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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Materials Science records

Identifier: AC-0584

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises records created by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering from approximately 1955 to 2014. Records include correspondence, faculty files, lectures, OpenCourseWare videos, and subject files.

The collection also includes archived versions of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering website spanning from 2017 through the present.


  • Creation: 1955 - 2014
  • Creation: 2017 - Ongoing


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

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering developed from courses given in mining and metallurgy. A course in geology and mining, Course III, was offered when MIT opened in 1865. In 1871 the course was renamed geology and mining engineering, and in 1873 a separate course, Course VI, was offered in metallurgy. In 1884 metallurgy was reabsorbed into Course III which became the Department of Mining and Metallurgy. In 1889 the name changed again to the Department of Mining Engineering and Metallurgy, and in 1892 geology was made a separate department.

In 1920 geology rejoined Course III and the name changed to the Department of Mining, Metallurgy, and Geology. In 1926 geology was again separated, and the department’s name became mining and metallurgy.

In 1936 mining and metallurgy were split into two departments and the following year the decision was made to discontinue mining engineering as of 1940. After a few years as Course XIX, the Department of Metallurgy was again designated Course III. Mineral engineering was assigned to the Department of Metallurgy, and mineral resources to the Department of Geology. In 1967 the department name changed to the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Science and in 1974 it became the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Department Heads

Robert H. Richards
Heinrich O. Hofman
Waldemar Lindgren
W. Spencer Hutchinson
Robert S. Williams
John Chipman
Thomas B. King
Carl F. Floe, Acting Head
Walter S. Owen
Merton C. Flemmings
Thomas E. Eagar
Subra Suresh
Edwin L. Thomas
Christopher A. Schuh


18.6 Cubic Feet (18 record cartons, 2 manuscript boxes)

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 Records of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Materials Science
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 December 6: 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