the crew members of this country’s present and future manned space programs. If only I could join them in their exciting endeavors!”

See Aldrin’s thesis in the current Fascination of Flight exhibit in the Libraries’ Maihaugen Gallery, or find it online in DSpace.

Archives July exhibit commemorates Project Whirlwind

Posted June 30th, 2009 by Lois Beattie

Project Whirlwind report R-209

The July Object of the Month of the Institute Archives and Special Collections celebrates the transfer of the Project Whirlwind records from the MITRE Corporation to MIT.  The Project Whirlwind collection is a compilation of records of the  pioneering digital computing research conducted at MIT in the 1940s and 1950s. Whirlwind was developed as part of a project initiated by the Office of Naval Research to design a universal flight trainer that would simulate flight. Eventually the focus of the grant, a flight simulator (using an analog computer), changed to the development of  a high-speed digital computer.

In 2008 the Project Whirlwind records were transferred to the MIT Archives from the MITRE Corporation, where many research staff  had relocated in the late 1950s. For more information, including documents and digital objects available in DOME, the MIT Libraries’ digital repository, see http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/whirlwind.

Archives’ June exhibit celebrates the Blashfield murals in Walker Memorial

Posted June 1st, 2009 by Lois Beattie

Mural - south wallThe murals painted by Edwin Howland Blashfield (MIT 1869) in the main hall of Walker Memorial in the 1920s have, for many years, “elevated the spirit and stimulated the imagination of countless visitors and members of the MIT community,” in the words of former President Howard Johnson. The idea of decorating the hall was conceived by MIT’s Treasurer, Everett Morss (MIT 1885), who also gave the funds to make it possible.

The story of the murals is told in the June Object of the Month exhibit of the Institute Archives and Special Collections. The murals, in what is now called Morss Hall, consist of five allegorical panels illustrating the role of education in society with particular emphasis on science and engineering. The panel illustrated here is on the south wall and shows a mother and her children being guided by knowledge and imagination through the darkness of chaos into the brightness of an enlightened era.

Further information about Walker Memorial and the murals is available in the Institute Archives, 14N-118. The images in the exhibit are from Rotch Visual Collections and are also available in DOME, the Libraries’ digital repository.

More about “The Perceptual Form of the City” study in Archives’ May exhibit

Posted May 1st, 2009 by Lois Beattie

Map of central Boston used in studyThe May Object of the Month exhibit by the Institute Archives and Special Collections illustrates some of the experiences of researchers in the five-year study of the city environment directed by MIT Professors Kevin Lynch and Gyorgy Kepes from 1954 to 1959. “The Perceptual Form of the City” project was the foundation of Lynch’s book The Image of the City, published in 1960. The part of the study featured in the exhibit involved field trips in Boston to ask directions of a diverse sample of people to get a sense of their perceptions of the city.

The complete documentation of the project is included in the papers of Kevin Lynch (MC 208) and includes research notes, working papers, interview transcripts, trip diaries, course notes used for teaching, and other materials. The collection is available for research at the Institute Archives and Special Collections, room 14N-118. Many of the images and documents have been digitized and are also available in DOME, the MIT Libraries’ digital repository.

Archives April exhibit celebrates MIT’s founding

Posted April 6th, 2009 by Lois Beattie

Cover of the Objects and PlanWilliam Barton Rogers’s ideas for a new kind of scientific institution were well received in Boston in the mid-nineteenth century.  In November 1860 a committee chaired by Rogers petitioned the Massachusetts legislature for incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Rogers summarized his plans in a pamphlet entitled Objects and Plan of an Institute of Technology, the focus of the April Object of the Month exhibit by the Institute Archives and Special Collections. To gain support for the proposed institution, the pamphlet was widely disseminated among civic and commercial leaders, educators, and scientific and literary figures. The proposal was approved by the Massachusetts legislature, and on April 10, 1861, Governor Andrew signed the Act to Incorporate the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Learn more about the Institute’s beginnings and William Barton Rogers, the extraordinary man whose vision made it happen.  Rogers’s papers and many documents concerning MIT’s early years are available for research in the Institute Archives, 14N-118.

A New Exhibit Takes Flight in the Maihaugen Gallery

Posted March 17th, 2009 by Heather Denny

FOF exhibit header

For centuries humans have been fascinated by the concept of flight. From simple attempts to fashion human wings to the serious science of space exploration, our fascination with flight has been constant and compelling, and has literally known no earthly bounds. This allure is the focus of a new exhibit in the MIT Libraries’ Maihaugen Gallery.

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

The exhibit also highlights the pioneering work of the Institute’s faculty, students and heroic graduates and acknowledges their contributions to the science of powered flight.

The MIT community is invited to an opening celebration for the exhibit on Wednesday, April 1 from 1-3 pm.

