Massachusetts Institute of Technology / MIT Museum
Building N51 265 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139
Open Daily 10am – 5pm / Closed Major Holidays
November 1, 2009
In a "virtual town meeting", your vote will help select items for display in the
anniversary exhibition being organized by the MIT Museum.
Cambridge, MA - November 1, 2009 - In January 2011 the Institute kicks off its 150th anniversary celebration by opening the MIT 150 Exhibition at the MIT Museum. Showcasing the Institute's remarkable history, culture and achievements, the exhibition already is an ongoing project in public engagement. Beginning last spring, the MIT community was invited to propose objects for the exhibition. Starting today, you can cast a vote to help pick the 150 objects that will be displayed.
To date, about 350 items, people, places and ideas have been nominated to become part of the exhibition. An online ballot now asks you to vote for your 10 favorite objects from this list, or write in your own new nomination. You'll also be able to view the current totals for top vote-getters in this "virtual town meeting"election.
MIT Museum staff will make the final curatorial decisions for the exhibition, but this popular vote will weigh heavily in their choices, says Deborah Douglas, MIT Museum curator of science and technology. "When 50 people all mention the Dome, that does inform us," she emphasizes.
MIT 150 planning events with students, faculty, alumni and staff have shown "how passionately people feel about MIT,"Douglas says. "The Institute has had a transformative impact on their lives, and they love to tell stories about it."
"We've received many unexpected and imaginative ideas,"she adds. "I have no idea how we might make snow in a dorm shower, but what a fun thing to think about for a museum exhibit! An alumni team in one of our nomination workshops came up with a scheme to build an actual café that would allow visitors to taste the junk food of MIT through the ages – and that seemed really fun, too. This has been a great project to engage people in the continuing life of the Institute."
Voting for the MIT 150 is open to all. The online voting closes January 1, although stories may be added continually on the website. By doing so, "the MIT Museum hopes to build an open repository of artifacts and stories that is as rich and deep as any other library or archive here on campus,"says Douglas.
Click here for the MIT 150 Exhibition and vote now for your favorite objects!
* * *
Here's the one and only object already selected for the MIT 150 Exhibition. The class of 2011's Brass Rat ring, whose front is shown here, embodies a clever mixture of design and MIT tradition. Competing on the Institute's 148th birthday last April, the class won the right to enshrine this ring in the anniversary display.
* * *