Archive for March, 2008

Professor Donald Sadoway shows you how to find research literature

Posted March 31st, 2008 by Darcy Duke

Donald Sadoway
Not sure how to find research literature?

Watch this short video as Professor Donald Sadoway demonstrates to his 3.091 class how to find a chemistry paper using the MIT Libraries’ resources and tools. He demos Vera, Inspec, SFX and also comments on the importance of primary sources and peer review.

Check out our other video tutorials that can help you save time and find the best information for your research.

Or feel free to Ask Us!

Sofia Ponte’s “Dreaming Lounge” presentation Friday, April 11

Posted March 28th, 2008 by Ryan Gray

Sofia Ponte will be giving a brief presentation in the Reading Room from 12:00 to 1:00 Friday, April 11.

Dreaming Lounge - Sofia Ponte

The Dreaming Lounge is displayed at Barker Engineering Library from December 2007 to April 2008. It is a device created for resting and studying in libraries reading rooms while creating a performative space for day-dreaming. It brings evidence to a day-sleep situation while discussing ways for humanizing the experience of relief, rest and survival in the public domain. Libraries reading rooms are places where we often see communal resting, sleeping and dreaming, all mental conditions that affect and influence our behavior in the private and public sphere. The Dreaming Lounge encourages this situation in public as a way to generate a social space for reflection. After resting, one is more able to recognize changes, to continue to relate ideas, and to learn more about them. Barker reading room is situated under the MIT dome, which has served as a reading room since 1916. The design of the Dreaming Lounge blends into the landscape of this room while creating a self-discovery experience for the user and its relation to this space.

Limited access to some bound journals in Hayden Library

Posted March 25th, 2008 by Ryan Gray

On Wednesday and Thursday, March 26 & 27, sections of the basement in Hayden Library will be closed to the public. Workers will be removing materials with mold damage and cleaning the shelves in the affected areas. Mold remediation will be done by Munters, a firm that specializes in recovery, following protocols that have been reviewed by MIT Environmental Health & Safety. The mold-damaged items will be discarded and replaced by materials donated from other libraries.

Staff at the Hayden Desk will be able to retrieve many items in the closed-off area while the work is in process, but some items will not be available until the work is complete. Hayden Desk staff will retrieve materials from anywhere in the basement for anyone who is concerned about venturing into the area while mold remediation efforts are in process. Technical questions can be referred to Nancy Schrock, the Libraries’ conservator, at 452-4064 or

6th annual Prokopoff violin music concert April 18

Posted March 21st, 2008 by Christie Moore

violinSave the date! The 6th annual Prokopoff violin music concert will be held from noon-1 pm on Friday, April 18th, 2008 in the Lewis Music Library (Bldg. 14E-109). This annual event honors the extraordinary collection of violin music collected by Stephen Prokopoff and donated to the library in 2001 by Lois Craig, former Associate Dean of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning. This year’s concert will feature several pieces from the collection including Fritz Kreisler’s Tambourin Chinois, Navarra by Pablo de Sarasate, Concerto for 2 violins in D minor by J. S. Bach, and other favorites performed by some of MIT’s finest student musicians.

The Lewis Music Library is located in Bldg. 14E-109 and the concert is free and open to the public. The opening celebration for the MIT Libraries’ Maihaugen Gallery follows this concert.

New FAQ, “Thesis Access and Availability,” added to the MIT Libraries web site

Posted March 18th, 2008 by Ryan Gray

A new FAQ, Thesis Access and Availability, has been added to the MIT Libraries web site.

The Thesis Access and Availability FAQ provides basic information about interpreting our public records for MIT theses in Barton. This page will help answer questions such as:

  • How do I determine the “publication date” for a thesis?
  • When is a thesis available to the public?
  • How long does it take for theses to be added to DSpace?

For further information about MIT Thesis Collection, contact the Institute Archives.

