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Thomas A. Edison Papers


Photo: Edison and Charles in Library.

The Thomas A. Edison Papers Project is one of the most ambitious editing projects ever undertaken by an American university. For decades, the 5 million pages of documents that chronicle the extraordinary life and achievements of Thomas Alva Edison remained hidden and inaccessible to members of the general public. Since the massive project began in 1978, a team of editors/scholars has been turning this incomparable trove of Edisonia into a premier educational resource. Fulfilling their original mission, they have made Edison accessible—and comprehensible—to countless numbers of young and lifetime learners. In the process, the Edison Papers team has produced a series of richly interactive publications.

One of the most challenging, versatile, and collaborative projects ever anchored by humanities scholarship, the Thomas A. Edison Papers is a unique resource for understanding the unbounded themes, variations, and processes of invention and innovation because it combines the major research capabilities of Rutgers University with a team of diversely interested specialists.

A major goal of the Edison Papers is to produce a selective fifteen-volume book edition of transcribed and annotated documents. The book volumes provide not only an overview of Edison's life and career but also significant resources for understanding the development of electrical and other technology, as well as the emergence of new technology industries.

There is still more to learn from one of the most brilliant inventors and entrepreneurs of modern times, a man who shaped not only industrial America, but also mass entertainment and contemporary culture with his breakthroughs in sound recordings and motion pictures. Find out how you can help.

The Edison Papers was established under a Board of Oversight which consists of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, the National Park Service, the New Jersey Historical Commission, and the Smithsonian Institution.