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Bruce Mazlish personal archives

Identifier: MC-0734

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Scope and Contents

The Bruce Mazlish personal archives consists of research files, correspondence, notebooks, teaching materials, and material relating to professional organizations including the Toynbee Foundation.

Research files comprise the bulk of the collection and were created and collected by Mazlish. Many of these files relate to research undertaken for writing and teaching. Much of the material is published by third parties with handwritten notes by Mazlish. There are also drafts and original writing present. Some of the research files are in alphabetical order by topic. Research projects represented include but are not limited to research on New Global History, Globalism, psychohistory, narcissism, Richard Nixon, Karl Marx, and John Stuart Mills. Research files date from 1919 to 2016.

Correspondence is present throughout the collection and dates from 1950 to 2012. It consists largely of conference planning (particularly the many Global History conferences Mazlish himself organized), letters to and from publishers and scholarly journals, intellectual discussions and exchanges with other professionals, appeals for grants and donations for many of the organizations with which he was involved, personal friendly correspondence with colleagues, professional references written for past students and employees, and extensive materials relating to the running of the Toynbee Foundation and the issuing of the Toynbee Prize.

There are also course materials such as exams, assignments, and lecture notes. MIT courses present include humanities courses 21.04, 21.05, 21.549, 21.515, 21.355, and 21.386. Other instruction material includes presentations in higher education and at conferences, summer courses, and group studies. Course materials date from 1950-2003.

Material from Mazlish's time on the Board of Trustees and President of the Toynbee Foundation is found at the end of the collection. This material dates from 1972 to 2014.


  • Creation: 1919 - 2016
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1976 - 2005


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open.

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.

Biographical Note

Bruce Mazlish, 1923-2016, was professor of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He earned a BA in 1944, Columbia University; MA 1947 in literature and PhD 1955 in Modern European History at Columbia University. At MIT he was an instructor of history from 1950-1965; Institute Professor, 1965-2003; and Institute Professor emeritus, 2003-2016.

Mazlish developed new methods of combining seemingly disparate historical subjects and modes of historical thought into one, as displayed by his research into subjects such as psychohistory, new global history, intellectual history, and the relationship between science and technology.

He completed several works including a psychological biography of then-President Richard Nixon (In Search of Nixon, 1972), The Western Intellectual Tradition (1960, co-written with Jacob Bronkowski), and The Uncertain Sciences (1998).

Mazlish also played a role in the founding of academic journals such as History and Theory. He received the Toynbee Prize for 1986-1987 as well as served on the Board of Trustees and as President of the Toynbee Prize Foundation. In the 1990s Mazlish helped develolp the sub-field of New Global History, published a book by the same name in 1993, and organized conferences with other leaders in the field to explore the impacts of globalization in the modern era.

Information obtained from:


34 Cubic Feet (36 containers)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

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

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.

Preliminary Inventory to the Bruce Mazlish Personal Archives
Allison Blanning and Greta Kuriger Suiter
Spring 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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