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The Notebook Series for 1887-1898 comprises several sets of technical notes and drawings. They appear in the following order: (1) Notebooks by Edison; (2) Notebooks by Experimenters Other Than Edison; (3) Arthur E. Kennelly Notebooks; (4) Pocket Notebooks; (5) Miscellaneous Notebooks; (6) Unbound Notes and Drawings. For a discussion of the numbering systems used for Edison's notebooks, click here.
All of the entries in Edison's hand appearing in the bound notebooks have been selected. Unbound material in Edison's hand has also been selected except for a few rough notes where the lack of context makes the entries undecipherable. A more selective approach has been taken for notes and drawings by experimenters other than Edison. Notebooks and unbound material relating to experimental work done at the West Orange laboratory have generally been selected with the exception of the extensive run of rough record books used by Arthur E. Kennelly and his assistants in the Galvanometer Room. Transcriptions of most of these rough records can be found in the Kennelly notebooks.
Notebooks and unbound material pertaining to routine technical work performed at the laboratory have generally not been selected. In many cases, the unselected items represent the work performed by the laboratory in its role as an auxiliary service arm for Edison's manufacturing companies. Examples include the assays done on behalf of Edison's ore milling companies and the qualitative analyses of the stearic acid used by the Edison Phonograph Works in the manufacturing of cylinders.
Some notebooks contain a mixture of experimental material and routine technical entries. These notebooks have been selected in their entirety except in cases where the experimental material can be easily distinguished from the routine entries.
Not all the standard-size notebooks used by Edison and his assistants appear in the Notebook Series. For example, several additional technical notebooks, used at the Ogden works, can be found in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Concentrating Works Series. Non-technical notebooks (most of which have not been selected) can be found in the Laboratory Records Series; the Alexander Elliott, Jr., Papers; and the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Concentrating Works Series.