Watercolors by Eleanor Manning O’Connor subject of Archives January exhibit

Posted January 2nd, 2008 by Lois Beattie

Watercolor by Eleanor Manning O’ConnorThe January Object of the Month exhibit by the Institute Archives and Special Collections highlights watercolors painted by Eleanor Manning O’Connor (B.S.in Architecture, MIT, 1909). The watercolors are from the Archives’ collection of the Records of Howe, Manning & Almy, an architectural firm started by Lois Lilley Howe (MIT, 1890) and later joined by O’Connor and a third MIT alumna, Mary Almy. The collection includes reports, paintings, drawings, blueprints, photographs, diaries, notes, and correspondence illuminating the lives and work of the three MIT alumnae. The materials are available for research in Room 14N-118, Monday through Thursday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, with 24 hours’ advance notice.

Take a load off! Daydream in the “Dreaming Lounge” in Barker’s Reading Room

Posted December 17th, 2007 by Ryan Gray

Ana Sofia Lopes Da Ponte, a graduate student in MIT’s Visual Arts program, has just installed the “Dreaming Lounge.” This interactive piece of art will be on exhibit through January 11.

In her own words, “I designed a daybed for Barker so that the users of the space can experiment with their physical relation with the space. The design of the Dreaming Lounge considers the situation of a researcher that is in a library setting daily. It offers him/her the possibility to continue the research activity while dreaming. Attached to the seat of the bed is a canopy that smoothly unfolds above the dreamer’s body. When the back of the seat is manually pulled down by the user, a canopy situated in the upper part of the daybed rises, protecting the user’s head from exterior elements such as sound and light of the space.”

Exhibit in Rotch Library – Lanai: Living in the Landscape

Posted December 11th, 2007 by MIT Libraries

Lanai: Living in the Landscape, a photo book by graduate student Stephanie Hsu (M.Arch), will be on display in Rotch Library (Rm 7-238), from December 10, 2007 through January 13, 2008. Funded in part by the Council for the Arts at MIT.

Once the largest pineapple plantation in the world, the island of Lanai is now 98% privately owned, home to two Four Seasons resorts, and known as the most exclusive of the Hawaiian Islands. Revealing life on Lanai from the perspective of the local population, architecture graduate student Stephanie Hsu documents the island during its transition from a plantation to a world class vacation destination.

Archives’ December exhibit: MIT’s first Ph.D.’s, 1907

Posted December 3rd, 2007 by Lois Beattie

Robert Sosman, Morris Stewart, Raymond Haskell

The Object of the Month exhibit of the Institute Archives and Special Collections is about the three men who received MIT’s first Ph.D.’s, their supervisor, and the lab he founded in 1903—the Research Laboratory of Physical Chemistry. Left to right in the photograph are Robert B. Sosman, Morris A. Stewart, and Raymond Haskell.

Browse more highlights of MIT’s history on the Archives web site, or visit the reading room, Building 14N-118, Monday through Thursday, between 10 am and 4 pm.

Exhibit in Rotch Library: Place, Sense, Time: The Summer 2007 Veneto Experience

Posted November 8th, 2007 by MIT Libraries

Place, Sense, Time: The Summer 2007 Veneto Experience
by Najiyah Edun, Shun Kanda, and Mio Uchida
October 22nd – November 16th, 2007, in Rotch Library

‘Space is real for it seems to affect my senses long before my reason. The materiality of my body both coincides with and struggles with the materiality of space. My body carries in itself spatial properties, and spatial determinations…unfolding against the projections of reason, against the absolute Truth’

-Bernard Tschumi

The exhibit aims to present the investigations, journeys and discoveries of eleven students in the Veneto Experience Program during the summer of 2007. The program is month-long architecture course that immerses students in the city of Venice and in the work of Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978), focusing on the intricate and profound relationship between the life-work of Venetian architect and Venice, each embodied in the other.

The exhibit purports to express and embody the heightened visual, acoustic and tactile senses that are stirred by Venice and by Scarpa’s work. It aims to stimulate and enhance visitors’ awareness of their bodily movements in space, enabling people to uncover and rediscover how our body reacts to space and how space and the senses can promote an enhanced perception of the body.

