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Unboxing the Chomsky Archive

A new website offers a glimpse at a lifetime of work, and the chance to support it.
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Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Photo: Philip van Ootegem

Two years after the MIT Libraries’ Institute Archives were chosen as the stewards of Noam Chomsky's personal papers, more than 260 boxes of the professor emeritus’ materials have been transferred, organized, and re-housed in the archives.

A new website, “Unbox the Chomsky Archive,” offers a preview of some of the unique materials found in the collection, as well as a way to support the archival project. Through slideshows on the site you can explore Chomsky’s contributions to MIT, the field of linguistics, and his political activism and dedication to social justice. Members of the public can read notes Chomsky prepared for lectures, go to the front lines of political protests he attended, read his personal correspondence with other great thinkers, and learn how his views shaped the political discourse.

The next steps of the archival project will be to:

  • process the collection, ensuring that any fragile materials, photographs, and digital materials are handled with care, and that materials are described accurately for researchers and future digitization purposes; and
  • digitize the collection so that researchers from all over the world can have access to the materials without physically visiting MIT.

To learn more about efforts to further expand access to this valuable resource, and preserve Chomsky’s remarkable legacy contact

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