Indexes and Finding Aids


Finding Aids

  • Microfilm Series Notes
    The Series Notes for each part of the microfilm edition contains links to each of the folders and volumes found on the microfilm reels and to their equivalent item sets in the digital image edition.
  • Thomas A. Edison Papers Microfilm Collection
    Between 1985 and 2008, the Thomas A. Edison Papers at Rutgers University published a selective microfilm edition of documents from the massive archive of the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, NJ (estimated at 5 million pages). The 288 reels of the microfilm cover the period 1850–1919 and contain approximately 139,000 individually indexed items.
  • Outside Repositories and Private Collections
    The documents in Parts I-V of the image edition were selected from among the approximately 5 million pages of Edison-related material in the archives of the National Park Service's Thomas Edison National Historical Park (TENHP) in West Orange, N.J. However, thousands of additional documents have been located in more than one hundred repositories and private collections. Especially significant are the collections of Edison documents at the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village Research Center, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Library of Congress, National Archives, New-York Historical Society, New York Public Library, Smithsonian Institution, Wichita State University, and Yale University and the private collection of Charles Hummel. Additional collections of family correspondence owned by the Charles Edison Fund, Edison-Ford Winter Estates, Chautauqua Institution, and David E. E. Sloane can be found in the Edison-Miller Family Records Series.
  • Edison-Miller Family Records
    Collections containing letters and other documents related to the Edison and Miller families are found in the following repositories: Thomas Edison National Historical Park (microfilm edition Parts III-V); the Charles Edison Fund Collection, Newark, N.J.; Chautauqua Institution Archives, Chautauqua, N.Y.; Edison-Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers, Fla.; the David E. E. Sloane Collection, New Haven, Conn.; and Swann Galleries, Inc., New York, N.Y.: Family Correspondence and Related Documents (still to be added).
  • Motion Picture Catalogs by American Producers and Distributors, 1894–1908
    Using the Reel Notes, users can find the list of catalogs for each company with links to their PDFs. The Reel Notes are part of a Guide that served as an introduction to the six-reel microfilm edition of American motion picture catalogs published between 1894 and 1908. The Guide can be viewed via links on the right. 

    The earliest catalogs were those printed in 1894 by the sales agents for Thomas Edison's kinetoscope. Their appearance coincided with the advent of commercial moving pictures. By the end of 1908, when the Motion Picture Patents Company was formed under Edison's auspices, motion picture catalogs were playing a less prominent role in the industry because trade journals had proliferated and were offering synopses, reviews, and advertisements. The catalogs that were distributed between 1894 and 1908 advertised films, equipment, and related posters, slides, lectures, and phonographs. They ranged from complete multi-page listings of a distributor's stock to one-page synopses of a production company's latest product. After more than three-quarters of a century, a comparatively small number of such catalogs remain. Some are fragmentary or incomplete; most are unique; and all are fragile. In a few cases only photocopies of the originals survive.
  • Patents
    This list of Edison's 1,093 U.S. Patents can be searched by Title, Decade of Issue, and Subject. By clicking on Patent No they will be sorted by patent number (and issue date).  Clicking on the Title opens the patent as a PDF.