Science & Technology


Kismet, the sociable robot, created in the late 1990s by MIT graduate student Cynthia Breazeal, now a professor in the MIT Media Lab, is on display at the MIT Museum.

Research at the MIT Museum

The MIT Museum Science and Technology Collection preserves artifacts of historical interest and significance that document the intellectual, educational, and social-cultural-political history of MIT, and MIT's role in the history of modern science and technology. Containing everything from slide rules to stroboscopes, thermometers to telephones, and cathode-ray tubes to computers, the Science and Technology Collection is exceptionally diverse.

This collection is particularly strong in mid-twentieth century electro-mechanical devices, scientific instruments, and other artifacts representing the areas of education and research in which the faculty, students, and staff of MIT and its affiliated laboratories and research centers have distinguished themselves in.

In addition to approximately 6,000 artifacts, this collection includes documents, photographs, drawings, prints, films, videos, and audiotapes.

Using the Science and Technology Collection

Researchers use the Sci/Tech Collection for many purposes. Some investigations involve close inspection of the artifacts; others focus on the history of these particular items. The artifacts are often used for museum exhibitions, generally at the MIT Museum as well as other educational institutions.

The staff has collaborated with teachers at the Institute and area colleges and universities to introduce students to various aspects of the history of science and technology through material culture. As no comprehensive catalog of the Sci/Tech Collection yet exists, all inquiries should be directed to the Curator of Science and Technology.

Donating to the Science & Technology Collection

The MIT Museum collects selectively. Items are rarely purchased and space is an important consideration. If you think you have an item of interest, please contact us using the MIT Museum Donation Form. While you may wish to make a preliminary inquiry by telephone or e-mail, all formal offers to the Museum must be made in writing and include as much detail about the items in question as possible. The most basic required information includes an inventory, approximate measurements, an assessment of the general condition, and what (if any) the MIT connection is. We do not accept drop-off donations without previous contact.

More information about donations

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