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Dugald C. Jackson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MC-0005

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Correspondence, reports, and other material document Jackson's years as head of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and describe his reorganization of the department and restructuring of the undergraduate curriculum in 1917 and 1933, the establishment of a cooperative education program (Course VI-A), and the creation of a research division in 1913. Jackson's participation on MIT committees is recorded in correspondence and reports of three curriculum committees that existed between 1931 and 1935: the Committee on Revision of the Curriculum, the Committee on the Curriculum of the First Two Years, and the Committee on Third and Fourth Year Curricula. Records of Jackson's professional activities outside MIT include a laboratory notebook and correspondence from the University of Wisconsin, correspondence with colleagues and organizations, and correspondence, reports, and related material about Jackson's involvement with professional societies, including the Engineers Council for Professional Development, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education.

Also included are Jackson's appointment calendars (1901-1947) and travel diaries of trips he took to Europe in 1912, 1931, and 1934 and to Asia and the Middle East, 1929-1930, to inspect industrial facilities and educational institutions. Copies of Jackson's speeches on such topics as the benefits of cooperation between university and industry, the structure of cooperative courses, railway electrification, and the cultural history of Japan, and reprints of his publications are included.


  • Creation: 1878 - 1952


Access note

This collection is open.

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.


Dugald Caleb Jackson, 1865-1951, BS in civil engineering, 1885, Pennsylvania State University, studied and taught electrical engineering at Cornell University from 1885 to 1887, when he and three partners formed the Western Engineering Company in Lincoln, Nebrska, contractors for electric light and railroad companies. After the business was sold to United Edison Electric Light Company of New York in 1889, Jackson worked as an engineer for various Edison concerns on electric light utilities and railway electrification. In 1891 he was appointed professor and head of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and continued his work as a consulting engineer and inventor. In 1902 he and his brother William formed the company D. C. and Wm. B. Jackson in Madison, later opening offices in Chicago and Boston. Their work was in telephone construction and operation, electric light and power utilities, railway electrification, and illuminating gas. As an inventor, he was assigned over 25 patents between 1898 and 1914 for various motor, meter, lighting system, and telephone designs.

In 1907 Jackson came to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and served until 1935, when he became professor emeritus and honorary lecturer. Among his innovations at MIT was the cooperative course, Course VI-A, in which a student combined studies with work experience at an industrial plant. Jackson was chair of the faculty, 1923-1925.

During World War I Jackson was a lieutenant-colonel in the American Expeditionary Force and was in charge of the production and transmission of electrical power for ports and buildings in use by the Allies. After the armistice he was appointed to the War Damages Board of the American Commission of Reparations. Afterward his business partnership, which had been dissolved before World War I, was restructured as a partnership with Edward L. Moreland, who succeeded him as department head at MIT. He remained active in the firm, Jackson and Moreland, until 1930. Jackson wrote several texts for electrical engineering instruction, as well as Engineering's Part in the Development of Civilization (1939).


18 Cubic Feet (18 record cartons)

Language of Materials



The collection documents the career of Dugald C. Jackson, a member of the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1907 to 1935. Correspondence, reports, and other materials document Jackson's years as head of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering, his innovations in the department and the undergraduate curriculum, the establishment of a cooperative education program (course 6-A), and his work on MIT committees. His work as a consulting engineer and inventor is documented in records of several firms in which he was a partner and in patent materials. The collection also includes travel diaries of trips he took to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East between 1912 and 1930 to inspect industrial facilities and educational institutions.


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

Source of Acquisition

Some of the papers were given to Distinctive Collections (formerly the Institute Archives and Special Collections) in 1976 by Jackson’s son, Dugald C. Jackson II, the rest by the University of Pennsylvania in 1988.

Appraisal note

Needs review.


Guide to the Papers of Dugald C. Jackson
Ready For Review
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of 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