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Social Life and Science History of Materials: Home

This guide page provides primary sources and other data and information resources related to material science research and social impact at MIT Libraries.

Archivist for Collections

Related Guides

Research Guides for Working with Archives and Original Sources

Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research - A brochure of the Society of American Archivists.

Archives & Primary Sources - A PDF tutorial describing the basics of archival collections and primary sources from the Mina Rees Library at the CUNY Graduate Center.

History of Science Research Guide - The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology
Smithsonian Libraries

Searching for Materials in the Department of Distinctive Collections

MITArchivesSpace is your entry point to search for materials held by Distinctive Collections including Institute records, faculty papers, student life and organizations and other archival collections. The MITArchivesSpace LibGuide has more information about what can be found in MITArchivesSpace, and search tips.

Search for rare books, MIT theses, and MIT publications through the MIT Libraries' catalog, Barton.

MIT History has information about MIT people, courses, schools, labs, departments, buildings, events, etc., though it is not comprehensive and contains some broken links, unfortunately. 

External Resources for Digital Original Sources

History of Materials Research -

Hosted by Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology

A research project site under the History of Recent Science and Technology funded by the Dibner Fund and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


HathiTrust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service  

What's included: Digital copies of some (35%) print books and journals in the MIT Libraries collection are available to check out. In addition, HaithTrust includes items in the public domain.

How to access it: MIT users can access the HathiTrust.  Select the catalog radio button under the search box. Click on the catalog record for your result. If the item is available, there will be a “Viewability” list at the bottom of the record. Click any “temporary access” link. You will be able to check it out by clicking the “Check Out” button. You will have one hour to view the item which can be renewed if no one else from MIT wants to access it. Please click the “Return Early” button to empty the queue if you no longer need the item before an hour.

See this video for more details.

See guide on Expanded and free resources during COVID-19 closure: E-books for other sources.


Linda Hall Library - Digital Collections

The Linda Hall Library is one of the world’s foremost independent research libraries devoted to science, engineering, and technology. Their collection for History of Science is particularly useful on this topic. During the pandemic closure, use their digital collections online linked here.