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Manson Benedict papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MC-0428

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

Records of Benedict's years as a professor at MIT include course materials from classes he taught in nuclear engineering, 1958-1977; correspondence with MIT colleagues; reports and correspondence from the Department of Nuclear Engineering; notes from committee meetings, and information about the MIT reactor and the MIT Reactor Safeguard Committee. Also included are copies of speeches and reprints of his writings, including the manuscript for the second edition of Nuclear Chemical Engineering; notebooks from Hydrocarbon Research, Inc., 1946-1951; reports from the Kellogg Company; materials about the Manhattan District and Atomic Energy Commission, 1946-1949; and an audiocassette of Benedict's remarks at the twenty-fifth anniversary of the MIT Department of Nuclear Engineering. Records received in 1993 and 1994 (boxes 23-53) are unprocessed. Boxes 54 and 55 consist of Manson Benedict reprints and patents.


  • Creation: 1932 - 2016
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1932 - 1984


Access note

This collection is open.

Digital Access Note

Some parts of this collection are available online. Links to specific online digital items are found within their entry in this finding aid.

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.


Manson Benedict, 1907- 2006, BS 1928, Cornell University; SM, PhD in chemistry 1935, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, spent several years at Harvard University and in industry. During World War II, while working for the M. W. Kellogg Co., Benedict helped develop a process to extract toluene for making TNT from refinery products. He then helped plan and set up the plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to separate uranium 235 for use in developing the atom bomb. Between 1946 and 1951 he was director of process development for Hydrocarbon Research, Inc. In 1951 he became a professor of nuclear engineering at MIT and developed a program of research and instruction which led to the establishment of the Department of Nuclear Engineering in 1958. He was head of the department from 1958 to 1971, and was named Institute Professor in 1969. Beginning in 1951 Benedict worked for the United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in a number of positions; in 1958 he was appointed to the AEC's General Advisory Committee, and was its chair, 1962-1964. His later research focused on the design and operation of nuclear reactors.


53 Cubic Feet (52 record cartons, 2 manuscript boxes, 1 legal manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection documents the career of Manson Benedict, a leader in the field of nuclear energy. Benedict came to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1951 as professor of nuclear engineering, serving as first head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering from 1948 to 1971. He worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II and later served in a number of positions on the United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). The collection includes course materials, speeches and writings, correspondence, and information about the MIT reactor.


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 Manson Benedict
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