Archives + MIT History

Institute Archives closed for research use August 22-Sept.9

Posted August 11th, 2011 by Heather Denny

The Institute Archives and Special Collections reading room (14N-118) will be temporarily closed for research use for three weeks, from Monday, August 22 through Friday, September 9, 2011 due to construction in the building.  During this time, research assistance from Archives staff will be available online and by phone.  Research and reference requests can be made through a web form on the Archives website, or by calling 617.253.5690 for urgent requests.

Final month to see Technology Through Time exhibit before the Fall

Posted July 15th, 2011 by Heather Denny

Maihaugen Gallery, photo by L.Barry Hetherington

The Maihaugen Gallery (14N-130) will be temporarily closed from August 15 through Friday, September 9 due to construction.  Visit the gallery before August 15 to see ‘Technology’ Through Time: 150 Years of MIT History.

This multimedia exhibition showcases in words, documents, photos, video and sound, the broad and varied history of MIT. View original MIT documents and historically significant materials that played a role in making MIT the unique place it is today. The exhibit also features items from the MIT Museum’s MIT150 Exhibition, as well as video stories of those who have shaped – and been shaped by – MIT.

The gallery is open Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. until August 15.  The gallery and exhibit will reopen September 12.

Institute Archives collection appears in the New York Times

Posted June 28th, 2011 by Lois Beattie

Archives/Libraries logoThe Institute Archives and Special Collections was featured on June 21 in an Opinionator Blog by Errol Morris in the New York Times in a 5-part series titled “Did My Brother Invent E-Mail With Tom Van Vleck?” Alternating family history with interviews with MIT scientists and engineers, Morris tells a fascinating and moving story about the intersection of his family and the exciting evolution of computing at MIT in the 1960s. Part 3, headed “Room 14N-118” (the MIT address of the Archives), describes his search in the records of the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (collection AC 282), where his brother was working on Project MAC.  He observes the  fragility of the historical record of our activities, and talks with Jerry Saltzer (MIT professor emeritus) about the changing nature of writing and disseminating information.

 

Solve an MIT 150 puzzle

Posted May 25th, 2011 by Lois Beattie

MIT 150 logo with question markPut your Inventional Wisdom to work on an MIT 150 Puzzle.

Exploring the exhibits on the web site of the Institute Archives and Special Collections to solve the puzzle, you may be entertained and educated by facts you didn’t know about MIT’s history and the work of people associated with the Institute.

Enjoy!

MIT150 Through the Video Lens–Tuesday 5/10, 4pm

Posted May 10th, 2011 by mit-admin
Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm

An overview and discussion of the multimedia developed in support of MIT’s sesquicentennial. Content includes the Infinite History Project, From the Vault, Elemental MIT, and five documentary shorts that explore different facets of the MIT experience:

  • The Founding of MIT: Persistence in Vision
  • Outside the Box: Crossing Disciplines at MIT
  • MIT in Service
  • Common Threads: The Evolving Student Experience at MIT
  • The Ecosystem: Nurturing Entrepreneurship at MIT

Following the 30-minute screening of excerpts from the documentaries, we’ll look at this collection of new multimedia resources with our MIT colleagues who imagined and produced them — and others who are now using them in their own education and outreach activities. Conversation will include emerging trends in online video publishing and advances in video transcript-based search technology.

All are welcome: no tickets required.

Reception to follow; room 10-105.

Come see what’s “Under the Dome” Saturday, April 30, 11am-4pm

Posted April 25th, 2011 by Heather Denny


Under the Dome
is a day-long, campus-wide open house on Saturday, April 30.  On this day the public is invited to explore MIT as we celebrate our 150th anniversary.  MIT’s libraries and the Maihaugen Gallery will be open to visitors and will offer several workshops:

‘Technology’ Through Time: 150 Years of MIT History
Exhibition
Maihaugen Gallery (14N-118)
Open 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

This multimedia exhibition showcases in words, documents, photos, video and sound, the broad and varied history of MIT. View original MIT documents and historically significant materials that played a role in making MIT the unique place it is today. The exhibit also features items from the MIT Museum’s 150 Exhibition, as well as Infinite Histories, video stories of those who have shaped–and been shaped by–MIT.  ­­

Preserving Your Family’s History
Workshop
Meet at the Maihaugen Gallery (14N-118)
Sessions hourly.  Last tour meets at 3 p.m.

