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William Otis Crosby papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MC-0068

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The bulk of the collection of the papers of William O. Crosby consists of correspondence and geological research as well as reports of consulting projects on sites in Boston, New England, Long Island, Colorado, Alaska, western United States mines, and other US locations, maps of the Massachusetts area by Crosby, bibliographies, reports, reprints, and printed material. Plans and maps of the "New Technology," the new campus for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, made by Crosby, John R. Freeman, and others are included in the collection. There is also personal material including a diary kept by his widow, Alice B. Crosby, relating to a world cruise she took from 1930 to 1931.


  • Creation: 1873 - 1931


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.


William Otis Crosby, 1850-1925, SB 1876, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, served as instructor in the Department of Geology, 1878-1883; assistant professor, 1883-1902; associate professor, 1902-1906; and professor, 1906-1907. He consulted on subways and tunnels for the Boston Transit Commission; advised on the Boston dry dock; acted as advisor to the Charles River Dam Commission for the development of the Charles River Basin Project; and conducted an investigation of the foundation conditions for the new MIT buildings in Cambridge. Crosby's research focused on engineering geology. A son, Irving B. Crosby, joined him in his consulting practice.


9 Cubic Feet (25 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



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

Source of Acquisiton

Materials were given to the Department of Distinctive Collections (formerly the Institute Archives and Special Collections) in 1977 by Irving Ballard Crosby, transferred by Robert R. Shrock.

Location of Copies - Digitization

Letter, 3 pgs, from Ellen Swallow Richards to W.O. Crosby, regarding speaking at Alumni Dinner. "My Dear Mr. Crosby..." [MC0068\box1_fl18]

Related Materials

Irving B. Crosby papers, MC 81, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Distinctive Collections

John R. Freeman papers, MC 51, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Distinctive Collections

Guide to the Papers of William Otis Crosby
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