MIT Compiles Archives of Its Pioneering Women Faculty Members

Sheila Widnall

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries has launched a new initiative to acquire and preserve the archives of women faculty members. The effort began by asking faculty members who are nearing the end of their careers to consider donating their papers to the archive. So far four faculty members have complied and donated 234 boxes of material to the libraries.

  • Nancy Hopkins, the Amgen Inc. Professor of Biology Emerita
  • Mary Potter, professor emerita of brain and cognitive sciences
  • Mary Rowe, ombudsperson and adjunct professor in the Sloan School of Management
  • Sheila Widnail, professor of aeronautics and astronautics

Also the papers of Mildred Dresselhaus, professor emerita of electrical engineering and computer science and physics are forthcoming, according to MIT sources.

Acquisitions of MIT administrative records provide additional context to the personal archives and a broader view on issues of gender equity and the challenges faced by women in academia. In the next phase of the project, archivists will continue to manage donations, prepare collections for use, and enlarge this core group by reaching out to female faculty who were tenured in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.

Liz Andrews, who is the project archivist, stated that “we are honored to be stewards of these personal archives that have been given to MIT. We’re committed to preserving and making accessible these unique materials so they can be shared with the world into the future.”

Filed Under: Women's Studies


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