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Institute Archives & Special Collections

MIT Faculty - Donating Your Personal Papers

The goal of the Institute Archives and Special Collections is to document the history of MIT and the people who are a part of that history. We collect the personal and professional records of our faculty--the documentation of accomplishments in teaching, research, administration, and outside professional activities that reveals the history of the intellectual life of MIT and the influence of the Institute on the outside world. Most often, this relationship with the Archives begins at retirement from the Institute.

What we collect

We seek materials of many types and in all formats, such as the following:

  • teaching materials - problem sets, syllabi, lecture notes, sample exams
  • research materials - lab notebooks, field notes, drafts, grant proposals, correspondence with colleagues and granting agencies
  • consulting materials
  • correspondence reflecting work with professional organizations

The Archives generally does not collect the following:

  • publications by people other than yourself
  • background informational files
  • proprietary materials from other institutions
  • detailed financial records

The Archives also collects all MIT publications and coordinates with the Libraries' Gifts Section to help you decide what to do with other published materials in your collection. We work with the MIT Museum to preserve historical artifacts.

Services to the MIT Faculty

The Archives staff can help you in a number of ways to manage and preserve the information in your files, including the following:

  • provide advice to help you and your staff organize your records and make them easier to maintain and use
  • work with you to identify records no longer used actively in your office or laboratory, which might be suitable for transfer to the Archives
  • provide you with long-term preservation of your papers, to which you would still have access

We can help at many transitional points throughout your career:

  • as you embark on new projects and grants
  • as you finish projects
  • as you move to new offices or labs
  • as you plan for retirement

Donating your papers

We invite you to contact the Head of the Institute Archives (253.5688) to discuss procedures for donation of your papers or for advice of any kind about your records.

Manuscript collections (in this case, personal papers) are transferred to MIT by means of a gift agreement.

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