Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Civil Engineering curricula
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Scope and Contents of the Collection
The collection contains course notes for the Civil Engineering Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The bulk of the material dates from 1890 through 1917, including notes for courses on hydraulics and theory of structures (George Swain), stereotomy and warped surfaces (Dwight Porter), highways (Frederick E. Foss), and railroad engineering.
- Creation: 1890 - 1978
This collection is open.
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Classes in civil engineering were offered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when students were first admitted in 1865. First designated Course II, it exchanged positions with Mechanical Engineering in 1873 to become Course I. In 1889 Civil Engineering merged with Course XI, Sanitary Engineering, and in 1892 the name of the department was changed to Civil and Sanitary Engineering. In 1934 Course XVII, Building and Engineering, was added to Course I and in 1961 or 1962 Sanitary Engineering was dropped from the name of the department. In 1992, reflecting further changes in the department's focus, Course I was renamed the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Classes in civil engineering have been offered at MIT ever since the Institute opened in 1865, just after the Civil War. Since that time, the department's name and curriculum have changed several times in keeping with the evolving needs of humanity.
The course was first called Civil and Topographical Engineering and the focus was on surveying and building infrastructure: roads, railways, bridges, canals and drinking water systems. In 1889, Civil Engineering merged with Sanitary Engineering, and in 1892 the name of the department was changed to Civil and Sanitary Engineering. In 1934, the Building and Engineering Department was absorbed into Civil and Sanitary Engineering, and early in the 1960s, Sanitary Engineering was dropped from the department name.
In 1992, the department was renamed the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in recognition of the new combined discipline and its added emphasis on environmental chemistry and biology.
The heads of the department included: John Henck, 1865 1881; George Vose, 1882 1887; George Swain, 1887 1911; Charles M. Spofford, 1911 1935; Charles Breed, 1935 1943; John Wilbur, 1944 1960; Rolf Eliassen, acting head, 1960 1962; Charles L. Miller, 1962 1969; Peter Eagleson, 1970 1975; Frank Perkins, 1975 1980; Joseph M. Sussman, 1980 1985; David Hunter Marks, 1985 1992; and Rafael L. Bras, 1992-2001; Chiang Mei (acting head) 2002-2002; Patrick Jaillet, 2002-2009; Andrew J.Whittle, 2009-2013, and Markus J. Buehler, 2013-.
1 Cubic Feet (3 manuscript boxes)
Language of Materials
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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 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Civil Engineering Curricula, 1890-1978
- Ready For Review
- Language of description
- Script of description
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