Rotch Library

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    Rotch Library by Schwartz/Silver Architects. Photo: Judith M. Daniels

The Rotch Library of Architecture and Planning is one of the nation’s premier resources in architecture and planning. The Rotch collections offer depth in architecture, building technology, art, art history, photography, environmental studies, land use, urban design and development, housing and community development, regional planning and development, urban transportation, and real estate. The library also holds extensive visual collections, including thousands of rare books and special materials, 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.

Rotch provides geographic information (GIS) resources and is home to the GIS & Data Lab which offers high performing computers, collaborative and flexible work spaces, and one-on-one help. The Geographic Information Collection is searchable via MIT Geoweb and encompasses over 4,000 physical urban maps and almost 2,000 digital datasets comprising national and international GIS datasets. In the lab or online, consult with Data Services experts who can assist with data management, creation, visualization, and analysis in support of all aspects of the research, teaching, and learning workflows. 

Also located in Rotch Library is the Aga Khan Documentation Center (AKDC), which supports research, scholarship, and conservation of art, architecture, urbanism, and landscape design 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.

Rotch Library is part of the MIT Libraries system, providing access to tens of millions of items, both physical and digital, and to collections from libraries worldwide, including the Harvard College Libraries and the Loeb Library at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.  MIT Libraries specialists help the community navigate resources, manage data, and think critically as consumers and creators of information, and play a vital role in supporting research across the Institute.