The Rotch Library of Architecture and Planning, housed in an award-winning building by Schwartz/Silver Architects, is one of the nation's premier resources in architecture and planning. The collection offers extensive depth in architecture, building technology, art history, photography, environmental studies, land use, urban design and development, housing and community development, regional planning and development, urban transportation and real estate. Rotch also holds an extensive Geographic Information Collection, including national and international datasets representing census/demographic, elevation, environmental, energy, geology, imagery, land use and land cover, transportation, urban environment, and water data. The GIS Lab is located in Rotch Library and is available for use by the MIT Community.
Also located in Rotch Library is the Aga Khan Documentation Center. The Center supports teaching and research of architecture, urbanism, and visual culture in Muslim societies. Through the acquisition of select personal archives, AKDC is a repository of primary research materials. AKDC is a part of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT and Harvard, established in 1979 by a gift from H.H. the Aga Khan.
The library also holds extensive visual collections, including the Perceptual Form of the City project, the Kidder Smith Collection of American Architecture, and the Aga Khan Visual Archive. Digital visual collections are searchable through MIT’s Dome repository.
The Rotch Limited Access collection contains thousands of rare books and special materials in Art, Architecture, Design, and Urban Planning.
Rotch Library is part of the MIT Libraries system, with over five million items in print and digital formats; including electronic journals and books, images, maps, musical scores, sound and video recordings.
Students are also eligible for borrowing privileges at the Harvard College Libraries and at the Loeb Library at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Access to other libraries and research collections is also available through MIT's Worldcat, including libraries participating in the Borrow Direct cooperative associations of academic and research libraries.