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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AC-0013

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The collection documents the administration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the responsibilities and activities of the Institute's presidents between 1883 and 1930. This was a period of enormous growth and development of the Institute, which was chartered in 1861 and graduated it's first class of undergraduates in 1868.

There is little documentation of Walker's presidency in this collection; the bulk of the records date from 1897. Correspondence, memoranda, and reports record activities of the MIT Corporation, including the Executive Committee and visiting committees. There is correspondence about the proposed merger with Harvard University in 1904 and a proposed alliance in 1911. The purchase of land for a new campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the planning and building of the new campus, and MIT's move from Boston to Cambridge in 1916 are well documented in correspondence with city officials, the architects and builders, as well as faculty. Reports and correspondence record the work of several committees, including the Administrative Committee and the Committee on Revision of the First and Second Years, 1929-1931. There is correspondence with faculty and department heads about appointments, curriculum, scholarships, and prizes; with donors about gifts and bequests to the Institute; with other universities, professional organizations, and government offices including the United States Army and Navy, the Bureau of Standards, and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

Dates

  • 1883 - 1941
  • Majority of material found within 1897 - 1931

Creator

Access note

This collection is open.

Intellectual Property Rights

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to Distinctive Collections. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the creating office.

Historical note

Between 1883 and 1930 the following individuals served as president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Francis Amasa Walker, 1881-1897; James Mason Crafts, 1897-1900; Henry Smith Pritchett, 1900-1907; Arthur Amos Noyes, acting president, 1907-1909; Richard C. Maclaurin, 1909-1920; Ernest Fox Nichols, 1921; Elihu Thomson, acting president, 1921-1922; and Samuel Wesley Stratton, 1923-1930.

Further information about the Office of the President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology may be found on the website of the Institute Archives and Special Collections.

Extent

10.5 Cubic Feet (31 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The collection documents the administration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the responsibilities and activities of the Institute's presidents between 1897 and 1930. This was a period of enormous growth and development of the Institute, which was chartered in 1861 and graduated it's first class of undergraduates in 1868. There is correspondence about the proposed merger with Harvard University in 1904 and a proposed alliance in 1911. The purchase of land, the planning and building of the new campus, and MIT's move from Boston to Cambridge in 1916 are documented. The collection also contains reports and correspondence recording the work of committees; correspondence with faculty and department heads, with donors, and with other universities, professional organizations, and government offices.

Source of Acquisition

Box 31 was added in November 2006 and contains additional material related to the activities of Institute presidents between 1897 and 1930. The files have been integrated in the finding aid alphabetically.

Box 32 was added in July 2007 and includes, among other things, correspondence from MIT chemistry professor and Corporation member Edward Atkinson to Walker and a folder of invoices and correspondence regarding war supplies inssued to MIT by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1889. The folders have been integrated in the finding aid alphabetically.

Box 33 was added in April 2016 and consists of materials formerly designated as AC 99. Materials includes press copy concerning MIT activities and correspondence to and from newspapers concerning publication agreements. Correspondents include Harry Walter Tyler and Clarence W. Perley. The folders have been integrated in the finding aid alphabetically.

Location of Digital Copies

Select items from this collection were reformatted for the 2016 celbration of MIT's 1916 move to Cambridge. All JPEG copies and select TIFF copies are organized by folder barcode on the Z Drive Dissemination area. The master TIFF files are also stored on the Z Drive in the Ingest area.

Related Materials

William Barton Rogers papers, MC 1.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President, records of Karl T. Compton and James R. Killian, AC 4.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President, records of Julius A. Stratton, AC 134.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President, records of Howard W. Johnson, AC 118.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President, records of Jerome B. Wiesner, AC 8.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President, records of Paul E. Gray, AC 180.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President, records of Charles M. Vest, AC 510.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Annual Reports to the President. 1873-
Photographs taken by a student of the January 1920 funeral of Richard Maclaurin can be found in box 7 of MIT Archives collection, MC 618, Collection on Student Life.
Inauguration records for Richard Maclaurin can be found in MIT Archives collection, AC 36.