Visit the Wunsch Conservation Lab where the MIT Libraries preserve their collections using modern science and traditional craft.  The MIT Libraries’ conservator and preservation librarian will explain how to care for your family papers, photographs, home videos, and digital media. Hand-outs with basic information and sources of archival supplies will be available. Sessions will last 45 minutes. Tours are limited to 20 people and will begin every hour on the hour.

Digital mapping tools introduced by MIT GIS Services
Workshop
DIRC (14N-132)
Sessions at 11 a.m. and noon

Learn about creating maps with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and collecting data in your community with a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit. A GIS provides tools for analyzing scientific and cultural data, as well as data collected by individuals (like you).  Session will include demonstration and a chance for everyone to collect data outside and create their own maps.

Apps4Academics
Workshop
DIRC (14N-132)
Sessions at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

In this show and tell, we will recommend the best iPhone/iPad apps and mobile websites for your academic life. We’ll talk about apps for productivity, library research, note-taking, e-reading, PDF-reading and annotating, sketching, and more. Some apps we’ll demo include Evernote, Instapaper, Dropbox, GoodReader, Papers, and WorldCat Mobile. See our companion web site: libguides.mit.edu/apps

Come see what's "Under the Dome" Saturday, April 30, 11am-4pm

Posted April 25th, 2011 by Heather Denny


Under the Dome
is a day-long, campus-wide open house on Saturday, April 30.  On this day the public is invited to explore MIT as we celebrate our 150th anniversary.  MIT’s libraries and the Maihaugen Gallery will be open to visitors and will offer several workshops:

‘Technology’ Through Time: 150 Years of MIT History
Exhibition
Maihaugen Gallery (14N-118)
Open 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

This multimedia exhibition showcases in words, documents, photos, video and sound, the broad and varied history of MIT. View original MIT documents and historically significant materials that played a role in making MIT the unique place it is today. The exhibit also features items from the MIT Museum’s 150 Exhibition, as well as Infinite Histories, video stories of those who have shaped–and been shaped by–MIT.  ­­

Preserving Your Family’s History
Workshop
Meet at the Maihaugen Gallery (14N-118)
Sessions hourly.  Last tour meets at 3 p.m.

Visit the Wunsch Conservation Lab where the MIT Libraries preserve their collections using modern science and traditional craft.  The MIT Libraries’ conservator and preservation librarian will explain how to care for your family papers, photographs, home videos, and digital media. Hand-outs with basic information and sources of archival supplies will be available. Sessions will last 45 minutes. Tours are limited to 20 people and will begin every hour on the hour.

Digital mapping tools introduced by MIT GIS Services
Workshop
DIRC (14N-132)
Sessions at 11 a.m. and noon

Learn about creating maps with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and collecting data in your community with a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit. A GIS provides tools for analyzing scientific and cultural data, as well as data collected by individuals (like you).  Session will include demonstration and a chance for everyone to collect data outside and create their own maps.

Apps4Academics
Workshop
DIRC (14N-132)
Sessions at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

In this show and tell, we will recommend the best iPhone/iPad apps and mobile websites for your academic life. We’ll talk about apps for productivity, library research, note-taking, e-reading, PDF-reading and annotating, sketching, and more. Some apps we’ll demo include Evernote, Instapaper, Dropbox, GoodReader, Papers, and WorldCat Mobile. See our companion web site: libguides.mit.edu/apps

MIT in Popular Culture . . . at the MIT Libraries

Posted April 4th, 2011 by Lois Beattie

Paniponi Dash

You’ve probably noticed that MIT pops up all over the place in popular culture. Good Will Hunting? Check. Bringing Down the House? Already read it. But did you know that there’s an MIT reference in the musical Rent? And have you ever watched Paniponi Dash or read The Gadget Maker? You can check out all these and more at the MIT Libraries.

The Gadget MakerTo help celebrate MIT’s 150th anniversary, we’ve found many of these books, CDs, and DVDs–from the obscure and out-of-print to the biggest blockbusters–in our stacks, and added a few we didn’t already have. Take a look at this guide to check out representations of MIT in books, films, TV shows, and music.

The development of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology chronicled online in the annual Reports to the President

Posted February 28th, 2011 by Lois Beattie

Reflection: Mit's first building, Back Bay, Boston

The complete collection of Reports to the President, available in print in the Institute Archives & Special Collections, is now also available online.

