The fall exhibit in the Maihaugen Gallery showcases a unique collection on view to the public for the very first time. Magnetic Resonance: Four Centuries of Science from the Vail Collection offers a look inside MIT’s Vail Collection—one of the world’s most important collections of books on magnetism, electricity, animal magnetism, and lighter-than-air travel.
The collection includes foundational texts in the history of science and technology, rare titles from the late 15th-19th centuries, works of popular science, and thousands of rare pamphlets and articles. It was given to MIT in 1912, by Theodore N. Vail, president of AT&T and a member of the MIT Corporation. The exhibit marks the 100th anniversary of the Vail Collection’s arrival at the Institute and celebrates the generosity of Thomas F. Peterson, Jr. (MIT 1957), who supported a three-year project to unlock the potential of this stunning collection. Every title has been fully cataloged, essential conservation work has been performed, and the Vail Collection can now be shared with the world. Visit the gallery, attend an event, or explore the collection online.
Behind the Scenes: Conserving and Exhibiting the Vail Collection
Wednesday, October 17, 1pm–2pm, Maihaugen Gallery (14N-130) MIT’s book conservator, Nancy Schrock, discusses conservation treatment and display of the Collection. The talk begins in the gallery and proceeds to the Wunsch Conservation Lab.
Witches, Magic, and Monsters: The Spooky Side of MIT’s Vail Collection
Friday, October 26, 3pm, Institute Archives (14N-118) A Halloween-inspired look at the creepier side of the Collection. Online registration required.
The Scientific Conversation and the Vail Collection: Gallery Talks & Tours
Thursday, November 8, 11am–noon, Maihaugen Gallery (14N-130)
Wednesday, November 28, 3pm–4pm, Maihaugen Gallery (14N-130) Exhibit curator and rare books program manager, Stephen Skuce, leads a tour and talk about the exhibit.
MIT’s Vail Collection: From the Lodestone to the X-Ray
Friday, November 16, 10:30am, Institute Archives (14N-118) A presentation by rare books program manager, Stephen Skuce.