Lewis Music Library launches Music at MIT Oral History Collection website

Posted August 7th, 2013 by Heather Denny

A new library resource, the Music at MIT Oral History Collection, brings the history of music at MIT to life through in-depth video and audio interviews with MIT music faculty, staff, and former students. It shares the stories of performers, conductors, composers, music theorists, historians, acousticians, librarians, scientists and engineers, revealing their contributions to the musical life of the Institute and the world at large, as well as the effect music at MIT had in their own lives and careers.

Starting from the website’s index of interviewees you can:
  • Choose interviews by MIT affiliation (MIT faculty, staff, student, etc.) and by topic (composers, jazz, world music, etc.).
  • Select interviews to watch video, or listen to audio.
  • Search within transcripts by keyword, download PDF transcripts, and view biographical background information on each interviewee.

The resource is a culmination of over a decade’s worth of documentation by Forrest Larson, a staff member at MIT’s Lewis Music Library. The project was generously funded by MIT alumnus Lionel Kinney (’53). Learn more about the project.

Academic Media Production Services (AMPS) joins the Office of Digital Learning (ODL)

Posted June 26th, 2013 by Heather Denny

Effective July 1, 2013 Academic Media Production Services (AMPS), the MIT Libraries’ unit responsible for video production, distance education, and MIT TechTV, will become part of the Office of Digital Learning (ODL).

The ODL, formed in November 2012, is comprised of MITx, MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW), and the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology (OEIT). The addition of AMPS will add a key asset—video expertise and infrastructure—to the office that is charged with exploring emerging technologies to transform education at MIT.

“AMPS has played a big role in creating high quality video for MIT’s educational programs, including OCW and the first MITx classes. I’m excited to have the team on board in the Office of Digital Learning, and to work with Larry Gallagher, director of video productions, who will report to me,” said Sanjay Sarma, MIT’s director of digital learning.

“I also value the work AMPS does to support important Institute initiatives and distance education, and they will continue to provide these services as part of ODL,” he said.

AMPS has been a unit of the MIT Libraries since 2007. During the past six years, the video production group opened a state-of-the-art studio in Building 24, and played a key role in producing video for major Institute initiatives and events such as MIT150. The distance education and lecture capture group supported numerous MIT classes, webcasting live events and lectures to the world, and sharing increasing amounts of content online through MIT TechTV. AMPS recent involvement with MITx created a natural transition for the group.

“I am personally delighted by the recognition of [AMPS] talents that is signaled through this administrative change, said Ann Wolpert, director of Libraries. “The synergy between the mission of ODL and these highly skilled units is clear and compelling, and the strength and experience the staff of these units will bring to MIT’s new focus on digital learning will contribute significantly to the success of this high-priority activity of the Institute.”

During and after the transition AMPS will continue to provide a full suite of video services to the MIT community. See a portfolio of AMPS’ work, and learn more about the services they offer.

New video released: a conversation with philosophers Richard Holton and Peter Suber on open access

Posted November 26th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

In a new video, two philosophers, Professor Richard Holton, Chair of the MIT Faculty Open Access Working Group, and Peter Suber, author of the MIT Press book Open Access, discuss the significance of open access to research, and the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy. The video captures a live discussion held at MIT during global open access week in October, sponsored by the MIT Libraries and the MIT Press, and moderated by Director of Libraries Ann Wolpert.

The philosophers reflected on whether their discipline has motivated their support of open access to research and scholarship. Professor Holton indicated that his role as a moral philosopher has highlighted the rare position academics enjoy with respect to their writing:

“we’re not like journalists, we’re not like novelists, or composers, who have to sell their stuff…we are in this incredibly privileged position, where we can give [our articles] away, and that only adds to the benefit to us.

Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Open Access Project, and a Faculty Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, said his “primary motivation” in supporting open access is not linked specifically to philosophy, but rather to his desire to seize the opportunity the web holds for scholarly publishing.

Holton explored the possibilities open access offers for this kind of change in the scholarly publishing system, identifying the “strong monopoly position” of some publishers as a key motivator for the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy. The Policy, Holton said, addresses the “mess” the scholarly publishing market is in by offering a “freely available database” of MIT-authored articles that is “indexed through Google Scholar and other search engines.” After making an article available in this database under the Policy, the author can still “go on and publish…with a scholarly journal,” which provides the “very important task as a kind of quality control.” He notes that MIT has made “about a third” of articles openly available since the faculty Policy was put in place.

Both speakers addressed the role of publishers moving forward. In Suber’s view, we need to “persuade publishers [that] adapting to the world of open access publishing is better than resisting,” a task that is becoming easier given the increasing momentum of open access. Holton emphasized that working antagonistically is not necessary, that

“there is a way forward for both us and the publishers.”

Suber and Holton agreed that the recent approach to open access recommended in the UK could be counterproductive. “I love the ambition” of making all of the UK’s research open access, Suber said, but the UK should “tweak the policy” so that it emphasizes depositing manuscripts in repositories, in addition to the current focus on publication in open access journals. Holton had reservations as well. The UK plan is “not a good way to go,” he says, and will lead to “double dipping” by some publishers and to “entrench[ing] the monopolies of these journals.”