The president’s report is presented annually to the Corporation and has been published nearly every year since 1871. Recounting the year’s accomplishments and introducing the next year’s goals, each volume, with a few exceptions, is a compilation of annual reports from the academic and administrative entities of the Institute, along with the report of the president. Some years also include reports from the secretary, treasurer, and chancellor. To trace the evolution of the Institute, there is no better place to start than the Reports, which detail the changing objectives, priorities, curricula, research subjects, funding sources, and personnel through the years.

A more extensive description can be found in the MIT Libraries’ digital repository, Dome.

Image reflection: MIT’s first building, Back Bay, Boston

Harvard and MIT Libraries Explore Far-Reaching Alliance

Posted February 4th, 2011 by Heather Denny

Hayden Library, MIT

Widener Library, Harvard University

New agreement reflects physical proximity, cross-registration, joint programs, and research affinities

The Provosts of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have charged their respective library systems to explore expanded collaborations for sharing library materials, advancing digital preservation and collection, and developing future off-site storage facilities.

Both institutions have identified increased collaboration between and among their complementary libraries as an essential element in developing the research library of the 21st century. While an ambitious level of collaboration is anticipated, each library system will remain engaged with and guided by the respective missions and priorities of each university. While enhanced collaboration may serve to reduce prospective costs, the focus of the collaboration is on the future of 21st-century library services, technologies, and collections.

“No single library system can expect to meet the full intellectual needs of the academic and research communities of MIT and Harvard,” stated Harvard Provost Steven E. Hyman. “A wide-ranging exploration of all opportunities for collaboration is of great interest to both institutions.”

Both formal and informal relationships already exist between the MIT and Harvard libraries. MIT has shared in the use of the Harvard Depository since its inception in 1985. A 1995 agreement between Harvard College Library (HCL) and MIT brought reciprocal borrowing privileges to faculty, researchers, and graduate students in both institutions. An April 2010 pilot program extended those privileges to undergraduate students.

While traditional library materials have been the focus of prior agreements, digital materials are at the forefront of the new alliance.

“The increasing primacy of digital materials brings its own urgency to our collaboration, ” observed MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif.  “As new models of online information delivery emerge, Harvard and MIT can support joint programs for open-access as well as joint acquisition and licensing approaches that are appropriate for education and academic research.”

Under the agreement, the two libraries will develop a four-tiered action plan by the end of 2011.  The four tiers are:

Reciprocal access to circulating collections

By developing linked access between Harvard and MIT library catalogs and implementing reciprocal privileges that extend to Harvard’s graduate and professional school libraries, library patrons can anticipate full access to 20 million volumes that users will experience as a single collection.

Enhancing digital preservation and collection practices

MIT and Harvard have earned leadership roles through their open access programs and repositories and through their respective approaches to digital preservation. High priority areas for collaborative growth include digital archives of faculty papers and web-based publications.

Developing wider access to electronic information

Questions of electronic serials pricing, and the costs of building digital information management and delivery systems, point to opportunities for Harvard and MIT to investigate new models for licensing agreements, as well as alternative, open access forms of publication that reflect each institution’s commitment to the dissemination of new knowledge.

Envisioning joint off-site storage facilities for the future

Harvard and MIT have shared the Harvard Depository for high-density, non-browsable, off-site storage since 1985. Together, the two universities could effectively anticipate both a new service model and an additional facility for off-site storage.

“We’ve enjoyed a collaborative working relationship with Harvard’s libraries for many years,” said Ann Wolpert, Director of the MIT Libraries.  “This new agreement builds on our successes and underscores the commitment we share to provide our communities with the best and broadest range of resources possible, and to be at the forefront of advancing the digital preservation of scholarly work.”

“In several ways, the libraries of Harvard and MIT are already united by proximity and affinity,” said Helen Shenton, Executive Director of the Harvard Library. “Our new agreement supports the distinct priorities of two very singular universities. At the same time, it challenges us to collaborate on a sustainable information ecosystem for the 21st century.”

‘Technology’ Through Time: 150 Years of MIT History – Opening Reception

Posted January 31st, 2011 by Heather Denny

Opening Reception: Friday, Feb.4, 1:00p–3:00p

Location: 14N-130, Maihaugen Gallery

This multimedia exhibition showcases in words, documents, photos, video and sound, the broad and varied history of MIT. View original MIT documents and historically significant materials that played a role in making MIT the unique place it is today. The exhibit will also feature items from the MIT Museum’s 150 Exhibition, as well as video stories of those who have shaped – and been shaped by – MIT.

