|Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
At a Glance
Selected materials cataloged; remainder arranged. Arranged by material type. Cataloged correspondence arranged chronologically.
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
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.
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.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Alternate Form Available
Microfilm is available for Boxes 1-6. See MN# 3840-3843.
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
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.
April 2020 PDF replaced with full finding aid, YH
2021-05-21 Added additional information on microfilm and access restrictions. CCR.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was an electrician and inventor.
Robert Underwood Johnson (1843-1938) was an editor and author.