Both philosophers continue to devote their time and energy to supporting open access to research, working towards lasting cultural change that will make open access — and thus wider and more equitable access — the norm. They look to the day when, as Suber said, it will be “unheard of to write an article and not deposit it in a repository.”

More information:

Scholarly publishing website
Podcasts & videos on scholarly publishing and copyright

View a live webcast of MIT Commencement Friday, June 8

Posted June 5th, 2012 by Heather Denny

photo: MIT TechTV

MIT’s 2012 Commencement will be webcast live by AMPS (Academic Media Production Services) with commentary provided by Institute Archivist Tom Rosko. Rosko will co-host the webcast of the 146th Commencement exercises with Matt McGann, Director of Admissions and member of the Class of 2000.

View the festivities live from anywhere around the world. Commencement exercises begin Friday, June 8, 2012 at 8:00 am EST, followed by the Commencement ceremonies at 10:00 am EST. This year’s guest speaker will be Salman Khan ’98, founder of the Khan Academy.

Tune in and join us in congratulating the graduates!

Watch video for Rotch Library exhibit on artist books

Posted May 29th, 2012 by Melissa Feiden

Check out our new video for the exhibit Bookish: Artist Books from the Collection of Rotch Library of Architecture and Planning, 1960-Present. Guest curator Samuel Ray Jacobson, MIT SMArchS ’13, History Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art, discusses the artist books on display in Rotch Library.  The exhibit runs through June 10, 2012.

Created in conjunction with the symposium Unbound: Speculations on the Future of the Book which took place on May 4, Rotch’s Bookish exhibit explores the means and methods through which artist books challenge the book as traditionally conceived. By their selective, intentional performance and denial of normative aspects of book design, these artist-conceived objects negate such norms while sustaining their worth and continued relevance.

New streaming database: Opera in Video

Posted March 26th, 2012 by Christie Moore

Opera in Video




Opera in Video is now available to the MIT community. This streaming database contains 500 hours of opera performances, captured on video through staged productions, interviews, and documentaries. Selections represent some of the world’s best performers, conductors, and opera houses.

Stream video to your mobile device! All video is now supported for iPhone operating on 3G network or better and Android. Click on the mobile phone icon next to each video in the database to stream directly to your mobile device.

Barker Library hosts late night demo of Foucault’s Pendulum

Posted November 3rd, 2011 by Heather Denny

Staying up late in the library is common at MIT, but in this video, six grad students pull an all-nighter for a different reason – to prove that the Earth is rotating about its axis. How do they accomplish this? With a 160-year old demonstration called a Foucault’s Pendulum.


Library events during Family Weekend, Oct.14–16

Posted October 7th, 2011 by Heather Denny

The MIT Libraries welcome MIT families to campus during Family Weekend 2011!  We invite you to join us for these special library-sponsored events:



10:00-10:45 a.m.: Lewis Music Library Open House

14E-109, Lewis Music Library
Visit the Lewis Music Library and find out why this is such a popular place on campus.  Renovated in 1996, this library features striking architecture and an impressive collection of music: 37,000 scores, 16,00 books, and 24,000 recording including classical, world, jazz, popular, folk, electronic, and film music.

3:00-4:15 p.m.: MIT 150: Inventional Wisdom in Video
Relax and enjoy some popcorn while viewing a collection of short videos celebrating and capturing MIT’s sesquicentennial.  The program will feature a documentary short on the evolving student experience at MIT, and a selection of MIT150 events including 300 student musicians performing at the Next Century Convocation.  Refreshments will be served.  Hosted by MIT Libraries/Academic Media Production Services

While you’re here please stop by any library location and say hello. Visit the original library reading room under the Dome in Barker Library, take in views of the river from Hayden Library, or learn about MIT history in the ‘Technology’ through Time exhibit in the Maihaugen Gallery. We hope you enjoy your visit!

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.

True or false: The MIT Libraries only have academic stuff.

Posted June 9th, 2011 by Heather Denny

Library Myths sets the record straight, debunking common misconceptions about libraries. The premiere episode reveals things you never knew you could check out of the MIT Libraries.


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.

FalconCast: AMPS broadcasts live video of falcons nesting at MIT

Posted April 29th, 2011 by mit-admin

Staff at MIT’s Whitehead Institute recently discovered a falcon’s nest at their facility and partnered with AMPS (Academic Media Production Services) to set up a camera to capture live video of the nest.  The nest contains four eggs waiting to hatch.  AMPS plans to stream the video until the chicks hatch and leave the nest.  Watch FalconCast live.

‘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:

'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:

"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

Take a Tour of the Lewis Music Library

Posted May 3rd, 2010 by Heather Denny

“Deep in the heart of the MIT campus lies a hidden treasure…the Rosalind Denny Lewis Music Library.” Follow along as the narrator takes you on a video tour of “an oasis filled with books, scores, recordings, quiet study spaces” and much more.

