Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Edison, Thomas A.‏ (Thomas Alva),‏ 1847-1931
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Thomas A. Edison Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1


Consists primarily of correspondence, both original and photocopies, of Thomas A. Edison, the most influential American inventor of the twentieth century.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists primarily of correspondence, both original and photocopies, of Edison. Correspondents include Pierre F. Cook, John G. Hibben, N. H. Holland, Robert Mountsier, and Gaston Tissandier. There is also an undated photograph of his laboratory.


Arranged by accession number.

Collection Creator Biography:

Edison, Thomas A.‏ (Thomas Alva),‏ 1847-1931

Thomas Alva Edison profoundly influenced modern life through such inventions as the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production to the process of invention. During his lifetime, he acquired a record 1,093 patents; most of these inventions, however, were not completely original but, rather, improvements of earlier patents and works of his numerous employees. Edison also founded the journal Science, which in 1900 became the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences.

Collection History


Edison's correspondence with N. H. Holland (and related material) was a gift of William Morris. Various AM.

Custodial History

The collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Finding aid written by James Flannery on February 7, 2006. Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager '2015 in 2012.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Thomas A. Edison Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1