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Archives to tackle major processing project

Early in February, the Institute Archives will begin a one-year project to organize important administrative and research material on MIT's history. To free up staff for the important project, the reading room will be open to the public only two days a week from February through May and from July through the following January.

The reading room will be open for its usual five days per week in June to provide scholars significant uninterrupted time for projects involving use of Institute archival collections. The results of a survey of key administrators and faculty members who use the archives regularly were used to help devise the schedule.

The hours of operation will be monitored throughout the project and adjusted if needed. Time-sensitive requests from MIT offices (now most often received via e-mail, telephone and fax) will, as always, receive full attention every day.

During the project, Archives staff will be able to process a considerable number of collections. It will give staff the time to organize and catalog materials, making those materials accessible for people seeking factual information or research resources about MIT and its history. It is likely that many important yet rarely used documents will be "discovered" in the process. The MIT archival collections are already among the most significant records in the history of science and technology in the United States, According to Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, head of the Institute Archives.

To supplement the work, the Archives will continue to seek outside sources of funding for processing and preservation of special parts of the collection.

For further information, contact Sniffin-Marinoff at or x3-5690. Updates will be provided on the Archives' web site.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 12, 2001.

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