Collections

The MIT Museum’s collections are at the core of all we do, from research and publications to public programs and exhibitions. Through more than one million objects, prints, rare books, technical archives, drawings, photographs, films, and holograms we’re able to share the wide interests of the MIT community from the Institute’s founding in 1861 to cutting-edge current research.  

More than 25,000 object records from the Hart Nautical Collections are now available through the Museum’s online collections portal. Visitors interested in other Museum collections may continue to access them through our legacy collections database.

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Pictured: Tech Night at the PopsĀ Conductor's Jacket

Technology

Collection

A rich archive tracing the intellectual and educational history of MIT and the Institute’s role in the history of modern technology.

MIT History

Collection

Documenting the social and cultural history of MIT through photographs, audio and video, and memorabilia that includes material about infamous MIT hacks.

Architecture

Collection

One of the country’s most important collections for the study of architectural instruction and practice, including materials from America’s first architecture program, MIT’s Course Four.

Nautical

Collection

Among the oldest and most important archives of nautical technology in the United States, also documenting the history and achievements of MIT’s Center for Ocean Engineering.

Science

Collection

The MIT Museum Science Collection includes historic artifacts documenting key scientific discoveries as well as instruments and apparatus for teaching from test tubes to the prototype of the LIGO interferometer.

Photograph by Berenice Abbott, Interference Pattern, about 1958.

Photography

Collection

The MIT Museum’s photography collections include works by almost every significant photographer of the 20th century as well as major industrial and academic collections.

Image of a hologram, entitled Event Horizon, by Rudie Berkhout, 1980.

Art

Collection

Includes the world’s most comprehensive holography collection, distinctive collections of maritime paintings, paper-folding, kinetic art, and works from the pioneering Center for Advanced Visual Studies.

Milkdrop, Harold "Doc" Edgerton

Edgerton Digital Collections Project Website

Online

Browse more than 22,000 images, 150 films, and thousands of pages of notes from inventor, entrepreneur, explorer, and beloved MIT professor Harold “Doc” Edgerton.

John G. Alden Naval Architects Collection Website

Online

This website and database archives the extensive collections of the Alden Design firm.

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