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Theater of Electricity Records

Identifier: A2022-07-01

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the history of the Theater of Electricity: the donation of the Van de Graaff Generator, funding efforts, exhibit ideas, administrative documents, and the development of educational programs. It includes correspondence, meeting records, building plans, personal notes, and photographs.


  • Majority of material found within 1930 - 1999
  • 1887 - 2013



3.36 Linear Feet

3.12 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into four series, one of which is further subdivided into three subseries. Materials are arranged chronologically, when possible.

Series 1: Elihu Thomson, 1887-2013

Series 2: Van de Graaff Generator, 1931-2008

Series 3: Tesla Coils, 1905-1986

Series 4: Theater of Electricity, 1905-2013. Subseries 1: Systems, 1955-2013. Subseries 2: Administrative Documents, 1952-2002. Subseries 3: Programs, 1905-2013.

Custodial History

Materials are from various sources, including MIT and various MOS employees. Because the Archives department was established in 2017, much information about provenance and original order for this collection has been lost. Some materials appeared to have been rearranged by unknown MOS staff and some were previously catalogued. Thus, this arrangement does not reflect provenance or original order and is instead arranged by topic. We also attempted to arrange the folders within series chronologically, but some timeframes in folders overlapped. When possible, material within folders was kept in their original order.

Theater of Electricity Records Finding Aid
Sorilis Ruiz-Escobar (MOS en EspaƱol Education Fellow)
July 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Processing and finding aid creation generously funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, 2017-2022.
Edition statement
First Edition

Repository Details

Part of the Museum of Science, Boston Archives Repository