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MIT Museum

MIT Museum Announces Publication of
Countless Connecting Threads
MIT's History Revealed Through its Most Evocative Objects

MIT Museum Curator of Science and Technology, Deborah Douglas brings the history of
innovation and invention alive with photographs and stories from MIT during its first 150 years.

Countless Connecting Threads book cover

CAMBRIDGE, MA May 15, 2013 The MIT Museum announces the publication of the book of photographs and essays derived from the MIT 150 Exhibition shown at the MIT Museum during MIT's sesquicentennial celebration. The culmination of ten years of research, writing and planning, Countless Connecting Threads is both an exhibition catalog and a beautifully printed book containing 600 photographs from the MIT Museum Collections, and from the many organizations and individuals who loaned objects for the exhibition that celebrated MIT's 150th anniversary in 2011.

In addition to historic photographs, this 236-page book features essays by many who have led MIT and its students. Current President Rafael Reif, in the book's preface, analyzes why MIT has continued to impressively solve global problems. And, in the book's introduction, MIT Museum Curator of Science and Technology Deborah Douglas explains her thoughts about interdisciplinarity, writing that, while science and engineering remain domains of inquiry [at MIT], they have also become worldviews. That notion itself explains the broad appeal of this volume, not just to those with a relationship to MIT, but to all people interested in education and how teaching and learning have evolved and remained true to the values of MIT's first president, William Barton Rogers. President Reif explains that Rogers set the standard; by founding MIT on the principles of hands-on learning, hard science, and useful work, he helped launch a revolution in education and built an engine of service to the world.

Throughout the past 150 years that engine has navigated world wars, explored outer space, and laid foundations for both the current understanding of energy use, marine ecology, and climate science, as well as for the education of all about the core science involved in the critical infrastructures needed for human life to progress such as: clean air and water, viable transportation, and safe buildings. Exhibition donor, businessman, museum director and MIT Museum advisor, Thomas Peterson '57, who generously funded the book, observed that the "MIT Museum collections policy favors artifacts that were developed at the Institute: milestones in science and technology as well as objects that document important developments in teaching and research. There is more to it, though. The curators also insist that their collections effectively capture MIT's history and culture." For the many people throughout the world who care about progress, education, and the meaning of history, the publication of Countless Connecting Threads will be welcomed.

Part history, part catalog, part souvenir, Countless Connecting Threads invites readers to (re)discover, through some of the Institute's most evocative objects, the essence of the vast and varied tapestry that is MIT. Countless Connecting Threads was printed, bound and published in New England. Purchase of the book beginning Saturday, May 25 may be made at the MIT Museum store, by contacting museumstore@mit.edu, or through the MIT Press website. Hardback: $55, softcover $25.

To learn more about the MIT Museum and MIT's sesquicentennial celebration:


  • The MIT Museum is open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m.
  • Admission - Adults: $8.50; Under 18, Students, Seniors: $4.00; MIT ID and children 5 and under: free.
  • The Museum also offers free admission on Sundays between 10:00 a.m. noon and on the second Friday of each month from 5:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. New admission policies listed on the MIT Museum website take effect on July 1, 2013.


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