Archive for June, 2009

Archives July exhibit commemorates Project Whirlwind

Posted June 30th, 2009 by Lois Beattie

Project Whirlwind report R-209

The July Object of the Month of the Institute Archives and Special Collections celebrates the transfer of the Project Whirlwind records from the MITRE Corporation to MIT.  The Project Whirlwind collection is a compilation of records of the  pioneering digital computing research conducted at MIT in the 1940s and 1950s. Whirlwind was developed as part of a project initiated by the Office of Naval Research to design a universal flight trainer that would simulate flight. Eventually the focus of the grant, a flight simulator (using an analog computer), changed to the development of  a high-speed digital computer.

In 2008 the Project Whirlwind records were transferred to the MIT Archives from the MITRE Corporation, where many research staff  had relocated in the late 1950s. For more information, including documents and digital objects available in DOME, the MIT Libraries’ digital repository, see

MIT Libraries Video Tutorials Now on TechTV!

Posted June 29th, 2009 by Ryan Gray

Want to learn how to find an article database for your research? Or use bioinformatics databases? Or use the library catalog? Then try the Libraries video tutorials, now hosted on TechTV!

MIT TechTV is MIT’s free video posting and hosting service, specializing in science, engineering, and MIT-related videos. Feel free to comment on our videos or suggest other videos that the Libraries can produce.

Sample Video: Finding Articles, Part 2: Finding Journal Articles on a Specific Topic

Broad Institute and MIT Libraries

Posted June 29th, 2009 by Ryan Gray

The Broad Institute will transition from a department within MIT to a permanent non-profit organization on July 1, 2009. Broad employees who are affiliated with MIT as faculty or staff will continue to have borrowing privileges and access to the MIT Libraries’ collections, while all other Broad employees will no longer have the same access.

All Broad employees can use the new Broad Library for library services. Dave Richardson (617.714.7902), the Broad Librarian, can answer questions related to this transition. The Broad institute also has more information available on their intranet for employees.

JulyAP 2009 Workshops

Posted June 26th, 2009 by Ryan Gray

Learn how to find and use information more effectively in these hands-on workshops. No advanced registration required. Light refreshments will be served at each session.

All workshops will take place in the Digital Instruction Resource Center (DIRC), 14N-132.

GeneGo Training
Wednesday, July 8, 9am – 12pm
Learn how to use this gene expression tool licensed by MIT Libraries. Bring data!
Contact: Courtney Crummett

Bioinformatics for Beginners
Thursday, July 9, 1pm – 2pm
Learn about the organization of key NCBI databases, understand the database record structure, and work with the BLAST search tool.
Contact: Howard Silver

EndNote Basics
Friday, July 10, 12pm – 1pm
Endnote is a “personal bibliographic software” package which allows you to create and manage a database of bibliographic references. Learn how to find and use information more effectively in our hands-on workshops.
Contact: Peter Cohn

OAG as a Travel Planner Tool
Monday, July 13, 12pm – 1pm
OAG Travel Planner Pro is the premier customizable online tool for business and professional travelers who need to make and manage complex travel plans.
Contact: Barbara Williams

RefWorks Basics
Friday, July 17, 12pm – 1pm
RefWorks is a web-based resource designed to help you organize references and create a bibliography. RefWorks allows you to search, retrieve relevant citations, easily cite references as you write your paper, and build your bibliography. It allows users to create individual or group accounts.
Contact: Anita Perkins

Accessing the Aero/Astro Collection
Monday, July 6 and Monday, July 20, 12pm – 1pm
Find out where Aero/Astro materials are now located. This session will highlight the various Aero/Astro collections and how to access them.
This session is limited to 25 participants. To register, contact Barbara Williams.

Sequence Alignment
Wednesday, July 22, 10am – 12pm
Explore sequence alignment algorithms and their practical applications. Session will include a hands-on algorithm exercise and practical usage information (Clustal, BLAST, BLAT, Maq).
Contact: Charlie Whittaker

DSpace@MIT for Research Collections
Friday, July 24 and Monday, July 27, 12pm – 1pm
DSpace@MIT archives and makes globally discoverable the research output of MIT faculty, researchers, and students. The session will highlight MIT Libraries’ initiatives for easy upload of complete technical report and working papers series’ and will demonstrate how individuals and research groups can establish and begin populating new collections of research materials.
Contact: Craig Thomas

Wednesday, July 29, 11am – 12pm
Learn how to use NCBI resources and optimize your BLAST protein searches to get the most out of your results. Attendance at Bioinformatics for Beginners and familiarity with BLAST are recommended.
Contact: Amy Stout

Data Management 101
Friday, July 31, 12pm – 1pm
For researchers struggling to manage their data, basic strategies will be provided for best practices for retention and archiving, effective directory structures and naming conventions, good file formats for long-term access, data security and backup options, metadata, tagging, and citation and other relevant issues.
Contact: Anne Graham

Sponsored by the MIT Libraries.

