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MIT Hacks Collection

An archive on hacking that traces the history of technological tomfoolery and student pranks at MIT.

Admin/Bio History

Hacking has become almost synonymous with campus life at MIT. Hacks, in the Institute parlance, are pranks or practical jokes that demonstrate the cleverness and engineering prowess of the people who execute them. Hackers have decorated the Great Dome with everything from cows to Campus Police cars; they have flooded rival Caltech with rubber ducks and stolen their prized 1.7-ton cannon; made whole offices disappear; and unfurled giant banners all over campus, among other memorable pranks.

Scope and content:

The MIT Hacks collection contains material from the MIT Hacking Community from the early 1970s to the present day, and it continues to collect new material as new hacks appear. The bulk of the materials are the hacks themselves (or parts of them), but the collection also includes photos, videos, and documents relating to various hacks, as well as scrapbooks and personal collections from MIT faculty and alumni.

Title: MIT Hacks Collection

Creator[s]: MIT Hacking Community

Dates: 1969-2011

Language: English

Repository: MIT Museum

Access: Many hacks are on permanent view at the Stata Center; others are open for research by appointment

Copyright: Some copyright restrictions may apply.

Credit: MIT Museum