MIT History


The MIT History Collection tells the social and cultural history of MIT since its founding in 1861, including student and faculty life as well as MIT’s role in the development of science, technology, and engineering.

Collection Highlights

Photographs and Archives

Photographs and archives broadly chronicle and depict the history of science and technology from the mid 19th century to the present. Subjects include past faculty members and students, student life, hacks, events, departmental histories, and campus development.

Film, Video, and Audio

This collection includes film and video footage from the 1920s through the 1980s, covering topics such as fraternity life, alumni reunions, faculty interviews, and audio of speeches, interviews, and MIT events.


The memorabilia collection reflects a range of student and faculty life across history and departments. It includes objects such as trophies, buttons, T-shirts, invitations, and beavers (the school’s mascot) and brass rats (the nickname for the graduating class ring). It also includes official portraits of senior administrative staff and faculty and posters for events ranging from theatrical performances to political demonstrations.

MIT Hacks

An archive on hacking traces the history of technological tomfoolery and student pranks at MIT. It also includes scrapbooks and personal collections from MIT faculty and alumni.