Aero/Astro Library collections relocated, fully accessible by July 2

Posted June 24th, 2009 by Heather Denny

As of Friday, June 26, the Aeronautics and Astronautics Library (Aero/Astro) will officially close its doors and its collections will be relocated to other areas within the MIT Libraries. The majority of the collections will move to the Barker Engineering Library. Barker will house all current, unbound Aero/Astro journals, as well as books, theses, CDs and DVDs. All materials are expected to be fully accessible to users by July 2nd.

Older bound journals have been moved to the Library Storage Annex. Electronic (PDF) files of articles from these journals can be requested through Barton. Whole volumes may also be requested through Barton and delivered to a library location of choice.

During the move, assistance is available for retrieving books formerly located in the Aero/Astro Library—call 617.253.5661, or inquire at the Barker Engineering Library Service Desk. Aero/Astro databases and other electronic resources will continue to be accessible 24/7, see for links to these resources. For additional information about Aero/Astro collections, contact Barbara Williams, the Aero/Astro librarian, via email or by phone at 617.253.5666.

“Media in Transition” video on MIT World

Posted June 17th, 2009 by Heather Denny

A panel of archivists, librarians, and historians reflected on the anxiety and exhilaration of a digital age that is constantly transforming their disciplines at a recent MIT Communications Forum event focused on Media in Transition.

MIT’s Director of Libraries, Ann Wolpert spoke about digital archives. “Persistence in the digital world does not happen by luck but through intentional action and explicit investment. The odds that bits will survive in a shoe box in the attic are pretty small,” she said.

View the entire video, or go to Wolpert’s comments which begin at approximately 52 minutes with an introduction by moderator, Peter Walsh.

Clean Energy Forum

Posted June 16th, 2009 by Kris Brewer

MIT Clean Energy Forum“Clean Power: Building a New Clean Energy Economy”

Did you miss it when it was here on April 13th, 2009?  Well, not too worry, AMPS captured it and you can watch the video at your leisure.  Of course, you’ll probably want to read all about it as well, so check out the great article by the  MIT News Office on the forum.

“Giant Leaps” – a video made by AMPS

Posted June 15th, 2009 by Kris Brewer

What is the legacy of the Apollo program, and what can we learn from it to help us confront the scientific and engineering challenges of our own time?  This short film kicked off the “Giant Leaps” Symposium commemorating the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing. The symposium was organized by the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics Department, and held at MIT on June 11, 2009.  Find out more about Giant Leaps.

Check out this great video and more on MIT TechTV.

Construction to Begin on Exterior of Barker Library

Posted June 2nd, 2009 by Ryan Gray

Exterior repairs to the dome to fix leaks will begin in earnest starting Monday, June 8, from 7am – 3:30pm. Work is expected to last from June through November.

Work from June through September entails replacing the stonework on the stepped part of the dome and chipping/grinding away residual concrete and filled-in spaces. From September to November, there will be repairs on the curved part of the dome.

A super-structure will be built over the dome to protect it from the weather and to allow construction regardless of the forecast. There will also be scaffolding on the 5th floor exterior spaces, with infrequent access needed from within Barker spaces. A construction trailer and crane will also be installed in the space between buildings 13, 12, 10, and 4. The crane will be in heavy use throughout the summer lifting new stone up and removing debris, so access to the doors in that alleyway will be unavailable.

For further history and updates regarding the project, see our ESL renovations blog, visit the Facilities update page, or email us.

Archives’ June exhibit celebrates the Blashfield murals in Walker Memorial

Posted June 1st, 2009 by Lois Beattie

Mural - south wallThe murals painted by Edwin Howland Blashfield (MIT 1869) in the main hall of Walker Memorial in the 1920s have, for many years, “elevated the spirit and stimulated the imagination of countless visitors and members of the MIT community,” in the words of former President Howard Johnson. The idea of decorating the hall was conceived by MIT’s Treasurer, Everett Morss (MIT 1885), who also gave the funds to make it possible.

The story of the murals is told in the June Object of the Month exhibit of the Institute Archives and Special Collections. The murals, in what is now called Morss Hall, consist of five allegorical panels illustrating the role of education in society with particular emphasis on science and engineering. The panel illustrated here is on the south wall and shows a mother and her children being guided by knowledge and imagination through the darkness of chaos into the brightness of an enlightened era.

Further information about Walker Memorial and the murals is available in the Institute Archives, 14N-118. The images in the exhibit are from Rotch Visual Collections and are also available in DOME, the Libraries’ digital repository.