Event Rental


Massachusetts Institute of Technology  /  MIT Museum
Building N51   265 Massachusetts Avenue   Cambridge, MA 02139
Open Daily 10am – 5pm  /  Closed Major Holidays

If the MIT Museum is closed due to snow, there will be a message here.

Hart Nautical Collections

The Francis Russell Hart Nautical Collections are one of the oldest and most extensive archives of nautical technology in the USA. The collections date from the 16th century to recent cutting edge ocean technologies. The collections primarily document design and construction by the leading ship builders, marine engineers and yacht designers of the past 150 years.

Painting of Fidelia

Black Ball Line packet ship Fidelia, oil painting by Samuel Walters (1811-1882).

The Francis Russell Hart Nautical Museum merged with the MIT Museum in 1982. The nautical museum was established in 1922 as a new resource of MIT's Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (founded in 1893) after moving to new quarters in Cambridge from Boston. Ocean engineering at MIT recently merged with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and is now known as the Center for Ocean Engineering.



The original purpose of the Hart Nautical Museum was to support the teaching of naval architecture and marine engineering at MIT. Since its inception over eighty years ago, the collection has developed into one of the most important archives of nautical technology in America. The current focus of collecting is documenting MIT's substantial involvement with ocean technology development and building on the strength of our existing collections.

The Hart Nautical Collections

The collections consist of artifacts, books, plans, photographic materials, models, marine art, and technical records. The following link to Hart Nautical Collections List takes you to a detailed summary listing of these collections and available finding aids.

The Hart Nautical Collection is open to researchers by appointment only, Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

For access to collections, contact the curator.

MIT MUSEUM   265 Massachusetts Avenue   Building N51   Cambridge, MA 02139
P: 617.253.5927   F: 617.253.8994   museuminfo@mit.edu
Copyright © 2008-2014 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Accessibility Logo


Donation Offers

Image Use Requests

Research Appointments and all other inquiries

Kurt Hasselbalch
Curator, Hart Nautical Collections
Phone: 617.253.5942
Fax: 617.258.9107
E-mail: museum-reference@mit.edu

Ships at sea

Whirl, a 20 foot waterline design from 1902 by George Owen (MIT class of 1894).

See the most visible aspect of the Hart Nautical Collections in ongoing displays at the Hart Nautical Gallery, located at 55 Massachusetts Avenue, on the MIT campus at Building 5.