Historian Pauline Maier, who wrote award-winning books on 18th-century America, died last month at age 75. Maier had been on the MIT faculty since 1978. In one of her best-known books, American Scripture, she helped show that the Declaration of Independence was a “secular document” and a collaborative effort, not a sacred text that Thomas Jefferson wrote on his own: In her research Maier found dozens of local resolutions to declare independence from the British Crown. The New York Times named American Scripture one of the 11 best books of 1997.
“One of the key intellectual figures in her field, Pauline was also a leader at MIT—a great historian and scholar who understood the pulse of the Institute and helped guide and improve our community in profound ways,” said Deborah Fitzgerald, dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at MIT.
“The impact of losing Pauline goes beyond family, friends, and colleagues. It extends to the young students who now will never encounter her enthusiasm, the cut of her mind, and how she made America’s past come alive,” wrote Maier’s MIT colleague John Dower in a post alongside other remembrances and tributes.
Maier was on the original faculty committee that put forward the MIT faculty Open Access Policy.
Explore Professor Maier’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.
Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.