Music and refreshments provided.  Free and open to the MIT community.

Web site: http://libraries.mit.edu/maihaugen/index.html

'Technology' Through Time: 150 Years of MIT History – Opening Reception

Posted January 31st, 2011 by Heather Denny

Opening Reception: Friday, Feb.4, 1:00p–3:00p

Location: 14N-130, Maihaugen Gallery

This multimedia exhibition showcases in words, documents, photos, video and sound, the broad and varied history of MIT. View original MIT documents and historically significant materials that played a role in making MIT the unique place it is today. The exhibit will also feature items from the MIT Museum’s 150 Exhibition, as well as video stories of those who have shaped – and been shaped by – MIT.

Music and refreshments provided.  Free and open to the MIT community.

Web site: http://libraries.mit.edu/maihaugen/index.html

Take a 150-year journey through the MIT Libraries’ collections

Posted January 24th, 2011 by Lois Beattie

Lives of the EngineersHow did the public perceive engineers when MIT was chartered in 1861? What sort of books did MIT founder William Barton Rogers keep in his personal library? What would the Mass. Avenue bridge look like as a war memorial? Which MIT graduate wrote a hugely popular children’s book?

Find out all this and more with 150 Years in the Stacks. Join us on a chronological journey through MIT’s extensive (and unusual) library collections. Every day for 150 days, you’ll see a different publication, one from each year of MIT’s existence.

150 years, 150 days, 150 books: you never know what to expect.

Visit the 150 Years in the Stacks blog or find out more about the project.

Celebrating 150 Years of MIT History

Posted January 6th, 2011 by Heather Denny

The MIT Libraries are celebrating MIT150!   Over the next 150 days stay tuned as we open the vaults of the Institute Archives & Special Collections and share an insider’s look into MIT’s unique history.  Here are a few of the many things to check out:

  • Timeline:
    An interactive timeline with images, sound, video, and in-depth information from the MIT Archives allows users to delve into MIT’s rich academic, social, and cultural history.  Learn an interesting fact each day.
  • 150 Years in the Stacks:
    A chronological journey through MIT’s extensive (and unusual) library collections, Every day for 150 days, discover a different publication, one from each year of MIT’s existence. Follow this virtual tour through open stacks and off-site storage areas, into closed-stack rare collections and the vault.  Follow daily on the blog or the Libraries’ Twitter feed.
  • ‘Technology’ Through Time: 150 Years of MIT History Exhibition
    Opening February 4, 2011 in the Maihaugen Gallery, this multimedia exhibition will showcase in words, documents, photos, video and sound, the broad and varied history of MIT.  View original MIT documents and historically significant materials that played a role in making MIT the place it is today.  The exhibit will also feature items from the MIT Museum’s 150 Exhibition, as well as Infinite Histories, video stories of those who have shaped–and been shaped by–MIT.

Join us for a discussion about libraries in the digital age Wed., 11/3

Posted November 1st, 2010 by Heather Denny

Date: Wednesday, November 03 2010, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Location: Killian Hall MIT Room 14W-111

Registration: https://alum.mit.edu/smarTrans/register-login.vm?eventID=48142&groupID=146

Physical/Virtual:  MIT Libraries in the Digital Age, a program sponsored by the MIT Alumni Club of Boston, will feature a panel discussion moderated by Ann Wolpert, Director of Libraries.   This discussion will explore the diverse ways the Libraries support teaching and research at MIT today. The panel will include Tom Rosko, Head of the Institute Archives and Special Collections; Ellen Duranceau, Program Manager of Scholarly Publishing and Licensing; and Angie Locknar, a librarian who will discuss innovative instructional programs (including collaboration with Don Sadoway’s famous Introduction to Solid State Chemistry).

A reception with members of the panel will follow in the Institute Archives and Special Collections, including a special opportunity to visit the Libraries’ fall exhibition “Tell her to go to it:  Women’s Experiences at MIT” with the exhibition curators.  Refreshments will be served.
The event is open to everyone.  Tickets are $15 for alumni club members and guests, $25 for non-members, $5 for students.  Register online before 8pm Tues. 11/2.  For more information, contact Steven Horsch at horsch@mit.edu, or 617-452-2123.

