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Jacob Pieter Den Hartog papers

Identifier: MC-0404

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

Collection includes extensive consulting files which document Den Hartog's career as an international advisor to government and industry on problems of vibration and stress. Correspondence and lecture notes reflect his role as educator and professional colleague while at MIT. Also included is a diary from a European "tour of duty" with the United States Naval Reserve, 1944-1945.


  • Creation: 1944 - 1982


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.

Biographical note

Jacob Pieter Den Hartog, 1901-1989, was Professor Emeritus, Department of Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Den Hartog earned an undergraduate degree in 1924 from Delft Polytechnical Institute in Holland, a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1929, and an Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1962. (1) While earning his PhD, Den Hartog worked as an assistant to Stephen Timoshenko at the world headquarters for Westinghouse Electric Company. (2) In 1932, Den Hartog began teaching at Harvard University, and in 1945, he accepted a professorship with MIT’s Mechanical Engineering Department. (3)

In 1954, Den Hartog became head of MIT’s Mechanical Engineering Department. (4) In 1955, he went on a five-month sabbatical to visit the University of Tokyo in Japan as a Fulbright Lecturer. (5) In 1958, Den Hartog was chosen for the honor of presenting the Thomas Hawksley Lecture for the British Institution of Mechanical Engineers. (6) Later that year, Den Hartog resigned as Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering while continuing as a full-time lecturer, and in 1962, he was given a second professorial appointment with the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering alongside his long standing appointment with the Mechanical Engineering Department. Den Hartog retired in 1967 and was awarded the honor of Professor Emeritus. (7)

During Den Hartog’s tenure with MIT, he authored a number of texts including Mechanical Vibrations, 1934. (8) He is best known for his research in mechanical vibrations regarding ships and large mechanical systems, which he applied to his work with the Bureau of Ships after accepting a commission during World War II. (9)

1. Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 5. “JACOB PIETER DEN HARTOG 1901-1989.” National Academies Press, 1992.

2. ———. “JACOB PIETER DEN HARTOG 1901-1989.” National Academies Press, 1992.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Office of the President. “President’s Report Issue,” 1954.

4. ———. “President’s Report Issue,” 1955.

5. ———. “President’s Report Issue, 1962,” 1962.

6. ———. “President’s Report Issue for the Year Ending October 1, 1958,” 1958.

7. ———. "Reports to the President 1988-89", 1989

8. Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 5. “JACOB PIETER DEN HARTOG 1901-1989.” National Academies Press, 1992.

9. ———. “JACOB PIETER DEN HARTOG 1901-1989.” National Academies Press, 1992.


24.6 Cubic Feet (24 record cartons, 2 manuscript boxes)

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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 Papers of Jacob Pieter Den Hartog
Under Revision
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Revision Statements

  • 2020 April: Biographical note written by Jessika Myers

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

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