Archives exhibits documents from the Harold Edgerton manuscript collection

Posted November 1st, 2007 by Lois Beattie

Sonar chartFor its November Object of the Month the Institute Archives and Special Collections displays a sonar chart and other records of Harold “Doc” Edgerton’s search for a Spanish Armada wreck of 1588 in Tobermory Bay, Scotland. Earning an Sc.D. in electrical engineering at MIT in 1931, Edgerton spent the rest of his life at the Institute as teacher, researcher, and head of the Stroboscopic Light Lab. His papers, which include documentation of his development of high-speed photography techniques and equipment for underwater exploration, are available for research in the Institute Archives, Building 14N-118.

Collections of the Library Exhibit at Sydney Pacific through October

Posted October 10th, 2007 by Ryan Gray

Andrew Shea, employee of Barker Engineering Library, has photographs currently on exhibit at Sydney Pacific through the end of October.
Shea photograph
In his own words, “I am a photographer who reframes familiar environments. I prefer to immerse myself in the caveats of common spaces and challenge myself to redefine them by layering their distinctive elements.

As I approach each space that I photograph, I consider its texture and expressiveness, what others would notice about the space and how it might be photorealistically represented. My goal is to create images that resuscitate the visual expressiveness of each space by combining the unique features that tell its story.

To do this I use old cameras that function as layering devices and compose images on top of each other in sequential order before advancing the film. These multiple exposures include two or more vital elements such as the bark of a tree, the architectural feature of a building, the contours of an expanse, or a face of someone in the environment. Though one element usually dominates the composition, together they create self-containing narratives that speak beyond any of their singular elements. In this way, each photo becomes a unique portrayal of its environment.”

View more of Andrew’s work on his website or email him with questions/comments.

Dewey Library Hosts Exhibit in Memory of E. Cary Brown

Posted October 9th, 2007 by Katherine McNeill

In celebration of the written word of E. Cary Brown, former Head of the MIT Economics Department, Dewey Library for Management and Social Sciences (E53-100) is hosting an exhibit of his selected writings from October 10th through October 22nd.

E. Cary Brown, a leading expert on fiscal policy and the economics of taxation, passed away in June of this year. He was a member of the Economics Department from 1947-1986 and its Head from 1965-1983.

The exhibit includes selections of Brown’s work, including books, book chapters, journal articles, and working papers. Highlighted are two of his most influential papers, “Business Income Taxation and Investment Incentives” and “Fiscal Policy in the `Thirties: A Reappraisal.” Come see this work alongside archival items documenting his time here at MIT.

For more information on Brown, see the memorial statement on the Economics Department web site.

Go with the flow: Studies in Fluid Mechanics video exhibit at Barker

Posted October 9th, 2007 by Ryan Gray

Fluid Mechanics

Come visit the video art installation of revamped films from the 1960s, Studies in Fluid Mechanics. The videos will be on display from Tuesday, October 09 through Friday, October 12 in the Barker Engineering Library Reading Room.

These videos were created by nine MIT students, instructors and staff. Their task was to use some of the raw footage from Barker Engineering Libraries’ collection of fluid mechanics film loops to create their own video art. Though this may not seem too difficult, the process proved to be a complicated one as they simultaneously learned how to convert film footage into finished videos using sophisticated digital editing software to digitize and edit the film, all the while thinking about how to creatively resuscitate footage that is almost 50 years old.

The film footage in question (Barker Media Collection, call # QC145.2.F5) consists of recently discarded 8mm films from Barker Engineering Library. In total, 148 films were created between 1961 and 1967 by members of National Committee for Fluid Mechanics Films, a group started by former MIT professor Ascher Shapiro in 1961. Ascher’s efforts revolutionized the teaching of fluid mechanics, and Barker Engineering Library continues to circulate these films as DVDs.

Comments and suggestions are welcome at the accompanying suggestion box, or email the Project Coordinator, Andrew Shea. More of Andrew’s work can be seen at his website.

Archives spotlights the role of MIT’s James R. Killian in the US response to Sputnik, 1957

Posted October 1st, 2007 by Lois Beattie

Sputnik 1 mockupThe 50th anniversary of Sputnik is observed in the October Object of the Month exhibit of the Institute Archives & Special Collections. After the surprise launch of Sputnik by the USSR in 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed MIT’s James R. Killian the first Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology. Killian chaired the President’s Science Advisory Committee (PSAC), which was instrumental in initiating national curriculum reforms in science and technology and in establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Sputnik 1 mockup – NASA image

Rotch Library High Wire Crossing

Posted September 20th, 2007 by MIT Libraries

Between Spaces, A project by Wendy Jacob

Between At 6:45 and 6:46 PM on September 20, 2007, a performer will walk across a high wire installed between the Wolk Gallery and the Rotch Library stacks.

