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Charles M. Vest papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MC-0655

Scope and Contents

The collection documents the professional activities of Charles M. Vest during the years of 1967 to 2013.

Materials include: correspondence, lectures, reports, articles, speeches, presentations, and a digital video interview of Vest about Bill Mitchell.


  • 1967 - 2013


Access note

This collection is not fully processed and portions of this collection must be reviewed to identify any restricted material before access can be granted. Please submit your requests at least ten business days before your desired visit to allow time for this review. An archivist will respond within five business days to let you know whether your requested material is open. For complete information on this policy, see our Statement on Accessing Institute Records.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.


Charles M. Vest (1941-2013) earned a BS in 1963, West Virginia University; MS 1964, and a PhD 1967, University of Michigan. In 1990 Dr. Vest was elected president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and served in that position through December 2004, when he became professor and president emeritus. He was a life member of the MIT Corporation until his death in December 2013.

Before serving as president of MIT, Charles Vest was dean of engineering and later provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan. He served on various federal committees and commissions, including the Presidents Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) during the Clinton and Bush administrations, the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy and the Rice-Chertoff Secure Borders and Open Doors Advisory Committee. From 2007-2013 Vest served as president of the National Academy of Engineering.


17.5 Cubic Feet (11 record cartons, 9 manuscript boxes, 12 additional containers)

1.42 Gigabytes (1 digital file)

Language of Materials



Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Related Materials

A collection of Dr. Vest's speeches, interviews and other communications, provided by the President's Office of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Office of the President, Records of Charles M. Vest, nstitute Archives and Special Collections, 1990-2004 (AC 510).


  • Holographic Interferometry, by Charles M. Vest. New York: John Wiley, 1979.
  • Pursuing the Endless Frontier: Essays on MIT and the Role of the Research University, by Charles M. Vest. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005.
  • Holographic NonDestructive Testing, edited by Robert K. Erf. Chapter 8 by Charles M. Vest. New York: Academic Press, 1974.
  • The American Research University from World War II to World Wide Web, by Charles M. Vest. Berkele: University of California Press, 2007.

Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.

Processing Information

Charles Vest interview about Bill Mitchell copied from DVD-ROM into IASC storage space. DVD discarded 2/10/2014 by MIT Libaries digital archivist Kari Smith.

Transfer List of the Papers of Charles M. Vest
Data Entry In Progress
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020 November 23: Information added on digital video at collection and item level by digital archivist Joe Carrano
  • 2021 September 27: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements.
  • 2023 February 7: Revised by processing archivist Chris Tanguay to update access notes.

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US