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Theodore Grover collection of autographs, signatures, and images of Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty members, administrators, students, and alumni

Identifier: MC-0093

  • Staff Only
  • Select item to request

Scope and Contents

The collection includes autographs and photographs of MIT faculty members, administrators, and alumni, which were collected by Theodore Grover, who was a staff member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Autographs have been pasted onto sheets of papers, and are often accompanied by photographs or images of the signatory. A few full letters are included, of interest is a hand written poem "Dear Old MIT", by Harold Wonson, class of 1907. The signature of Mong C. Cheong, dated 1879, is written in both Chinese and English characters.

The collection is arranged alphabetically by last name, except for sheets containing multiple autographs, which are filed by the name of the person of the first signature on the page. Persons are members of faculty or staff unless otherwise noted.


  • Creation: 1863 - 1944


Conditions Governing Access

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.

Biographical Note

Theodore Grover began his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as assistant janitor in 1878. In 1883 Grover became head janitor of the Walker Building and dedicated much of his time to the Rogers Laboratory, caring for the laboratory rooms and assisting with the transport of lecture apparatus. Grover was made superintendent of janitors and paymaster in 1902, superintendent of buildings in 1903, bank messenger in 1913, then went on to become chief assistant to MIT professor William Sedgwick.

Grover was respected by the MIT community and known beyond his job-related duties for his various skills such as lettering and map making. He was known to put lecture notices on classroom blackboards that included illustrative maps and artistic lettering.

Theodore Grover was also a trustee of the Revere Public Library and a member of the Revere Historical Society in Revere, Massachusetts. As a personal interest he collected autographs and signatures of well-known people. Since he was employed at the Institute for a number of years, he also obtained the autographs or signatures of many MIT-related people.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



The Theodore Grover collection includes autographs, signatures, and photographs of Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty members, administrators, and alumni accumulated during Grover's 40 years as a member of MIT's staff, from 1878 to 1918.

Physical Location

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


This collection was given to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in November 1961 by Mrs. Harry Tomkinson, who was a niece of Theodore Grover. In 1978 it was transferred to the custody of the Institute Archives and Special Collections.

Separated Materials note

All autographs except MIT-related ones were sold in 1981.

Separated Materials note

Newspaper clippings concerning the move of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus from Boston to Cambridge in 1916 comprise MIT collection AC-0218.


  • "Theodore Grover, an appreciation by Professor Cross." Technology Review, vol. 20, 1918, pp. 674-675.
Guide to the Theodore Grover Collection of Autographs, Signatures, & Images of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Faculty Members, Administrators,Students, & Alumni, 1878-1918
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