Wendy Jacobs, an Associate Professor of Visual Arts at MIT created this project for the Wolk Gallery.

This exhibit will be on view September 20 through December 21, 2007

The opening reception will be Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 5:30 PM.

Rotch Library Exhibit: Sam Bass Warner’s drawings from hotel windows

Posted September 20th, 2007 by MIT Libraries

The View from the Hotel Window, 1993-2000, an exhibit in Rotch Library from 9/12/07 until 10/11/07

“I started this project when I began traveling to visit hospitals for my collaborative book, “Restorative Gardens, The Healing Landscape, ” with Nancy Gerlach-Spriggs and Richard Enoch Kaufman (Yale University Press, 1998). At first the drawings offset the boredom hotel rooms impose, but as I kept drawing these assigned views I became fascinated by the visual disorientation that hotels impose on us all.”

-Sam Bass Warner, Visiting Professor, DUSP

This collection of drawings is on display on the main floor of Rotch library.

Library hours are:

Monday-Thursday 8:30am – 11pm
Friday 8:30am – 7pm
Saturday 1 – 6pm
Sunday 2 – 10pm

Archives displays an 1869-70 MIT entrance exam in September

Posted September 4th, 2007 by Lois Beattie

Algebra test croppedNo formal entrance examination was required in MIT’s first few years, but by 1869 applicants had to pass a qualifying exam in four subjects: English, algebra, geometry, and arithmetic. For its September Object of the Month the Archives is exhibiting the exam in its display case in the hallway across from 14N-118 and on the Web. Take the test, check your answers, and find out more about MIT’s history on the web site of the Institute Archives and Special Collections.

MIT catalogs going back to 1865, examinations from the nineteenth century and later, and a variety of materials relating to students, professors, courses, and other subjects are available for use in the Archives reading room, Building 14N-118, Monday through Thursday, 10 am to 4 pm.

1988 flight of Daedalus is subject of Archives exhibit

Posted August 1st, 2007 by Lois Beattie

The Daedalus in flight
In the 1980s MIT students and faculty members embarked on an exploration of human-powered flight. The August Object of the Month exhibit of the Institute Archives and Special Collections describes the project that produced the Daedalus, in which Kanellos Kanellopoulos made the record-breaking flight from Crete to Santorin in 1988. The records of Project Daedalus are available for research in the Archives reading room, Building 14N-118.

Rotch Library to feature photographs of Italy

Posted June 5th, 2007 by MIT Libraries

Treading on History: Photographs of Contemporary Italy
Mary Pat McNally
June 1, 2007 – June 30, 2007
located at Rotch Library,
which is open Monday – Thursday 9AM – 7PM and Friday 9AM – 6PM.

doorway in Italy

When photographer Mary Pat McNally first ventured to Italy in 1999, she was impressed by the marks of modern culture on the historic cities and eternal landscapes. Sometimes it was graffiti on an ancient wall; sometimes a motor boat waiting in a Venetian canal.

“It intrigued me the way life goes on in Italy amid the splendor of the past,” McNally explained. “You will see people going about their daily lives in the shadows of great cathedrals, and hanging out their laundry between buildings that date back to the Middle Ages or earlier. Sometimes the residents of a thousand year old town appear blind to the fact that they are treading on history.”

That first trip led to many more. A selection of her photographs, taken over the course of several journeys to Italy, will be on display during the month of June in the Rotch Library, located on the MIT campus. McNally earned a diploma in photography from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley College, and is currently working as a graphic designer at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center.

Archives’ June exhibit showcases 1878-79 “Log of the Dorian”

Posted June 1st, 2007 by Lois Beattie

London cartoonThe MIT Archives’ June Object of the Month is Francis H. Bacon’s “Log of the Dorian,” being, in Bacon’s words, ” the Account of a Voyage in a small Boat in the Year 1878-79 from England to the Mediterranean by way of Belgium and Holland, and up the Rhine to the Danube, down to the Black Sea and through the Aegean to Athens, with Sketches made by Himself.”

Bacon’s handwritten journal, containing his watercolors, sketches, and other illustrations, is available for research in the Institute Archives and Special Collections, Building 14N-118.

