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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture student records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AC-0593

Scope and Contents

This collection comprises student counseling records kept by the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) up until 1960.


  • Prior to 1955; 1955-1960


Access note

All materials in this collection are restricted for 75 years from their date of creation.

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 first professor of architecture was William R. Ware, appointed in the fall of 1865 when MIT first opened. Funds were supplied partly by MIT and partly from private sources for Ware to visit Europe to examine educational programs and purchase supplies. Much of the funding was provided by Ware’s friends in the town of Milton, Mass., in return for an annual scholarship to be awarded by MIT to a graduate of Milton High School.

The course in architecture opened in October 1868, with classes held in the Rogers Building on Boylston Street in Boston, Mass. The program was designed to provide a broad and general education for architects.

In 1883 the department moved into a new building on the corner of Boylston and Clarendon Streets which it shared with the chemistry and physics departments. In 1892 the department moved again into the newly built Architectural Building, designed by department head Francis Ward Chandler, on the corner of Stuart and Clarendon Streets. The building included a laboratory for testing materials as well as a library. In 1898 the department moved again into the Pierce Building at Trinity Place. Crowding was alleviated in 1916 when most of MIT moved to the new campus in Cambridge, Mass., leaving the Rogers Building on Boylston Street to the Department of Architecture.

In 1932 the School of Architecture was established as part of the general academic reorganization of the Institute proposed by President Karl T. Compton. The Department of Architecture remained the only department in the school until joined by City and Regional Planning in 1947.

In 1938 the School and Department of Architecture moved from Boston to Cambridge to rejoin the rest of the campus.

MIT History, Department of Architecture, 2020.


29 Cubic Feet (29 record cartons)

Language of Materials



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.

Source of Acquisition

Records were transferred to the Department of Distinctive Collections (formerly the Institute Archives and Special Collections) from the Department of Architecture in 2009.

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 Architecture Student Records
Staff Use Only
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 March: Edited by Chris Tanguay 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