Grants and gifts

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

“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!

“enChanting Musical Artifacts” lecture on MIT World

Posted March 23rd, 2009 by Heather Denny

In the lecture enChanting Musical Artifacts in Unlikely Places: Rare Resources in MIT’s Lewis Music Library, Michael Scott Cuthbert, Assistant Professor of Music at MIT, MIT World logoand Nancy Schrock, Thomas F. Peterson, Jr. Conservator for Special Collections at the MIT Libraries, reveal some treasures from MIT’s early music collection which, while often incomplete or damaged, sing volumes about their origins and use.

Cuthbert demonstrates that when it comes to medieval and renaissance music manuscripts, there’s really no substitute for the real thing. His discussion covers several recent additions to MIT’s Lewis Music Library.

View a video of the lecture online at MIT World, a free and open site that provides on demand video of significant public events at MIT.

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.

MIT Libraries Receive Audubon Lithographs

Posted January 23rd, 2009 by Heather Denny


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.

Arthur D. Little, Inc. Archives Come to MIT

Posted October 14th, 2008 by Heather Denny

Arthur Dehon Little (1863-1935) attended MIT as an undergraduate student in chemistry from 1881 to 1884 and was a co-founder and editor of the student newspaper, The Tech. The firm he founded in 1909, Arthur D. Little, Inc., grew into one of the world’s foremost independent consulting and research organizations with an unmatched reputation for excellence in devising novel solutions to challenging problems and leading the way in management systems development. Over its lifetime, the company worked with MIT on numerous research projects and employed a number of MIT graduates and researchers. Arthur D. Little, Inc.’s longstanding relationship with MIT made the Institute Archives a fitting home for ADL, Inc.’s archives.

The Arthur D. Little, Inc. Collection was purchased at auction by the ADL, Inc. Alumni Association and given to MIT in 2002. It was recently made available to the public in the MIT Institute Archives & Special Collections. Selected items from the ADL Collection, as well as several items on loan from ADL alumni, will be on display through October 31 in the MIT Libraries’ Maihaugen Gallery. An online exhibit Scatter Acorns That Oaks May Grow” is also available. The exhibit takes its name from the ADL, Inc. motto, Glandes Sparge Ut Quercus Crescant.

Opening celebration for MIT Libraries’ Maihaugen Gallery

Posted March 17th, 2008 by Heather Denny

exhibit1.jpgOn Friday, April 18, from 1-3pm the MIT Libraries will host a community celebration in honor of the opening of the Maihaugen Gallery. The newly constructed exhibit space will showcase some of the extraordinary items from the MIT Libraries’ collections.

The first exhibit: A Celebration of Gifts will feature rare and unique items donated to the Libraries by MIT alumni, faculty, and friends. Among the treasures that will be exhibited to the public for the first time are items from the collection of the Institute’s founder, William Barton Rogers. The exhibit will also include original notebooks from Harold “Doc” Edgerton, several rare books including a first edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and a book of illustrations from the 1553 volume Historiae animalium by Konrad Gesner. Also featured will be items from the personal library of architect Charles Bulfinch, balloon prints from the Vail Collection, books by architect Santiago Calatrava with original artwork, works from the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, and other items given to the Libraries.

The new facility is located adjacent to the Institute Archives (14N-118). The celebration will begin at 1pm with remarks by Ann Wolpert, director of the Libraries. Refreshments will be served. Please join us!

Photos by: L. Barry Hetherington, Bottom photo: Copyright Harold E. Edgerton 1992 Trust

Folk music and jazz purchased on the Pierce fund

Posted February 29th, 2008 by Christie Moore

Here are some recent music titles that have been purchased with an endowed fund that was established in honor of John N. Pierce ’54 (see history of the fund, below). Click on an image to see its Barton catalog record:

