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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Meteorology records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AC-0177

  • Staff Only
  • Select item to request


  • Creation: 1940 - 1983


Access note

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.

Historical note

Meteorological study began at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the summer of 1928 in the Department of Aeronautical Engineering under a three-year grant from the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics. Carl-Gustaf Rossby began the study of meteorology and physical oceanography when he was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Aeronautics in 1928. Graduate instruction began in the fall of 1928, and undergraduate instruction was offered from 1944 to 1957.

Meteorology remained a program in the Department of Aeronautical Engineering until 1941, when it became the Department of Meteorology in the School of Engineering, Course XIV. In 1946 the course number changed to XIX. In 1957 the Department moved from the School of Engineering to the School of Science. In 1981 the name of the department became the Department of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, and in 1983 it merged with the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and became part of Course XII, as the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.

Biographical / Historical

The heads of the Department of Meteorology of the Massachusetts Institure of Technology (MIT) were: Sverre Petterssen, 1941-1942; Henry Houghton, executive officer, 1942-1946, and head, 1946-1969; Norman Alton Phillips, 1970-1974; Jule Charney, 1974-1977; Edward Lorenz, 1977-1981; and Peter H. Stone, 1981-1983.


4.25 Cubic Feet (3 record cartons, 3 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box)

Language of Materials



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

Related Materials

Jule G. Charney papers, MC 184. Department of Distinctive Collections, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Henry G. Houghton papers, MC 242. Department of Distinctive Collections, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


  • Harper, Kristine C. Weather by the Numbers: the Genesis of Modern Meteorology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008.
  • Wind, war, and weathermen, by Peter Dizikes. MIT News Office, June 7, 2011.

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 Records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Meteorology, 1940-1983
Ready For Review
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