Archives + MIT History

MIT Institute Archives & Special Collections Receives Papers of Jordan J. Baruch

Posted October 31st, 2014 by Nora Murphy
Photograph of Jordan and Rhoda Baruch in China, 1977

Photograph of Jordan and Rhoda Baruch in China, 1977. All Rights Reserved.

The Institute Archives and Special Collections is pleased to announce the addition of a new collection – the papers of Jordan J. Baruch. Baruch was an alumnus of MIT, having received both his SB and SM in Electrical Engineering through the Co-operative Course VI-A program in 1948, and his Sc.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1950. He was also an assistant professor in the Electrical Engineering department from 1950-1972. In addition to MIT, Baruch taught at Harvard, Dartmouth, and Johns Hopkins. As well as being an educator, Baruch was an expert in acoustics, an inventor, and a businessman. He was integral in the founding of several Boston-area companies including Boston Broadcasters, Inc. (Channel 5), and Bolt Beranek and Newman, in addition to running his own consulting firms. In 1977 Baruch was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce by President Jimmy Carter, serving as Assistant Secretary for Science and Technology. During this tenure, Baruch initiated the founding of the first school of management in China, which helped establish business ties between China and the United States. He was also a decorated veteran of World War Two.

The Jordan J. Baruch papers include correspondence, research, publications, photographs, testimonies before the Senate and the House regarding science and technology policies, and documents relating to his work in China. The Baruch papers are currently being processed with support from donor funding and will be available to researchers once processing is complete.

For more information, please contact Dana Hamlin, Project Archivist, at or 617-253-5705.

Telegraphy exhibit opens in the Maihaugen Gallery

Posted September 8th, 2014 by Heather Denny

linemenWired: A World Transformed by the Telegraph, an exhibition highlighting the Libraries’ special collections in telegraphy, recently opened in the Maihaugen Gallery (14N-130).

Until the mid-19th century, most messages could travel across long distances only as quickly as they could be physically carried. Audiovisual systems such as smoke, flags, drums, beacons, and gunshots were cumbersome and severely limited in their sophistication and speed.

The electric telegraph changed all that. The ability to communicate instantaneously across entire continents – and even oceans – heralded the birth of telecommunications.

The current exhibition introduces a rich and varied collection of materials on the electric telegraph and its impact on the world. The collection is a gift of Thomas F. Peterson, Jr. (MIT 1957), who also made a generous donation to process and catalog its contents.

The exhibit includes telegrams, images, books, video, and ephemera that chart the birth of a huge industry, and reveal how business, warfare, social interactions, and even the arts were affected by this transformational technology.

Visit the Maihaugen Gallery Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.