Hal Abelson personal archives
No requestable containers
Scope and Contents
This collection comprises subject files compiled by Harold "Hal" Abelson, the Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Materials in this collection, spanning from approximately 1962 to 2004, are arranged alphabetically. Subject files primarily comprise correspondence, proposals, course notes, and publications in the areas of computer science and education. Publications in the collection include memoranda from laboratories in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, including materials on LOGO and Scheme, and on the topic of computing and education. Curriculum materials include course notes and handouts for Course 6 and 18 classes taught by Abelson, as well as material developed for Hewlitt-Packard to use in training. Video recordings of 6.001 co-taught by Hal Abelson and Gerry Sussman are not included, but can be found in the Gerald Jay Sussman personal archives (MC-0744). Materials documenting Abelson's work at MIT can be found throughout the collection.
- Creation: approximately 1962-2004
- Abelson, Harold (1947 April 26) (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Materials in this collection are open unless they are marked as restricted. Restrictions are noted in the container list.
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.
Harold "Hal" Abelson, born July 26, 1947, is Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He received an AB, 1969, from Princeton University and a PhD, 1973, from MIT in Mathematics. At MIT, he was appointed Instructor, 1973-1974, in Mathematics and the Division for Study and Research in Education (DSRE); Lecturer, 1974-1977, in Mathematics and DSRE; Assistant Professor, 1977-1979, DSRE and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS); Associate Professor, 1979-1982, DSRE and EECS; Associate Professor, 1982-1991, EECS; and Professor in EECS starting in 1991. In 1994, he was awarded the Class of 1922 Professorship.
Abelson was involved with numerous committees and research groups at MIT, including the Educational Computing Group, the Laboratory for Computer Science, and the Project for Mathematics and Computation (ProjectMaC). AT MIT Press, he served on the Editorial Board from 1984 to 1998, and the Management Board from 1999-2015. From 1999 to 2006, he served as a director of the MIT-Microsoft Alliance, Project I-Campus. He later cochaired the Council on Educational Technology (MITCET), which recommended the creation of Open Courseware (OCW). He remained involved with OCW as a member of the OCW Faculty Advisory Committee.
In addition to his work at MIT, Abelson was a founding director of Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, and the Free Software Foundation. He was also a former director of the Center for Democracy and Technology. In 1996, he organized the Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy.
Abelson is the co-author of Turtle Geometry, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, and Blown to Bits. His field of interest is educational computing and applications of symbolic and numerical computing to science and engineering.
- National Merit Scholar
- University Scholar, Princeton University
- G. B. Wood Legacy, Princeton University
- Senior Prize in Mathematics, Princeton University
- Lilly Teaching Fellow, MIT
- Junior Bose Teaching Award, MIT School of Engineering
- MacVicar Faculty Fellow, MIT
- Adler Scholar, MIT
- Elected Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
- Taylor L. Booth Education Award, IEEE Computer Society
- Visiting Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa
- Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
- Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education, Association for Computing Machinery, Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (ACM SIGCSE)
23.3 Cubic Feet (23 record cartons, 1 manuscript box)
Language of Materials
This collection comprises subject files compiled by Harold "Hal" Abelson, the Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His field of interest is educational computing and applications of symbolic and numerical computing to science and engineering. Materials in this collection, spanning from approximately 1962 to 2004, are arranged alphabetically. Subject files primarily consist of correspondence, proposals, course notes, and publications.
Arranged in alphabetical order based on existing File Index, located in box 1 of this collection.
Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Materials were given to the Department of Distinctive Collections (formerly the Institute Archives and Special Collections) by Hal Abelson in 2018.
Duplicate materials and student grades removed from collection.
Arrangement of the collection was partly reconstructed based on Hal Abelson's "File Index" which was arranged alphabetically. Additional information added to some file level descriptions to better describe contents. Some duplicate and transactional materials were discarded during processing.
- Guide to the Hal Abelson personal archives
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
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