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The Huntington Acquires Letters of Radio Pioneer Guglielmo Marconi, Other Collections

Published on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 | 10:55 am
Marconi’s Short-Wave Beam-1 transmitters in the transmitter hall of Dorchester Station, England, 1928. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

An archive of documents and correspondences belonging to Nobel Laureate and wireless technology pioneer Guglielmo Marconi is among a batch of new acquisitions announced Tuesday by The Huntington Library, Ary Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.

The institution has procured more than 200 pages of letters between the Italian inventor and his chief engineer, Richard Vyvyan, The Huntington said in a written statement.

The correspondences, penned between 1902 and 1909, discuss “the construction and successful implementation of a transatlantic telegraph system,” the statement said.

“The collection also includes Vyvyan’s extensive manuscript overview of wireless technology: ‘Notes on Long Distance Wireless Telegraphy and the Design and Construction and Working of High Power Wireless Stations,’ written between 1900 and 1904,” the statement added. “The collection was purchased at The Huntington’s 24th annual Library Collectors’ Council meeting, which was held virtually last month.”

The Huntington also acquired manuscripts by British author Amelia Opie, a private journal of U.S. Naval officer Henry Cadwalader, the world’s first published English-Japanese and Japanese-English dictionary and the earliest known printed sea chart and navigational guide for Scotland, dating from 1583, according to the institution.

The Huntington is operating on a limited basis due to the pandemic, with only the gardens, store and 1919 Cafe open to the public, with advanced reservations.

Select exhibitions are scheduled to reopen on April 17, representatives have announced.

More information on The Huntington Library, Ary Museum, and Botanical Gardens can be found online at

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