Humanities Library Poetry Month magnetic poem selection

Posted May 8th, 2007 by MIT Libraries
Benzine Magnet Poem

In April, The Humanities Library honored and celebrated National Poetry Month by inviting our patrons to use our magnet words in our Reading Room, under the West mezzanine, to compose poems. The above composition was, believe it our not, the most reproducible entry we received. That’s right…"BENZENE." One of our patrons created this cryptic magnet "poem," where each letter is made of a cluster of other words. Is there a relationship between the words that make up each letter, and the letter they make up, and/or the word "BENZENE?" You tell us. It’s admittedly a bit hard to read in the photo, so here it is spelled out:

"B" – There, Laughter, Distain, Math, Very, Atheist
"E" – Shall, Dream, Taboo, Good, Heart, Timbuktu
"N" – Cartoon, Deligate, None, Forever, Move, Beauty, Compare
"Z" – Over, Refrain, From, Kissed, Lovelier, Moon, Everything, Sure
"E" – Best, Death, Soul, Width, Voodoo, Heavier, Together
"N" – Chevrolet, Beautiful, Kalamazoo, When, Whether, Dynamite
"E" – Cliché, Kindred, Their, Psychiatrist, Appetite, Pentameter

So, is it a poem? It is, no doubt, mysterious, curious, and playful. And those qualities are at least some of the building blocks, so to speak, of all poetry. Agree? Disagree? Come by our library and use the magnets to compose an answer, or another poem.

Archives May exhibit on the physics of baseball

Posted May 7th, 2007 by Lois Beattie

Multiflash photo

The May Object of the Month exhibit by the Institute Archives and Special Collections is about the physics of baseball, featuring a 1965 letter from Vannevar Bush to his MIT colleague Harold Edgerton in response to a batch of multiflash baseball pictures Edgerton had sent him. Included in the exhibit is a page from Edgerton’s notebook showing two of the photos of the type sent to Bush.

The papers of Bush and Edgerton are available for research in the Archives.

MIT’s first building is subject of Archives’ April exhibit

Posted April 1st, 2007 by Lois Beattie
Rogers Building, 1866-1938 To celebrate the 146th anniversary of the founding of MIT (April 10, 1861), the Institute Archives and Special Collections showcases The Rogers Building, Boston, 1866-1938 — MIT’s First Building — as its April Object of the Month. The exhibit includes photographs of the inside of the building as well as links to related exhibits about MIT’s years as “Boston Tech.”

Learn more about MIT at the Institute Archives and Special Collections (14N-118) — The Source for MIT History.

First issue of VooDoo is subject of Archives’ March exhibit

Posted March 1st, 2007 by Lois Beattie

VooDoo cats graphic

For March the Institute Archives and Special Collections has chosen “VooDoo, vol. 1, no. 1 (March, 1919): Student Humor at MIT” for its Object of the Month exhibit. Learn more about VooDoo and its mascot, Phosphorus the cat.

The Object of the Month is also displayed in an exhibit case across from the Archives, Room 14N-118.

Chill out this Presidents’ Day with a book, DVD, CD or audiobook

Posted February 12th, 2007 by Ryan Gray

The Humanities Library will hold its next Bookmobile on Thursday, February 15, from 11am – 2pm at the Information Intersection in the Stata Center.

Old-school bookmobile

Line up and take your pick from selected books, DVDs, audiobooks and music for Presidents’ Day weekend.

Also check out Lewis Library’s extended CD/DVD offer.

Archives’ February exhibit highlights MIT and the Apollo Program

Posted January 31st, 2007 by Lois Beattie

Photo of moon from space

The February Object of the Month exhibit of the MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections includes a letter written in 1961 by Charles Stark Draper, Director of MIT’s Instrumentation Lab (now the Draper Lab), to NASA volunteering as a crew member on the Apollo mission to the moon.

The Object of the Month is also displayed in an exhibit case across from the Archives, Room 14N-118.

MIT GIS Lab Open House – Jan. 26, 3-5 pm

Posted January 25th, 2007 by Lisa Sweeney

Where: MIT GIS Lab, Rotch Library, 7-238

Play with virtual globes like
Google Earth &
World Wind

Explore powerful geographic information systems (GIS), such as
ArcGIS and
PCI Geomatica

Investigate tools for mapping US Census and Demographic information such as
Census Tool on the MIT Geodata Repository

Come meet the GIS staff from the MIT Libraries and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education over refreshments.

“Library Music” IAP workshop today at 2pm

Posted January 19th, 2007 by Christie Moore

chandelierLibrary Music: Silence Into Sound, an exciting installation of immersive sonic experiences, will offer a demonstration/workshop today from 2-5 pm in the MIT Lewis Music Library (Building 14E-109).

