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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Industrial Liaison Program records of member companies

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AC-0265

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of files of member companies from 1948 on which include agendas for visits of MIT and company personnel; attendance at seminar programs; questionnaires assessing the effectiveness of ILP programs; records of payments; and correspondence about and records of services provided.


  • Creation: 1949 - 1990


Conditions Governing Access

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 Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) was created in 1948 to inform companies about research developments in a range of fields and to support the Institute's educational activities. Participating companies provide MIT major financial support through membership fees. The program, which has become international in scope, assigns an industrial liaison officer to each company and arranges faculty visits, research briefings, and seminars and symposia at the Institute.

ILP was first established on an experimental basis. The Institute approached several industrial organizations for financial support to establish research and advanced education programs in areas of mutual interest. ILP officers selected a group of companies as test cases and worked cooperatively with these companies to develop a program which would be consistent with MIT's educational objectives and with the long-term interests of the stockholders of the companies. The director of ILP reported to the president.

The most favorable initial responses were from oil companies and, as a result of the particular interests of these companies in sponsoring research in the fields of nuclear science, physics, chemistry, and chemical engineering, the fledgling program tended to be engineering-oriented. The program grew and became more interdisciplinary. Member organizations had formal access to the work of faculty and staff in all of MIT's schools, interdisciplinary centers, and laboratories. These companies benefitted through convenience of access to activities at MIT, informal conferences to discuss research progress, consideration of unusual company problems where MIT's knowledge of resources might be helpful, contact with faculty from visits by company representatives to the MIT campus, and distribution of the lab reports and other publications.

From the outset of the program all research was available to corporate participants. ILP was staffed by a number of officers who acted as liaisons to corporate representatives chosen by each member company. Almost all departments at the Institute participated. A faculty committee directed by Professor Albert G. Hill was given the responsibility of advising the administration regarding the program and of ensuring that faculty spent a limited amount of time on ILP activities.

In 1950 the ILP began publishing the Monthly List of Publications, which provided a compilation of MIT working papers, reprints, and theses available for purchase by member companies. The same year the program first published the Directory of Current Research, a directory of the titles, abstracts, and principal investigators of current research projects conducted within the various centers, departments, and laboratories of MIT. The directory was published sporadically.

In 1953 ILP began reporting to the secretary of the Institute. From 1957 to 1964 it reported to the vice president. It again reported to the secretary of the Institute from 1964 until 1972, when it came under the direction of the vice president of resource development.

By 1973 the ILP had opened offices in Tokyo and sponsored seminars in Europe. New services were added to the program in 1978 including return visits of MIT personnel to industry; temporary visiting status at the Institute for some individuals from cooperating companies, and the opportunity to work cooperatively on research at MIT financed by individual companies.

In November 1981 the Monthly List was superseded by the MIT Report, which retained the list of available publications, theses, and working papers, and added articles about current research as well as reviews of publications. In 1986 ILP reported to the Office of the Vice President and Treasurer. In 1989 ILP was placed within the Office of Corporate Relations, which currently reports to the vice president of resource development (as of 1995). In 1994 the office published MIT Expertise, which contains the same information as the Directory of Current Research in a new format.

Under the aegis of Corporate Relations, the program opened an office in Palo Alto, California, in 1993 to expand relations with companies on the west coast. At present there are twenty-one officers and just under 200 member companies (as of 1995).

The Industrial Liaison Program has been directed by the following: Robert V. Bartz, 1948-1953; William R. Weems, 1953-1956, 1957-1958; Philip A. Stoddard, 1956-1957; Vincent A. Fulmer, 1958-1959; Winston R. Hindle, 1959-1960; James McClymont, 1962-1963; Richard B. Finn, 1963-1966; Frank T. Bauchspies, 1966-1968; Jack W. Christensen, 1968-1972; Charles J. Sheehan, 1972-1975; Samuel A. Goldblith, 1975-1979; James D. Bruce, 1979-1983; James M. Utterback, 1983-1989; and Thomas Moebus, 1989-present (as of 1995).

December 1995


132 Cubic Feet (132 record cartons)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

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

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 Industrial Liaison Program Records of Member Companies
Ready For Review
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 July 9: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements.

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