Bluegrass Reader
The bluegrass reader / edited
by Thomas Goldsmith.
ML3520.B58 2006
Miles Davis
Davis, Miles. Miles Davis.
M85.D3857 2006
[score & audio CD]
Ballad of John Axon
MacColl, Ewan. The ballad of
John Axon: a radio-ballad about
the railwaymen of England.
1475467 [precat]
Body blow
MacColl, Ewan. The body blow:
a radio-ballad about the
psychology of pain.
1475477 [precat]
On the Edge
MacColl, Ewan. On the edge:
a radio-ballad about teenagers
in England and Scotland.
1475478 [precat]
Ratliff, Ben. Coltrane: the
story of a sound.
ML419.C645.R37 2007
Jenny Vincent
Smith, Craig. Sing my whole life
long: Jenny Vincent’s life in folk
music and activism.
ML420.V379.S65 2007
Talking Feet
Seeger, Mike. Talking feet:
buck, flatfoot, and tap: solo
Southern dance of the
Appalachian, Piedmont, and
Blue Ridge Mountain Regions.
GV1624.A7.S44 1992
Talking Feet DVD
Talking feet: DVD
1484452 [precat]

History of the Pierce fund: In 1987, Mrs. Alice Pierce established an endowed fund in honor of her late husband, John N. Pierce ’54. Arnold (’57) and Margit Orange and other donors have contributed generously to the fund. Mr. Pierce spent many hours in the Music Library between classes, and this is a particularly meaningful way for his family and friends to honor his memory. The income from the fund was first used to purchase materials in early music and blues; in 2007 the scope was expanded to include jazz and folk.

The Lewis Music Library is located in Bldg.14E-109 and library hours are posted on the web.

Fall 2007 issue of BiblioTech hits newsstands

Posted November 8th, 2007 by Heather Denny


Read about MIT Libraries’ news in the latest issue of BiblioTech.  In this issue:

Get a PDF copy of BiblioTech or subscribe by emailing your name and address to

Vail Balloon Prints to be Digitized

Posted October 31st, 2007 by Heather Denny

balloon2small.jpgThanks to the generosity of Thomas F. Peterson, Jr. ’57, the MIT Libraries will begin a project to digitize its Vail Balloon Print Collection.  The prints are part of the Vail Collection, originally collected by George Dering, and purchased and given to the Institute in 1912 by Theodore Vail, former president of AT&T and member of the MIT Corporation.

Consisting of over 1200 items, the collection is replete with wonderful images providing visual documentation of man’s vision of flying vehicles and human flight.  Images range from the fanciful to depictions of real events, such as the balloon sent up by the Montgolfier brothers in 1783.  Broadsides, articles, and clippings recount the history of man’s efforts to fly over the last three centuries, relating or commenting on individual efforts – some celebratory and other detailing the fatal results of failures.

The digitization of this premiere collection of prints will allow the world to better access these treasures; it is also a critical first step in their long-term preservation.  The project will also serve as a model for future digitization projects within the Libraries.

Gift Supports Life Science Collections

Posted October 31st, 2007 by Heather Denny

drosophila_small1.jpgA $400,000 gift from the Clive W. Lacy and Mona M. Lacy Trusts was recently awarded to the Libraries to fund library collections in the life sciences. 

The gift will impact many areas of research at MIT’s biomedical research centers, as well as MIT’s Department of Biological Engineering, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), and Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department.  New collections in the life sciences will help support vital research in the fields of developmental biology, stem cells, genetics, and genomics.

In the past the Clive W. Lacy and Mona M. Lacy Trusts has also provided essential funding for library reference collections.  The Lacy family’s connection to MIT includes several MIT alumni; Clive W. Lacy ’15, John W. Lacy ’42, Thomas B. Lacy ’48, and William R. Lacy ’43.

HP and MIT Create Non-Profit Organization to Support Growing Community of DSpace Users

Posted July 18th, 2007 by Heather Denny


Today HP and the MIT Libraries announced the formation of the DSpace Foundation, a non-profit organization that will provide support to the growing community of organizations that use DSpace, an open source software solution for accessing, managing and preserving scholarly works in a digital archive. Jointly developed by HP and the MIT Libraries beginning in 2002, today more than 200 projects worldwide are using the software to digitally capture, preserve and share their artifacts, documents, collections and research data.

The foundation will assume responsibility for providing leadership and support to the ever growing DSpace community and promote even wider distribution and use. Michele Kimpton, formerly of the Internet Archive (, will serve as Executive Director of the DSpace Foundation. Prior to joining DSpace, Kimpton led web-archiving technology and services at the Internet Archive where, as one of its founding directors, she initiated and managed several open source software projects to collect, access and preserve web pages from national libraries and archives.