Students from the MIT Media Lab will explain their ideas and technologies, the Lewis Music Library staff will share some of the library’s hidden treasures, and refreshments will be served.

See this Media Lab page for more information about the installations.

Don’t miss this opportunity to make noise in the Lewis Music Library!!

“Library music” IAP installation begins Jan.16

Posted January 4th, 2007 by Christie Moore

Ten interactive music installations created by MIT Media Lab grad students will be installed in the Lewis Music Library beginning at 2 pm on Tuesday, January 16. Curated by Professor Tod Machover, “Library Music” explores the relationship between space, movement, touch and sound and ranges from musical stairs to tactile rainfall to a sonorous, robotic chandelier.

  • Installations will be open to the public Tuesday-Thursday, Jan.16-18, from 2-5 pm
  • Workshop-demonstration Friday, Jan.19, from 3-5 pm; refreshments
  • Contact: Ariane Martins, E15-443, x3-1613, ariane@media.mit.edu
  • Cosponsors: Libraries; Media Arts & Sciences

The Lewis Music Library is located at 14E-109. IAP hours begin on Jan.8 and are Monday-Friday 10am – 6pm; Saturday-Sunday 1 – 5pm.

Charles Wheatstone’s 1824 “Harmonic Diagram” displayed by Archives in January

Posted December 30th, 2006 by Lois Beattie

Harmonic Diagram

January’s Object of the Month exhibit describes the “Harmonic Diagram” designed in 1824 by physicist and inventor Charles Wheatstone. The “diagram” is a mechanical device for explaining music theory. It is one of the items from a wide range of time periods, on diverse subjects, in many formats, in the holdings of MIT’s Institute Archives and Special Collections.

Browse other exhibits for a sample of the scope of the Archives’ collections. All are welcome to visit the Archives for further exploration.

Archives December exhibit announces a grant from the Fred J. Brotherton Charitable Foundation

Posted December 1st, 2006 by Lois Beattie

William Barton RogersMIT’s founder, William Barton Rogers, was born 202 years ago on December 7. It is appropriate, then, that the Institute Archives and Special Collections, in its December Object of the Month exhibit, announces a grant from the Fred J. Brotherton Charitible Foundation to perform conservation work on one hundred documents from the Rogers papers, one of MIT’s most important historical collections. The grant includes funds to convert the guide to the Rogers papers to EAD (Encoded Archival Description), an encoding standard for electronic archival finding aids, to make information about the collection available on the World Wide Web.

Archives exhibits 19th century patent records in November

Posted November 1st, 2006 by Lois Beattie
Howe sewing machine drawingShown here is a portion of a drawing of the sewing machine’s parts. For November the Institute Archives and Special Collections features as its Object of the Month patent records of Blatchford, Seward & Griswold, a law firm that represented many of the nineteenth century’s most illustrious inventors, among them Samuel F. B. Morse (regarding unlicensed telegraph lines), Charles Goodyear (regarding patent extension of a rubber manufacturing process), and Elias Howe, Jr. (regarding patent extension for the sewing machine). Several items concerning Howe’s sewing machine are included in the exhibit.

Archives’ October exhibit evokes the smell of the greasepaint.

Posted October 2nd, 2006 by Lois Beattie
Comedy & tragedy masks The October Object of the Month exhibit by the Institute Archives and Special Collections presents the MIT Community Players’ 1958 Acting Workshop Production of The Madwoman of Chaillot, by Jean Gireaudoux.Each month the Archives exhibits an example from its collections to illustrate their richness and variety. A poster is displayed in the exhibit case opposite Room 14N-118 (and the following month in the Libraries’ kiosk at the Stata Center), and a version is created for the Web. We invite you to browse the online exhibits for a taste of our collections, then come to the Archives and explore them further.

Mapping with Geographic Information Systems

Posted September 21st, 2006 by MIT Libraries

Demographics in Massachusetts, land use in New York City, the rapid population expansion in China, reconstructing sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean over the last 10,000 years, collection and representation of GIS data to aid household water treatment and safe storage technology implementation in the Northern Region of Ghana: this exhibit displays some of the different projects created in the MIT GIS Lab. Geographic Information Systems enable one to combine layers of geographic information in a dynamic digital environment for analyzing and visualizing information. To learn more about GIS at MIT visit the MIT GIS Lab website or come visit us in Rotch Library (7-238).