Bibliography

  • Munroe, James Phinney. A Life of Francis Amasa Walker. New York: Henry Holt, 1923.
  • Crafts, James Mason. “President Crafts to the Alumni,” Annual Dinner, December 29, 1899. Technology Review 2 (January 1900): 30-39.
  • Crafts, James Mason. “Address on Behalf of the Faculty.” Technology Review 3 (January 1901): 36-49. [Address at the inauguration of Henry Smith Pritchett.]
  • [MIT Corporation’s] Memorial to President Crafts. Technology Review 20 (January 1918): 58.
  • Pritchett, Henry Smith. Inaugural address, “The Educated Man and the State,” October 24, 1900. Technology Review 3 (1901): 55-74.
  • Flexner, Abraham. Henry S. Pritchett, a biography. New York: Columbia University Press, 1943.
  • Maclaurin, Richard Cockburn. Inaugural address, June 7, 1909. Technology Review 11 (1909): 327-334.Pearson, Henry Greenleaf. Richard Cockburn Maclaurin, President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1909-1920. New York: Macmillan Press, 1937.
  • Pearson, Henry Greenleaf. Richard Cockburn Maclaurin, President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1909-1920. New York: Macmillan Press, 1937.
  • Nichols, Ernest Fox. Inaugural address, June 8, 1921. Technology Review 23 (1921): 321-326.
  • Elihu Thomson eightieth birthday celebration at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge, MA: The Technology Press, 1933.
  • Stratton, Samuel Wesley. “The Effect of Science in the Evolution of Industry,” May 11, 1923. Technology Review 25 (July 1923): 421-423.
  • MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections. History of the Office of the MIT President.

Processing Information note

There is no folder 45. Personnel case, de-accessioned from collection in 2010.

Processing Information note - Reformatting Project

Missing Title

2015 August 17
2016.009RR (removed by mssimon)The following folders have been temporarily removed from the collection to be digitized (part of 1916 project):Cambridge campus, alternate sites proposed, 1911 (box 3, folder 74, 6 pages)Cambridge campus, buildings – dormitories, 1912-1926 (box 3, folder 75, 96 pages)Cambridge campus, buildings – dormitories, 1926-1930 (box 3, folder 76, 112 pages)Cambridge campus, buildings - Walker Memorial and dormitories, 1912-1916 (box 3, folder 79, 113 pages)Cambridge campus, buildings - Walker Memorial and dormitories, 1921-1923 (box 3, folder 80, 85 pages)Cambridge campus, Schmitz, Frank C., 1912 (box 3, folder 84, 1 page)Cambridge campus, Site Committee, 1910 (box 3, folder 85, 28 pages)Cambridge campus, Whittier, Charles W., 1911-1927 (box 3, folder 86, 15 pages)Correspondence, 1900-1932 1 of 2 (box 6, folder 139, 42 pages)Correspondence, 1900-1932 2 of 2 (box 6, folder 140, 74 pages)Gifts and bequests - DuPont family, 1911-1931 (box 9, folder 246, 67 pages)Hobbs, Franklin Warren, 1911-1919, 1923-1931 (box 10, folder 306, 105 pages)Lists, famous names for inscription on buildings, 1915-1917 (box 12, folder 369, 145 pages)Maclaurin, Richard Cockburn, 1910-1929 (box 13, folder 385, 84 pages)Stone, Charles Augustus, 1911-1916 (box 19, folder 449, 89pages)Stone, Charles Augustus, 1917-1928 (box 19, folder 450, 94 pages)Eastman, George, 1912-1916 (box 25, folder 185, 103 pages)Eastman, George, 1917-1919 (box 25, folder 186, 76 pages)Eastman, George, 1920-1930 (box 25, folder 187, 79 pages)Campus relocation, letter from A. A. Noyes to J. M. Pritchett, 1903 (box 31, folder 87a, 1 page)
2015 December 11
2016.009RR (returned by mssimon) all folders removed on 2015 August 17 have been returned to original locations in this collection
Title
Guide to the Records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Office of the President, 1883-1930
Status
Completed
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

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

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