The brief tour highlights the collections, facilities, and services of the Lewis Music Library. Filmed by Gregory Perkins ’10.

New Video Production Studio Opens in Building 24

Posted April 30th, 2010 by Heather Denny

Photos by Kris Brewer

In a dark, soundproof room, lights and a camera are focused on MIT President Emeritus Paul Gray as he graciously accepts the IEEE Founders Medal.  He’s taping an acceptance speech that will be shown in June at an IEEE conference in Montreal that he won’t be able to attend in person.  The studio could be in any major television newsroom, but it’s right here on the MIT campus.

The video of Gray is the inaugural recording in the new MIT studio, located in Building 24.  The studio, 2 years in the making, replaces an older recording space in Building 9.  The state-of-the-art facility is equipped with high definition cameras, a controlled environment for light and sound, and “Medialink” technology to provide news media with convenient and immediate access to MIT newsmakers.

“With the flip of a switch we can be connected to any major news organization via fiber optic network,” says Larry Gallagher, Director of Video Production and Digital Technologies for AMPS (Academic Media Production Services), a part of the MIT Libraries.

Requests for interviews with MIT faculty and researchers come often from MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, Bloomberg and other national and international news organizations.  Craig Milanesi, AMPS Production Manager, estimates that they tape 3 to 5 television appearances a month, and also record 3 to 5 radio interviews a week with outlets such as NPR and BBC.  He anticipates that number will grow once the studio is in full production this fall.

“Having this facility and service on campus is extremely convenient for faculty and research staff who are sought after by news organizations for their expertise.  We’re glad to be able to facilitate this kind of exposure for MIT experts to reach a broad audience,” Gallagher says.

In addition to media requests, the studio will also be used for video in support of MIT events and teaching.  Paul Gray, who was an early advocate of using video in teaching, recorded a series of tutorials for course 6.002 with AMPS several years ago, and is now involved in the Infinite History Project which is capturing first-person video interviews with key MIT figures for MIT’s 150th anniversary.

“Without the studio we would have had to rent studio time elsewhere.  I’m delighted that we have this space,” Gray says.

An open house in the studio is planned for fall 2010.  To learn more about the studio and AMPS video production capabilities, see the AMPS website, or contact

Technology & Enlightenment in the Maihaugen Gallery

Posted February 2nd, 2010 by Heather Denny

A new exhibit opens in the Libraries’ Maihaugen Gallery on Wednesday, February 3. Technology and Enlightenment: The Mechanical Arts in Diderot’s Encyclopédie explores one of the most important and controversial publications of the eighteenth century, Diderot’s Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers.

This massive work became infamous in its day as an enlightened attack on French and European religious dogmatism and monarchical inefficiency and injustice. Containing over 2,500 elaborately engraved plates, it documented the mechanical arts and technology, placing equal importance on the manual trades as the arts and sciences.

Curated by Jeffrey S. Ravel, MIT Associate Professor of History, and Kristel Smentek, MIT Assistant Professor of Art History, the exhibit features fascinating images chosen from the 32 original folio volumes owned by the MIT Libraries, as well as multimedia components illustrating the Encylopedie’s significance.  The exhibit is open to the public Mon.-Thurs. during gallery hours, and runs through July 2010.

New Video: Fair Use of Copyrighted Content

Posted January 21st, 2010 by Ellen Duranceau

The Libraries are offering a new video, A Window on Fair Use, which provides an overview of US Copyright law’s Fair Use provisions.

The 9-minute video explains how you can employ the concept of “Fair Use” under US copyright law to legally reuse copyrighted content without permission from the copyright holder. It reviews the “four factor” analysis to assess whether a proposed use is likely to be a “fair use,” and offers relevant tools to support your own fair use analysis.

The tutorial also provides information on finding content that is available for flexible reuse, because it is in the public domain or offered under a creative commons license. It offers brief information on seeking permission to use for content when fair use does not apply.

For more information on Fair Use, see:

IAP 2010: All Sessions for Week of January 25 – 29

Posted January 19th, 2010 by Ryan Gray

Check out all of the MIT Libraries IAP events for the week covering Monday, January 18 through Friday, January 22. Also check out the complete listing for all of our sessions.

Introduction to R

Practically Genomic

Rotch Library Film Series

Using Elevation Data and Hydrographic Tools in a GIS

EndNote Basics

Managing Research Data 101

LabLife Tutorial

Middle East Blogsphere: Who Are They? Where Are They Archived?

GIS Model Builder for Programmers

Regression Using Stata

Demystifying Fair Use – An Interactive Workshop for Users of Copyrighted Content

Linked Data

Cool Tools for Science & Engineering Research

Going Beyond Google Scholar: Using the Web of Science and Other Citation Searching Resources to Discover Articles

Introduction to SAS

Making Your Own Videos for the Web & MIT TechTV

Managing Your References: Overview of EndNote, RefWorks and Zotero

Graphics in Stata

NOTE: Some sessions have limited availability or may require advance sign-up requirements. If you have further questions, please see individual listings for appropriate contact information.