MIT Institute Archives & Special Collections

Engineering Your Research

Finding Aids for Archives Collections

Sample pages

Finding aid for the Records of the
Servomechanisms Lab (AC 151)

See sample pages
See complete finding aid (PDF)

The MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections houses the “institutional memory” of MIT in the form of some 13,000,000 items, including official administrative records, faculty papers, theses, rare books, publications related to MIT, sound recordings, and oral histories. One of the principal responsibilities of the Archives is to preserve and make the historical record of the Institute accessible. MIT’s archival collections are among the most significant records of the history of science and technology in the United States.

Recently, the MIT Archives completed a special processing project to organize a number of large administrative collections. The project included the following collections, in addition to many smaller ones:

MIT Faculty Records, 1865- (AC 1) [PDF]

MIT Office of the President and Chancellor, Records of the President (Jerome B. Wiesner), 1965-1983 (AC 8) [PDF]

MIT Servomechanisms Laboratory Records, 1940-1959 (AC 151) [PDF]

MIT Office of the President and Chancellor, Records of the Chancellor (Paul E. Gray), 1965-1981 (AC 397) [PDF]

MIT Task Force on Student Life and Learning Records, 1860-1998 (AC 509) [PDF]

In the course of processing a collection, the records are arranged, described, and housed for permanent storage. The end product is a finding aid—the tool that provides information about what is in the collection and helps researchers find the materials they need. The sample pages seen here are from the finding aid for the Servomechanisms Laboratory Records (AC 151).

Hundreds of similar guides to collections are available for use in the Archives reading room, 14N-118, and the Archives is in the process of adding finding aids to its web site.

Object of the Month: November 2004

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