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Rotch Library Gallery – Guidelines and Information

Rotch Library Gallery will suspend exhibits in April 2024. Exhibit proposals will not be accepted until further notice.

The Rotch Library Gallery focuses on interdisciplinary arts practices, works that push creative intellectual boundaries, and support research. Some topics include but are not limited to architecture, art, photography, design, urban planning, housing, community development, geography, globalization and the environment.

The space is also a venue for curriculum-based shows and encourages student exhibits. It is open to the MIT community of faculty, students, and staff; including members of their immediate families and sponsored affiliates. Exhibitions proposed by individuals or groups not affiliated with MIT will be considered, based on availability and content. Potential off campus exhibitors, review the MIT building access policy for information on non-MIT visitor entry.

The following information guides use and expectations to all users:

General information

  • Exhibitors are responsible for installing and de-installing their exhibitions. The Rotch Library Gallery Manager may provide suggestions or best practices based on previous installations.
  • All installing and de-installing should be done during library hours. When completing this work, please be mindful of MIT Community members using the space.
  • Rotch Library assumes no responsibility for the security or welfare of exhibits at any time, including during transport, installation, or dismantling.
  • If financial support to stage an exhibit is needed, grants are available from the Council of the Arts at MIT – where there are deadlines and more information. Rotch Library and the MIT Libraries do not financially support exhibits or exhibit receptions.
  • Exhibitors can include an accessible price sheet and contact information with the exhibit if any items are for sale. MIT Libraries is not responsible for sales of exhibited items.
  • Exhibit information will be posted to the Rotch Library Gallery web page, featured on the Libraries’ news site, and other social media channels. Exhibitors are encouraged to do their own marketing as well.
  • To properly showcase Exhibitors’ work, Rotch Library hosts several exhibits year round. To accommodate this, the minimum length of an exhibit is one month and the maximum length is three months. Although, exceptions can be made at the discretion of the Rotch Library Gallery Manager.
  • Periodically, Exhibitors may be contacted by the Rotch Library Gallery Manager to engage MIT community exhibit visitors in dialogue through a tour of the exhibition.

Exhibit spaces

  • Exhibitors can request one or all of the exhibition spaces.
  • For an annotated floor plan, images, and measurements of the spaces see Exhibitor Resources.
  • Exhibitors may be permitted to use other spaces within the library. These requests will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • There is limited electrical access in the gallery area. Rotch Library is unable to support audio components in an exhibit due to the impact on users in the space

Proposal process

Rotch Library Gallery is not accepting new proposals until further notice.

Fill out the Rotch Library Gallery Proposal Form, including at least one image of your work.

  • Responses will be delivered within two weeks of receiving the proposal. This communication may include a request for more information, clarification, and/or changes.
  • Individuals or groups may propose exhibits using library materials.

Reception information (if applicable)

  • In order to accommodate a reception, the dates and times must be approved with the Rotch Library Gallery Manager at least 60 days in advance.
  • All details of the reception must be shared with the Rotch Library Gallery Manager at least 30 days in advance of the reception at the risk of cancellation. Necessary details include plans and logistics for food and beverages. (See MIT access policies.)
  • The serving of alcohol is not permitted.
  • Receptions must be scheduled during business hours, Monday through Friday.
  • Exhibitors will serve as the point-person and take full responsibility for their receptions. Exhibitors must provide a phone number at which they can be reached throughout the reception, in case of emergencies.
  • To minimize disruption to users of the Rotch Library, receptions must take place within the gallery space, even if the exhibition incorporates reading room spaces.
  • Reception attendance must be no more than 30 persons at any time due to noise concerns and fire code restrictions. Rotch Library will post signs alerting patrons of the reception, but reserves the right to ask exhibitors to quiet their receptions if the noise is impacting use of the space for MIT Community members.
  • Furniture cannot be moved for a reception. Exhibitors should request furniture (eg: tables etc.) in advance.
  • Food/beverage does not leave the gallery space or violate the Libraries’ Food and Beverage Policy.
  • Clean-up following receptions, including the removal of trash, is the responsibility of the exhibitors and must be completed by closing time of the library.

If you have a question about something not covered by these guidelines, please contact