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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Communications Forum records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AC-0235

  • Staff Only
  • Select item to request

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The collection consists of records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Communications Forum. Materials include copies of audio recordings (on audio cassettes) of seminars and published seminar notes of forum sessions held approximately biweekly. Holdings cover the time period September 1985 to December 1999. Working papers, reprints, and seminar transcripts are also found in this collection. Topics covered include developments in communications technology, the economics of the telecommunications market, use of media and its effects, the regulation of communications industries in the United States and abroad, defense communications, and the theory of communications processes. Speakers included MIT faculty members from various departments representing a multiplicity of disciplines; faculty from other colleges and universities; and members of government, business, industry, and the media.


  • Creation: 1985 - 1996


Access note

This collection is open.

Conditions Governing Use

Condition of media needs to be reviewed. There may be restrictions on use.

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

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Research Program on Communications Policy was founded by political science faculty member Ithiel de Sola Pool in 1972, with seminars an important feature of the program. After Pool's death in 1984, the program was reformed as the Communications Forum continuing a relationship with business through the MIT Industrial Liaison Program, and also funded by foundation grants. The purpose was to bring together researchers, students, and outside experts to examine a range of communications related issues of interest to the MIT community, and better understand cutting edge developments in the field. Forum seminar sessions speakers are from the communication industry, media producers, government figures, and from academia. In 1998, the Communications Forum launched the Media in Transition project in collaboration with the new MIT Program in Comparative Media Studies (CMS). Funded by the Markle Foundation, this initiative involved a series of forums and conferences comparing earlier periods of decisive technological and social change with our contemporary experience of media transformation and convergence.

The strongest papers and reports generated by the project are now available in two volumes published by the MIT Press, Democracy and New Media and Rethinking Media Change, as part of a book series supervised by Forum Director David Thorburn. A website about the book series can be viewed at

adapted from MIT Communications Forum publications


5.95 Cubic Feet (3 record cartons, 8 manuscript boxes, 1 large flat box)

Language of Materials



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

Location of Copies

Access copies of seminar notes in MIT Libraries DOME repository and at

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 Communications Forum records
Data Entry In Progress
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