Everyday, Edison Nation takes inspiration from Thomas Edison’s work ethic, perseverance, and passion for inventing. It is our belief that sometimes the best ideas don’t come from well-known inventors or corporations, but the minds of everyday people. We are committed to providing our community the resources they need to bring their invention ideas to life.
So, it is with great excitement to learn that ProQuest and Rutgers University are teaming to make the University’s acclaimed Thomas A. Edison Papers more accessible to scholars and students around the world.
More than 175,000 of Edison’s laboratory notebooks, diaries, business records, correspondence, and other documents will now be available in ProQuest® History Vault, boosting access, precision search and cross-referencing of these documents with other digital archives from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The Thomas A. Edison Papers Collection provides an intimate look at the life, work, and vision of the inventor credited with integrating the worlds of science, technology, movies, business, and finance.
An inventor, businessman, scientist, industrialist, entrepreneur and engineer, Edison laid the foundation for the age of electricity, recorded sound, motion pictures, and the introduction of modern industrial research. This extraordinary project has carefully gathered the materials from the Edison National Historical Park that document his life and work. With more than 150,000 pages of materials that have never been available online, it encompasses six parts:
— Five collections that span Edison’s life and work from 1850 through 1919
— A sixth collection encompasses Motion Picture Catalogs – a source for studying America in transition as filmmakers reflected industrialization, technological innovation, the changing role of women, race relations, and the birth of new communication and mass entertainment.
“This is a very unique resource,” said Susan Bokern, ProQuest vice-president, Information Solutions. “The Edison Papers are a firsthand insight into the mind and the work of the inventor, as well as a stunning look at how technological innovation and cultural change are interrelated. His inventions both reflected and disrupted the cultural practices of his time. Incorporating these papers in ProQuest’s History Vault Program increases their research utility to scholars and broadens their access.”
ProQuest’s History Vault Program encompasses 11 million pages of digitized primary source content that documents and improves research of the American experience.