Skip to main content

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AC-0288

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Administrative records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Department of Chemical Engineering include annual reports, records of MIT and departmental committees, correspondence with MIT administrative officers, departments, and centers, and professional organizations, including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Cancer Society, and the Engineers' Council for Professional Development. Included are correspondence and memoranda about the curriculum and course schedules and evaluations; information about departmental professorships and lectures, including the Lewis lecture; and correspondence about departmental research and laboratories and the School of Chemical Engineering Practice. Also included are records about student advisors, thesis registration and thesis topics, fund raising and visiting committees, accreditation, and personnel records.

The only digital material in the collection is from a floppy disk in the folder, "Laibinis, Paul E. General / Correspondence, 1993 - 2000" and consists of Microsoft Word for Macintosh Documents and WordPerfect for Macintosh Documents


  • Creation: 1924 - 2003


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

In 1888 Lewis Mills Norton established a program in chemical engineering, Course X, in the Department of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which eventually became the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. In July 1920 Chemical Engineering became a separate department.

The School of Chemical Engineering Practice was established in 1916 to provide students with practical 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.

In 1951 a division of nuclear engineering was established in the Department of Chemical Engineering. This division became the Department of Nuclear Engineering in 1958.

The heads of the Department of Chemical Engineering include Warren K. Lewis, 1920 1929; William P. Ryan, 1929 1933; Walter Whitman, 1933 1961; Edwin R. Gilliland, 1961 1969; Raymond F. Baddour, 1969 1976; Kenneth A. Smith, acting head, 1976 1977; James Wei, 1977 1989; Robert A. Brown, 1989 1996; Robert C. Armstrong, 1996-2007; and Klavs Jensen, 2007-present (as of 2013).


64 Cubic Feet (64 record cartons)

.109 Megabytes (4 digital files)

Language of Materials



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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Digital files from 3.5 inch floppy disk, transferred using Guymager tool.

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 files originally housed on 3.5-inch floppy disk. Joe Carrano, digital archivist, imaged the disks using Guymager and migrated to Distinctive Collections storage. Once files had been extracted using HFS explorer, disk image was deleted.

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

Revision Statements

  • 2022 March: Joe Carrano, digital archivist, updated listing, extent, and notes to reflect 2022-053 digital media transfer accession

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