The Institute Archives and Special Collections houses the historical record of MIT in the form of over 500 separate collections. Guides (â€œfinding aidsâ€) to a number of these administrative collections are now available online as PDF documents. Among them are the records of the president and the chancellor during Jerome Wiesnerâ€™s presidency (1971-1980) and the records of the Servomechanisms Lab (1940-1959).
In the course of processing a collection, the records are arranged, described, and housed for permanent storage. The end product is a finding aidâ€”the tool that provides information about what is in the collection and helps researchers find the materials they need. Hundreds of guides to collections are available for use in the Archives reading room, 14N-118, and the Archives will continue to add them to its web site.