MIT Libraries

Archives Home

Research Help

Managing Your Records


MIT libraries MIT Libraries

Institute Archives & Special Collections

Institute Records Access Policy

The MIT Institute records access policy was voted by the MIT Corporation in May, 1980.

Rules of access to Institute records are governed by the MIT Corporation.

Institute archival records will normally remain closed for a maximum period of twenty years from the date of their creation (the date on which each document was written) unless the office of origin has designated a shorter period.(1) The only records that are closed for longer periods are:

  1. Corporation and Executive Committee minutes - restricted for 50 years;
  2. Student records - restricted for 75 years; and
  3. Personnel records - restricted for 75 years.(2)

Other records may be restricted for more than 20 years with the permission of the Institute Records Committee.(3)

During the restricted period the records will be available only to the office of origin and the staff of the Institute Archives and Special Collections department. Consideration will be given for access by others when a written request is presented to the Institute Archivist and a written approval has been obtained from the appropriate officer in the office of origin or the appropriate Institute officer now responsible for the function performed by the office of origin.

The records of the Institute will be made available in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Institute Archives and Special Collections department of the MIT Libraries.

This policy will not impinge upon the normal administrative uses of Institute records.


(1) The opening date for files spanning several years will be 20 years from the most recent date. Access will be given to material already 20 years old contained within a collection that is not yet open when such material can be isolated from the rest of the collection.

(2) Access by name to individual student and personnel records (e.g., for biographical studies) will be denied for 75 years from the date the record was created. Access for aggregate studies (anonymous studies of groups) will be considered in accordance with this policy and the rules and regulations of the Institute Archives and Special Collections department.

(3) The Institute Records Committee, as defined in the Institute Archival Policy, consists of:

a) the President's designee, representing the Corporation and the Administration;

b) the Institute Archivist, representing the Director of the MIT Libraries; and

c) the Dean of the appropriate School in the case of academic departments, the Provost in the case of interdepartmental laboratories or other interdepartmental entities, or the cognizant senior officer in the case of administrative or other general Institute and alumni offices.





MIT MIT mithistory@mit.eduMIT Libraries