Mission and History

Mission and History of the MIT MuseumThe mission of the MIT Museum is to engage the wider community with MIT's science, technology and other areas of scholarship in ways that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

The MIT Museum fulfills this mission by: collecting and preserving artifacts that are significant in the life of MIT; creating exhibits and programs that are firmly rooted in MIT's areas of endeavor; engaging MIT faculty, staff and students with the wider community.

The Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting materials that serve as a resource for the study and interpretation of the intellectual, educational, and social history of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and its role in the development of modern science and technology. The Museum stands alone among university museums in its focus on the impact on society of the research, the teaching and the scientific innovations of its parent institution.


Founded in 1971 as the MIT Historical Collections, the MIT Museum's original mandate was the collection and preservation of historical artifacts then scattered throughout MIT. Renamed MIT Museum in 1980 by the MIT Corporation Executive Committee, it began to develop exhibitions and educational programs based on the Museum's MIT focused collections. The Museum was designed to meet the needs and interests of the MIT community as well as society at large.


The MIT Museum is a department of MIT, a coeducational privately endowed research university that seeks to advance knowledge for the benefit of society and provide students an active, practical education dedicated to solving real world problems. The Museum reports to Associate Provost Philip Khoury, who also oversees the List Visual Arts Center, the MIT Center for Art, Science, and Technology, and Arts at MIT.

The Museum was accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 1984 and reaccredited in 2002 and 2013. The MIT Museum is a member of the American Alliance of Museums, Association of Science and Technology Centers, Museum Computer Network, New England Museum Association, International Confederation of Architectural Museums, and the International Council of Maritime Museums.

MIT MUSEUM   265 Massachusetts Avenue   Building N51   Cambridge, MA 02139   617-253-5927   museuminfo@mit.edu
Copyright © 2016 Massachusetts Institute of Technology