Skip to main content

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Humanities student records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AC-0403

Scope and Contents

The collection contains student records kept by the Department of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1958-1980. The records include correspondence, administrative forms, grade reports, and transcripts from both withdrawn and graduated undergraduate students.


  • 1958 - 1980


Conditions Governing Access

This collection requires permission for access. Records are restricted for 75 years from the date of creation. Contact Distinctive Collections for further information.

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 (MIT) began offering classes in the humanities and related subjects when students were first admitted in 1865. These courses were intended to supplement the curriculum in science and engineering and to prepare students for adult life. Over the years, MIT’s humanities and social science programs have undergone phases of expansion, contraction, and restructuring.

In 1932 MIT President Karl Taylor Compton proposed a new plan of administration, dividing the Institute into three schools and two divisions including the Division of Humanities. In 1950 the division became the School of Humanities and Social Studies and in 1959, the School of Humanities and Social Science. In 1954 the departments of English and history merged to form the Department of Humanities. Sections in philosophy (1961), music (1961), and literature (1962) were later added to the department. In 1971 philosophy became a separate department, and anthropology was added to the Department of Humanities. In 1975 the Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics was discontinued, and foreign languages joined the Department of Humanities.

In 1982 the six sections—Anthropology/Archaeology, Foreign Languages and Literatures, History, Literature, Music, and Writing—in the Department of Humanities became more autonomous, with their own section chairs and increased responsibility for curriculum, appointment, and budgetary affairs. The Humanities Undergraduate Office was established to provide coordination for the sections, and the position of department head was eliminated.

MIT History, Department of Biology, 1995.


8 Cubic Feet (8 record cartons)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

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

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed collection inventory is available to staff in the MIT ArchivesSpace staff interface.

Processing Information

In spring 2021, this finding aid was revised as part of a project to publish previously unpublished finding aids. The finding aid was brought up to minimum description standards and any personally identifying information in the description was removed.

Inventory to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Humanities Student Records
Staff Use Only
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements and to remove personally identifying information from the 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