See full story

FACADE project aims to “future-proof” digital architectural files

Posted June 14th, 2007 by Heather Denny

MIT’s Stata Center, Photo by Andy Ryan

Photo of MIT’s Stata Center by Andy Ryan

A $724,415 grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has been awarded to the MIT Libraries to address the challenge of preserving digital Computer-Aided Design (CAD) files.

CAD has revolutionized the architectural industry, giving architects the ability to create astounding three-dimensional models.  However CAD models exist only in proprietary digital formats that are ever-changing and short-lived, making them difficult to preserve and manage over time.  Using the designs of renowned architect Frank Gehry and his work on MIT’s Stata Center as a test bed, the FACADE (Future-proofing Architectural Computer-Aided Design) project will study CAD architectural documents and create preservation strategies to stem their potential loss.

Over the next two years the MIT Libraries’ Digital Libraries Research Group (DLRG) will work with MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning to research the primary software products (such as CATIA®, AutoCAD® and Microstation®) that produce architectural CAD models. With the guidance of former dean of the School of Architecture and Planning Bill Mitchell, the researchers will examine the role of CAD files in the life cycle of modern architecture and building construction including the entire digital and paper trail from early designs and sketches to internal communications regarding onsite revisions. They will seek strategies for long-term preservation of this material and also investigate the optimal use of digital preservation archives, such as the DSpace digital repository system, to provide open-source solutions.

Read the full article in BiblioTech (pages 8-9)
Visit the FACADE project web page

Music at MIT oral history CDs

Posted June 1st, 2007 by Christie Moore

The Music at MIT Oral History Project was established by the Lewis Music Library in 1999 to document the history of music at MIT; a recent grant from Lionel Kinney ’53 will allow the program to expand. Library assistant Forrest Larson has conducted several interviews each year and some are now available on compact disc.

Click on a name to see the Barton library catalog record:


  • Jeanne Bamberger. Interview no. 1, May 27, 2005; Interview no. 2, June 7, 2005.
    ML385.M86.B36 2006 v.1-2
  • John Corley. Interview no. 1, August 19, 1999; Interview no. 2, September 3, 1999; Interview no. 3, December 10, 1999.
    ML385.M86.C67 2006 v.1-3
  • Cherry Emerson. Interview no. 1, November 28, 2000; Interview no. 2, November 30, 2000.
    ML385.M86.E46 2006 v.1-2
  • Stephen Erdely. Interview no. 1, March 24, 1999; Interview no. 2, August 4, 1999.
    ML385.M86.E74 2006 v.1-2
  • Herb Pomeroy. Interview no. 1, December 14, 1999; Interview no. 2, April 5, 2000; Interview no. 3, April 26, 2000.
    ML385.M86.P66 2006 v.1-3
  • Claudia Von Canon. Interview no. 1, October 3, 2001; Interview no. 2, October 9, 2001.
    ML385.M86.V66 2006 v.1-2

CDs circulate for 3 days (limit of 5, no renewals). The Lewis Music Library is located in Bldg. 14E-109 and library hours are posted on the web.

Facsimiles of early music manuscripts

Posted May 22nd, 2007 by Christie Moore

Thanks to a memorial donation from Dr. Richard Breed ’73, the Lewis Music Library has been able to order facsimile editions of several important medieval and renaissance music manuscripts. These editions are of great value for teaching early music and music notation in general, and they are also beautiful in themselves. Here are some recent arrivals.

Click on an image to see its Barton library catalog record:


Frühe Lautentabulaturen im Faksimile
= Early lute tabulatures in facsimile.
M140.F78 2003
[Special Collections]


Il codice Squarcialupi: Ms. Mediceo Palatino
87, Biblioteca laurenziana di Firenze.
M2.S72 1992
[Special Collections]


Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, MS Urbinate
Latino 1411.
ML94.5.B53814 2006
[Special Collections]


Hildegard, Saint. Lieder: Faksimile
Riesencodex (Hs. 2).
M2112.H44.S9 1998
[Special Collections]


Basses danses dites de Marguerite d’Autriche.
GV1796.B28.B27 1987
[Special Collections]

The Lewis Music Library is located in Bldg. 14E-109 and library hours are posted on the web.