Peter Diamond's Books on Display in Dewey Library

Posted October 27th, 2010 by Katherine McNeill

Diamond photo

In honor of Peter Diamond’s receipt of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, the Libraries have put its collection of his books on display in the Dewey Library Impulse Borrowing Section.  Come see his work on pensions, social security, taxes, government expenditure, and more.

Interested in examining Diamond’s thesis?  Access it online via DSpace@MIT, along with the theses many of the students he has advised available in the MIT Theses Collection.

Discussion and Q&A with Gioia De Cari from "Truth Values"

Posted September 20th, 2010 by Heather Denny

Monday, Sept.20 at 3pm in Killian Hall (14W-111)

Join us for a lively discussion and Q&A with Gioia De Cari from “Truth Values: One Girl’s Romp though MIT’s Male Math Maze,” an autobiographical solo show in which she reflects with wit and wisdom on her experience at MIT, the world of elite mathematics and the role of women in science.  The discussion will be followed by refreshments and a chance to win tickets to “Truth Values!”

This event is sponsored by the MIT Libraries in conjunction with “Tell her to go to it” an exhibit on women’s experiences at MIT. For more information about the exhibit see the gallery website, or contact maihaugen-lib@mit.edu.

"Tell her to go to it" An Exhibit on Women’s Experiences at MIT

Posted September 13th, 2010 by Heather Denny

“If a girl comes along who really wants to be an engineer tell her to go to it,” said Lydia Weld, Class of 1904.

The wisdom and determination of MIT’s women are showcased in a new exhibit in the Maihaugen Gallery (14N-130) that reveals the history of women establishing themselves as students, faculty, administrators and staff at MIT.  From the first women’s labs and dorms, to finding community and equity in the ranks, learn about their story through original letters, publications, photos and records from the Institute Archives.  The exhibit runs September 13 through December 1, 2010.

In conjunction with the exhibit, on Monday, September 20 at 3pm in Killian Hall (14W-111) the Libraries are hosting an event with Gioia De Cari, the MIT graduate currently performing her solo show “Truth Values: One Girl’s Romp though MIT’s Male Math Maze.” With wit and wisdom De Cari explores her experience at MIT, the world of elite mathematics and the role of women in science.  Join us for a discussion and Q & A with De Cari followed by refreshments and a chance to win tickets to “Truth Values.”

Exhibit & event flyer

Library locations closed over the July 4th holiday and remaining week (Fri., July 2nd-Sat., July 10th)

Posted June 14th, 2010 by Heather Denny

24/7 study rooms in Hayden and Dewey libraries will remain open

All MIT Libraries’ locations, with the exception of the 24-hour study facilities in Hayden and Dewey Libraries, will be closed Friday, July 2 through Saturday, July 10, as a cost saving measure to meet Institute budget reductions.

During this period the Libraries’ website, Barton, Vera, and access to electronic licensed resources will be available. However, most library staff will be on furlough and will not be available to offer assistance. A small number of staff will be on-call to address any reported system outages; reasonable attempts will be made to bring systems back online as soon as possible.

While it will continue to be possible to make online requests for some MIT Libraries’ services or materials, these requests will not be acted upon until the Libraries reopen.  Due dates for materials on loan have been adjusted to reflect this closure – no items will be due during this period and fines will not accrue.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

See: http://libraries.mit.edu/hours for a complete list of individual library hours.  Please send questions, comments or concerns to budgetfeedback-lib@mit.edu.

Historic Rare Book Collection "UnVailed"

Posted May 25th, 2010 by Heather Denny

A bookplate featuring the portrait of Theodore N. Vail, who donated the collection to MIT in 1912.

Records for the Vail Collection – one of the world’s foremost rare book collections on electricity, electrical engineering, magnetism, and lighter-than-air travel – are beginning to appear in Barton, the Libraries’ online catalog.  This historic collection comprises some 25,000 volumes and includes materials dating as far back as the mid-16th century, but it’s been hidden for decades because electronic catalog records hadn’t been created.

A generous gift from Thomas F. Peterson, Jr. (Class of 1957) has made it possible to fully catalog the Vail Collection, and perform essential conservation work.

As these materials are cataloged they can be explored via the Vail RSS page which has a listing of Vail titles (with links to Barton catalog records), or by subscribing to the Vail Collection RSS feed.  Due to the delicate nature of these materials they cannot be checked out, but are available for room use in the Institute Archives.