Skip to main content

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Chemical Engineering Practice records

Identifier: AC-0256

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The records, varying by station, include project proposals, reports, and administrative files from a number of stations including Albany Station (General Electric), 1977-1989; Bound Brook Station (American Cyanamid), 1958-1975; Bayway Station (Esso Standard), 1958-1965; Bethlehem Station (Bethlehem Steel), 1982-1986; Boulder Station (Syntex Chemicals), 1987-1989; Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1987; Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1948-1962 and 1966-1986; and Golden Station (Solar Energy Research Institute), 1987-1988. The records for Bangor Station (Eastern Manufacturing Co.), 1917-1957; Boston Station, 1917-1938; Buffalo Station (Lackawanna, then Bethlehem Steel Co.), 1921-1951; and Parlin Station (Hercules Powder Co.), 1938-1958, consist primarily of bound reports of the results of student projects. Reports from these stations were written by student groups and administrators of the program, at MIT and at the individual stations.

These reports provide extensive information about activities in the practice school. The records of the various stations deal with issues related to student life; housing; transportation; performance and evaluation of students and staff; stipends and recreation. For Oak Ridge, Bethlehem, and Bound Brook Stations there are newsletters and clippings from local papers. Additionally, for most stations there are files of correspondence with the MIT office and reports submitted to the director, as well as extensive series of "problem statements," the outlines of student projects, and reports dealing with these projects. In some cases these reports take the form of technical reports and published articles.

Administrative materials from MIT include the records of the annual director's conferences (1923-1980), student manuals, writings on chemical engineering and related educational issues by the practice school administration, and historical writings and notes on the practice school. Also included are proposals for program changes, contracts with industry, student fellowships and financial aid, and steering committee minutes (1971-1980); and the writings and correspondence of Professor Jefferson Tester, who was director of the school, 1980-1989.

Additional administrative material, which was held by John Mattill during the writing of his books The Flagship: The M.I.T. School of Chemical Engineering Practice, 1916-1991 (1991) and The Flagship Diversified: 1991-2004, (2004) was added to the collection in 2004.

Publications from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory series of reports were added to the collection in 2020.

The only digital material is found wthin the Boulder Station subseries in the Administrative files series, from a 5.25 inch floppy disk. The content consists of correspondence and reports in WordPerfect files and statistics in Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets.


  • Creation: 1916 - 2004


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

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's School of Chemical Engineering Practice was founded in 1916 by alumnus Arthur D. Little and Professor William Walker, with the support of President Richard Maclaurin and the financial assistance of George Eastman. The school was designed to give chemical engineering students practical operational experience in industrial facilities. MIT practice stations were established at industrial plants where students worked on projects but remained under the supervision of the MIT resident staff and director. Since its founding, the practice school has operated about twenty stations.


29.7 Cubic Feet (24 record cartons, 18 manuscript boxes)

.263 Megabytes (43 digital files)

Language of Materials



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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Digital content from 1 5.25 inch floppy disk, migrated by digital archivist, Joe Carrano in 2022 March.

Related Materials in the Institute Archives

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering curricula, 1903-1992. (AC 122)


  • Mattill, John. The Flagship: The M.I.T. School of Chemical Engineering Practice, 1916-1991. Cambridge, Mass.: David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1991. MIT Libraries
  • Mattill, John. The Flagship Diversified: 1991-2004: The David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2004.

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.

Processing Information

Digital archivist, Joe Carrano migrated content from 5.25 inch floppy disk using the Kryoflux software. Most of the disk conisted of bad sectors and could not be read correctly, resulting in partially corrupted files. Most files can still be opened but some content is missing.


Preliminary Inventory to the Records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Chemical Engineering Practice
Ready For Review
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2022 May 9: Digital archivist, Joe Carrano, edited notes, extent, and listing to reflect digital media transfer accession 2022-052

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