Lewis Music Library receives $250,000 to fund oral history project

Posted January 31st, 2007 by Heather Denny

The Lewis Music Library recently received a $250,000 gift from Lionel Kinney (1953) to support the Music at MIT Oral History Project. The project was started by the library in 1999 to document the history of music at MIT through recorded audio interviews with current and retired MIT music faculty, staff, former students, and visiting artists.


For over 100 years, music has been a vibrant part of MIT’s culture. Kinney’s gift will help ensure this legacy is preserved for the historical record by providing the funding needed to conduct in-depth interviews with five individuals per year for the next five years. It will also allow the library to identify key interview subjects and obtain information about MIT’s music history that has not been documented in other sources.

As interviews are completed, they will be available for listening in the library. Written transcripts will also be available. For more information about the project and to see a list of recorded interviews, go to

MIT awarded $1.5 million for research on new search technologies for digital libraries

Posted December 13th, 2006 by Heather Denny

MIT recently received a $1,500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the next phase of a project that promises to create new search technologies for digital libraries.

The project, called SIMILE, brings together researchers from the MIT Libraries Digital Library Research Group (DLRG) and the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) to create next-generation search technology using Semantic Web standards–a group of standards developed by the World Wide Web Consortium to promote large-scale interoperability and reusability of content on the Web.

“With digital content increasing at a rapid rate; searching for, sorting through, and managing millions of digital documents is a serious challenge for today’s libraries and the libraries of tomorrow,” said MacKenzie Smith, Associate Director for Technology at MIT Libraries. Semantic Web technologies offer a way to make searching and navigating large digital libraries easier.

The new SIMILE work funded by the Mellon Foundation will focus on building software tools that can be used with large collections of digital content from the higher education and cultural heritage sectors. These will include authoring and editing tools, searching and browsing tools, tools for data management, and storage technologies to meet the needs of scholars, researcher and students. SIMILE technology will also be applied to DSpace, the open source digital archiving platform created by the MIT Libraries and Hewlett-Packard to manage and make accessible millions of digital documents including research articles and scientific databases.

$75,000 d’Arbeloff grant funds library instruction for first-year chemistry students

Posted December 13th, 2006 by Heather Denny

The Libraries were awarded a $75,000 grant from the d’Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education to introduce first-year students to the scientific research process and provide them with the skills needed to find, evaluate and use information successfully. The project will focus on students taking 3.091, Introduction to Solid State Chemistry, a large freshman level chemistry course with an enrollment of over 400 students. Students will be taught how to:

Identify and critically evaluate a variety of potential sources of information relevant to their course work.
Determine the most appropriate tool(s) or resource(s) for their information requirements and develop effective search strategies for their use.
Properly cite information sources used in assignments.
Gain skills that are transferable to new subject areas and valuable throughout their educational careers.

The d’Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education was established through a generous $10 million grant from Brit, SM ’61, and Alex d’Arbeloff. Projects funded in the program are designed to enhance and potentially transform the academic and residential experience of MIT’s undergraduate students. Funding for the Libraries’ project is provided for one year, with the possibility of continuation for a second year. For more information on library instruction programs see:

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.

Tango Club donates CDs to the Lewis Music Library

Posted November 20th, 2006 by Christie Moore

The MIT Tango Club recently made a donation of 89 compact discs to the Lewis Music Library. The gift includes historic performances by artists such as Rodolfo Biagi, Miguel Calo, Francisco Canaro, Angel D’Agostino, Juan d’Arienzo, Carlos di Sarli, Edgardo Donato, Osvaldo Fresedo, Pedro Laurenz, Ricardo Tanturi, and Orquesta Tipica Victor.

The first discs are on the shelves and ready to circulate. To find them, go to Barton advanced search, set “Formats/Types:” to CDs, and search for the subject Tangos.

Other subjects you can explore:
Popular music — Argentina.
Popular music — Argentina — 1921-1930.
Popular music — Argentina — 1931-1940.
Popular music — Argentina — 1941-1950.
Popular music — Argentina — 2001-2010.
Underground dance music.

Music compact discs circulate for 3 days (limit of 5, no renewals). The library is located in Bldg. 14E-109 and library hours are posted on the web.