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

Ann Wolpert, Director of the MIT Libraries, Elected to ICPSR Council

Posted March 12th, 2008 by Katherine McNeill

Ann WolpertAnn Wolpert, Director of Libraries at MIT, has been elected to the Governing Council of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the world’s largest archive of digital social science data. Council members guide and oversee the activities of ICPSR. Ms. Wolpert will serve a four-year term from 2008-2012.

MIT’s membership in ICPSR is provided by the Libraries’ Social Science Data Services program. For more information on the services ICPSR provides for data access and training in quantitative methods, see the MIT Libraries’ page on ICPSR.

Please join us in congratulating Ms. Wolpert on this important post!

Photo: Richard Howard

IEEE Xplore upgrade scheduled for Saturday, March 15

Posted March 11th, 2008 by Ryan Gray

IEEE logo

Please be aware of the scheduled upgrade which will result in limited access to the IEEE site. This is the official message from IEEE:

Dear IEEE subscriber,

We are writing to inform you that an IEEE Xplore environment upgrade is scheduled for Saturday, 15 March, 2008. During this upgrade, the system will be unavailable for up to four (4) hours beginning at approximately 10:00 am EDT (UTC/GMT – 4 hours). We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

IEEE thanks you for your support, and we look forward to providing you with excellent service in the years to come.


IEEE Online Support

Following Removal of DRM, MIT Resubscribes to SAE Database

Posted March 4th, 2008 by Ellen Duranceau

SAE logo
MIT faculty, students, and staff have access to the Society of Automotive Engineer’s technical papers over the web again, because the SAE listened to MIT and other universities when they spoke out against the imposition of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology.

Last spring, the MIT Libraries cancelled their web access to the (SAE) technical papers, because the society was imposing a DRM plug-in called FileOpen that seriously impeded normal scholarly use.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and SAE fellow Wai Cheng presented MIT’s concerns at the SAE’s Publication Board meeting in April 2007, which resulted in an immediate stay of DRM implementation on university campuses, and ultimately (November 2007) in a changed policy: FileOpen would not be required for university access to the SAE Digital Library.

While the MIT Libraries have not been able to get all the assurances we would like regarding SAE’s plans for implementing other DRM tools in the future, after consulting with faculty we have decided, as Professor Cheng put it, to “work with SAE in good faith,” reentering what we hope will be a productive partnership.

Access to SAE technical papers (requires MIT certificates on and off campus).

Details about access to SAE technical papers

If you have comments or questions, please contact Tracy Gabridge, Co-Head, Engineering & Science Libraries,

Now Open Access: Gutenberg-e History Monographs

Posted March 3rd, 2008 by MIT Libraries

lowengard_home.jpgIn 1999, the Gutenberg-e program made a big splash as one of the first experiments in online scholarly monograph publication. Co-sponsored by the American Historical Association and the Columbia University Press, Gutenberg-e offered a space for new scholars to take advantage of the power of digital media to present their research in innovative ways. Since the project’s debut, 36 historians have won the Gutenberg-e competition and had their revised dissertations published as digital monographs, which have been available to libraries through subscription. The authors were able to enhance their texts with vivid images, primary source material, pop-up glossaries, web links, and other features.

Columbia University Press has recently made Gutenberg-e open-access, making these books freely available to the general public. Visit to see titles such as Sarah Lowengard’s The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe; Maria Rentetzi’s Trafficking Materials and Gendered Experimental Practices: Radium Research in Early 20th Century Vienna; and Sherry Fields’ Pestilence and Headcolds: Encountering Illness in Colonial Mexico.

MIT’s wind tunnels chronicled in Archives’ March exhibit

Posted March 3rd, 2008 by Lois Beattie

MIT Wind Tunnel, ca. 1914The subject of the Archives’ March Object of the Month exhibit is MIT’s wind tunnels, beginning with an early improvisation in 1896. The focus of the exhibit is a photograph and description of a wind tunnel in use from 1914 to 1921, which was built on Vassar Street in Cambridge two years before MIT moved from Boston to Cambridge.

The photograph is from the MIT Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel Records (1914-1963) in the Institute Archives and Special Collections. These and other records concerning aeronautics and aeronautical engineering are available for research in the Archives in Building 14N-118.