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Institute Archives & Special Collections

About the Archives

The Institute Archives and Special Collections serves as a "memory" for MIT, collecting and preserving records that document MIT's history and the people who have been a part of that history. The collections chronicle the founding and growth of MIT and provide insight into the development and current issues of the Institute as well as MIT's impact on the world beyond the Cambridge campus. The Archives has a special interest in documenting the evolution of modern science and technology and its impact on society. Particular emphasis has been placed on the role of scientists and engineers in the formation of science policy.

The Archives works to build collections of unpublished material including official records of the Institute, selected personal and professional papers of MIT faculty, staff, and students, MIT publications, and MIT theses. The department also maintains the MIT rare book collections. Occasionally the Archives accepts collections of records of non-MIT persons and organizations whose activities complement the Archives' holdings. The research materials in the Institute Archives are complemented by the collections at the MIT Museum.

The goal of the department is both to support the administration, research, and teaching of the MIT community and to encourage the use of its collections by researchers outside the Institute. The Institute Archives also administers MIT's Records Management Program, advising administrative and academic offices on records-keeping practices for non-permanent records.

Researchers from as close as Cambridge and as far away as Sweden or Japan use our collections regularly. We ask all researchers to notify us when they produce works using our collections. The list of such works that we have compiled includes books, articles, reports, dissertations, television programs, and exhibits created by an international roster of scholars, including members of the MIT community.

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