The Women@MIT archival initiative seeks to add the records of women faculty, staff, students, and alumnae to the historic record by collecting, preserving, and sharing their life and work with MIT and global audiences. Extending from this initiative we are also making efforts to acquire, preserve, and make accessible the papers of gender non-binary and non-conforming individuals at MIT to help share their stories and contributions.
This research guide provides an overview of the collections available and links to resources from the Department of Distinctive Collections. This guide will continue to evolve and grow as the initiative continues.
Materials available for research include correspondence, meeting minutes, course materials, and printed matter.
The below outside resources are selected as a primer to understanding the history of women attending and working at MIT. Like many other areas, women have worked hard to find their place. In 1999, MIT acknowledged the very real barriers women face in STEM at the Institute and have published further reports on women's experiences at the Institute.
Created by the Institute Community and Equity office to ensure that they adequately represent the depth and breadth of the MIT community, timelines were compiled for five groups to date. The documents are in-progress timelines meant to highlight documented milestones and significant events. They are not intended to imply any particular interpretation of these events, but rather to create broader awareness of MIT’s rich history.
For it's 120th anniversary, the Association of MIT Alumnae created a timeline documenting the history of women at MIT.
A history of MIT's Women's Laboratory, which was started by MIT's first female graduate, Ellen Swallow Richards.
In 1999, MIT released a significant report that resulted from years of clandestine meetings and included a bold public admission by President Charles Vest of discrimination at MIT. It's release prompted other universities to begin studying the problem using similar methods. Follow the links below to view the original 1999 report and subsequent reports examining women faculty and students experiences at MIT.