This LibGuide serves as a list of resources for those hoping to complete biographical research on students, alumni, faculty, or staff in the Department of Distinctive Collections. While some resources have been digitized and are available online or are available elsewhere in MIT Libraries, we strongly recommend visiting Distinctive Collections if you are conducting in-depth research.
The Distinctive Collections reading room is open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
If you would like to visit to use our materials, we recommend you contact us at least two business days in advance of a visit to let us know which resources (collections, publications, books, etc.) you would like to consult so that we can retrieve them from off-site storage. The contents may need to be reviewed in advance of your use because of MIT access policies, donor restrictions, and/or physical condition, so we recommend contacting us at your earliest convenience.
More specifically, when consulting collections we can only store up to 15 boxes per day per researcher due to space constraints. Please prioritize the order in which you would like to examine boxes so that we can be as responsive as possible. We will retrieve boxes from off-site storage as you finish using others.
Researchers may use personal digital cameras or smart phones for research purposes in the Distinctive Collections Reading Room to capture images of the materials they are examining. Staff at the reference desk will explain the procedures and the form for using a digital camera or smart phone.