African American improvisational quilts: an introduction – 3/15

Posted March 10th, 2009 by mit-admin
click on images to view larger pdf

Quilt collector Heather Korostoff Murray introduces us to African-American improvisational quilts: the unique qualities of these extraordinary textiles, their possible African connections, and the stories behind their creators. The exhibit will feature twenty-five quilts from her collection, illustrating the key characteristics of the genre. Her slides come from quilt scholar and curator Eli Leon’s extensive collection. Leon has generously provided the slides to edify Murray’s audience about this special province of African-American quilt making. Murray’s talk will focus on the lives and work of eight significant African-American improvisational quilt makers, including striking examples from Leon’s collection.

Murray’s interests include the quilt makers themselves – their stories, inspirations and astonishing talents. Her talk incorporates the technical side of the quilts, as well as anecdotes of their inspiration.

Heather Korostoff Murray, Bio
Heather Korostoff Murray, a native Philadelphian and long-time admirer of traditional Bucks County quilts, stumbled upon her first African-American improvisational quilt while exploring online. This experience launched a passion for the genre that has quickly led to a considerable collection, and a desire to learn more about these spectacular textiles and their makers. She finds these distinctive quilts to have an almost palpable depth and melodic eloquence.

Sponsored by the MIT Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies, MIT Humanities Library and the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies

Balloon Prints exhibited by Archives in March

Posted March 2nd, 2009 by Lois Beattie

Balloon ascent from DublinThrough 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.

Archives February exhibit: Tech Songs, 1903

Posted February 2nd, 2009 by Lois Beattie

Cover of Tech Songs, 1903Tech Songs, 1903, was compiled when MIT was located in Boston’s Back Bay and known informally as “Boston Tech” or simply “Tech.”  February’s Object of the Month exhibit by the Institute Archives and Special Collections is a glimpse into student life at the beginning of the 20th century.  A poster is displayed in the exhibit case opposite Room 14N-118; the version on the Web includes the entire song book and performances of some of the songs.

Browsing the Archives’ exhibits may whet your appetite for more information about MIT’s history. You are  welcome to explore further in the Archives, 14N-118, Monday – Thursday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

IAP 2009: Rotch Library Film Series – Street Fight

Posted January 28th, 2009 by mit-admin

Rotch Library IAP Film Series:

When: 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM, Friday, January 30, 2009

Where: Rotch Library Conference Room, 7-238

Click the image above to view a trailer for the film.

Street Fight (2005)

Follows the bare-knuckles race for Mayor of Newark, N.J. between 32 year-old Cory Booker and four-term incumbent Sharpe James, the undisputed champion of New Jersey politics. Fought in Newark’s neighborhoods and housing projects, the battle pits the young challenger against an old style political machine that uses any means necessary, including harassment and police intimidation, to crush its opponents. (82 minutes)

This film is a part of the Rotch Library DVD collection.

Contact: Heather McCann, 7-238, x3-7098, <hmccann_at_mit.edu>

Sponsor: MIT Libraries hosted by Heather McCann, Allison Benedetti, Omar Khalidi, Jonah Jenkins

Enrollment: Seating is limited; first come, first served, limited to 20 participants.

IAP 2009: Rotch Library Film Series – Manufactured Landscapes

Posted January 28th, 2009 by mit-admin

Rotch Library IAP Film Series:

When: 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM, Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where: Rotch Library Conference Room, 7-238

Click the image above to view a trailer for the film.

Manufactured Landscapes (2007)

Follows photographer Edward Burtynsky, internationally acclaimed for his large-scale photographs of nature transformed by industry, as he travels through China photographing the effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution. (90 minutes)

This film is a part of the Rotch Library DVD collection.

Contact: Heather McCann, 7-238, x3-7098, <hmccann_at_mit.edu>

Sponsor: MIT Libraries hosted by Heather McCann, Allison Benedetti, Omar Khalidi, Jonah Jenkins

Enrollment: Seating is limited; first come, first served, limited to 20 participants.

MIT Libraries Receive Audubon Lithographs

Posted January 23rd, 2009 by Heather Denny

Groundhog

The MIT Libraries were recently given 37 hand-colored lithographs from John James Audubon’sViviparous Quadrupeds of North America. The rare lithographs were generously donated by Mr. Ron Juster and family, in honor of Josh Juster, M. Eng. 2004. Several of the prints from the collection can be viewed in the Libraries’ Maihaugen Gallery where they are on display as part of the Celebration of Gifts exhibit.

The prints embody one of the 19th century’s most artistically successful attempts to catalog, illustrate, and promote understanding of the natural world. Following the monumental success of his publication Birds of America, naturalist and artist John James Audubon (1785-1851) attempted to produce accurate illustrations of every quadruped native to North America. In an effort to limit such a massive undertaking, he decided to include only viviparous animals (those that give birth to live young). The result was 150 paintings that are widely celebrated for both their scientific accuracy and their artistic beauty.

The Celebration of Gifts exhibit runs through February 19th in the Maihaugen Gallery, adjacent to the Institute Archives (14N-118). Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.