Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Nikola Tesla papers, 1894-1931

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1234
Bib ID 4079392 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Tesla, Nikola, 1856-1943 ; Ratzlaff, John T ; Anderson, Leland I.
Title Nikola Tesla papers, 1894-1931
Physical Description 3.5 linear feet (8 boxes)
Language(s) English .
Other Finding Aids

Legacy Finding aid

Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located on-site.

Use of microfilm is required for Boxes 1-6. CCR. 2021-05-19.

Arrangement

Arrangement

Selected materials cataloged; remainder arranged. Arranged by material type. Cataloged correspondence arranged chronologically.

Description

Summary

Correspondence of Nikola Tesla and Robert Underwood Johnson include letters of Tesla to Johnson's wife and daughter, clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous materials. Letters to George Scherff, 1902-1930, and others, manuscripts, printed articles, patents, and brochures. The material is of a technical nature and the letters deal primarily with Tesla's work on transformers, turbines, steam and gas oscillators, compressors, pumps, induction motors, and wireless transmitters. Also, printed materials by and about Tesla, including DR. NIKOLA TESLA BIBLIOGRAPHY (1979) by John T. Ratzlaff and Leland I. Anderson; and published selections from diary entries, correspondence, patents, and patent wrappers by Tesla published by the Tesla Book Company. There is also a videotape cassette "Nikola Tesla the Genius Who Lit the World".

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Other Finding Aids

Legacy Finding aid

Restrictions on Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located on-site.

Use of microfilm is required for Boxes 1-6. CCR. 2021-05-19.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Nikola Tesla papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Material - at Columbia University

Robert Underwood Johnson Papers, Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Accruals

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Alternate Form Available

Microfilm is available for Boxes 1-6. See MN# 3840-3843.

Custodial History

1961: purchase of Robert U. Johnson correspondence, 1894-1931, from Agnes Holden, Johnson's daughter (6 boxes, with others types of material). 1962: purchase of Tesla/Johnson letters, 1895-1903, 1930, from Walter Benjamin Autographs; Lillian M. McChesney was the source of origin (28 items). 1962: purchase of articles on Tesla from Erik Monberg. 1962: gift of 80th birthday commemoration from Richard MacGraw. 1963: purchase of letters from Walter Benjamin Autographs (15 items). 1963: gift of memorial volumes from Veljko Korac. 1969: purchase of letters to George Scherff, 1902-1930, from Walter Benjamin Autographs (142 letters, misc papers and photos). 1970: purchase of Johnson and Scherff letters from Leland I. Anderson (32 and 44 letters, respectively). 1981: Ratzlaff photographs. 1993: Videotape given by the Tesla Memorial Society. 1996: purchase of 5 letters from Swann Galleries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--07285H. Method of acquisition--Purchase on the Friends' Book Account; Date of acquisition--1961. Accession number--M-61.

Source of acquisition--Ratzlaff, John T. and Tesla Book Company. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1981. Accession number--M-81.

Vidoetape cassette: Source of acquisition--Tesla Memorial Society. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--10/19/1993. Accession number--M-93-10-19.

7 Tesla letters: Source of acquisition--6731B (Smith) and 4019B (Duplicates). Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--07/16/1996. Accession number--M-96-07-16.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 09/--/1989.

Cataloged Lynn A. Grove 03/--/1990.

Vidoetape cassette Processed HR 10/19/1993.

7 Tesla letters Cataloged HR 06/13/1997.

Revision Description

April 2020 PDF replaced with full finding aid, YH

2021-05-21 Added additional information on microfilm and access restrictions. CCR.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Articles Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Clippings (Information Artifacts) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Diaries Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Memorabilia Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Pamphlets Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Patents Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Videotapes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Compressors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Dana, Paul, 1852-1930 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Electric motors, Induction Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Electric transformers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Electricians Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Electricity -- Research Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hawthorne, Julian, 1846-1934 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Inventors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Johnson, Robert Underwood, 1853-1937 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Osborn, Henry Fairfield, 1857-1935 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Pumping machinery Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Radio -- Transmitters and transmission Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Scherff, George Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Turbines Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was an electrician and inventor.

Robert Underwood Johnson (1843-1938) was an editor and author.