The Huntington
The Aerospace History Project is a major initiative to document the history of the Southern California aerospace industry. It combines The Huntington’s strengths in the history of business, science and technology, and California and the West.
The Huntington’s early American historical collections are important resources for the study of the Colonial and Revolutionary periods, the drafting of the Constitution, and the Civil War. Among the holdings are hundreds of autograph letters written by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, as...
The early modern era describes the period in Europe and the Americas between 1450 and 1850. The Huntington collections are particularly strong in Renaissance exploration and cartography, English politics and law in the early modern era, the English aristocracy from the later Middle Ages through...
After a year-long closure and a $6.8 million renovation, the historic Japanese Garden is set to reopen to the public on April 11, 2012, marking its centennial as one of the most beloved and iconic landscapes at The Huntington. Completed in 1912, it has attracted more than 20 million visitors...
America’s Revolution was Britain’s American War. In this conference held at the Huntington Library in September 2012, international scholars considered the events of 1763 to 1783 from the perspective of Britain and its “other” colonies, focusing on the many ways the American War reshaped society,...
This conference brings together a range of perspectives on medical texts that emphasize their lives as books, bringing together the disciplines of the history of medicine and of book history. Speakers will explore a wide variety of medical genres in diverse chronological contexts, posing...
Each year the Carnegie Observatories of Pasadena, Calif., organizes a series of public lectures on current astronomical topics. These lectures are given by astronomers from the Carnegie Observatories as well as other research institutions. The lectures, held in Friends’ Hall at the Huntington...
The Huntington Library is a premier center for post-doctoral scholarship in the antebellum and Civil War eras. It is also one of the premier repositories of Lincolniana—manuscripts, books, letters, and ephemera by and about our 16th president. In 1914 and 1922, Henry Huntington purchased two of...
The Huntington hosts the East Asian Garden Lecture series, spanning topics and discussions by prominent speakers about gardens across the Pacific.
In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the Civil War, The Huntington brought together major historians in a conference offering new perspectives on a number of Civil War figures, ranging from Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee to writer Louisa May Alcott and...
One of the Library’s most prized works is the first folio edition of William Shakespeare’s collected plays, published in 1623, seven years after his death. The First Folio contains 36 plays, 18 of them printed for the first time. This “authorized version,” prepared by his friends and colleagues...
Recent scholarship on portraiture has become increasingly interested in its status as an interactive art form. Portraits often depict or invite an interactive relationship between sitters and spectators. In this conference, co-organized with the Yale Center for British Art, speakers explore this...
President Steven S. Koblik, who retires in June after 14 years at the helm of the institution, reflects on the momentous changes at The Huntington and challenges of the job in an imaginary conversation with a special guest.
Distinguished scholars, musicians, and writers came together for a conference that explored Woody Guthrie’s rise to fame in Depression-era Los Angeles. They discussed Guthrie’s itinerant wanderings through California and the far West, the Dust Bowl culture he drew upon in his songs of commentary...
William R. Newman, professor of history and philosophy of science at Indiana University, examines why one of the most influential scientists who ever lived believed in alchemical transmutation, which has long been discredited in the modern scientific world. Newman is professor of history and...
This conference addresses important changes in the representation of crime, litigation, and justice in Britain over the period 1660-1850, and particularly the constitution of public opinion about justice by "performances" which touched the emotions. The principal objective is to encourage a...
The “new social history” has exploded the myth that Shakespeare’s society comprised a culture of obedience. Repositioning his works in the popular politics of his period, social historians and literary critics reassess Shakespeare’s presentation of power and authority.
Inspired by the award-winning speculative fiction author Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006), leading experts in the field will explore the expansive ways Butler’s writing, research, and life foster deeper understanding of the past, present, and possible futures. The conference was held at The...
The cosmopolitan ideal is commonly understood as one of the key legacies of the European Enlightenment. This interdisciplinary conference explores the possibilities and contradictions of the cosmopolitan ideal in the Enlightenment by considering a range of thematic perspectives, including...
Experts in the literature, history, geography, and archaeology of 16th- and 17th-century Britain examine four key geographic sites—body, house, neighborhood, and region—to illuminate the important spatial structures and concepts that define the early modern engagement with the world. The...
Held in the last year of the national commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, leading historians offer fresh perspectives on the turbulent conclusion of the conflict. Speakers discuss prominent political and military leaders, Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, and other episodes that...
Coinciding with the Huntington Library's exhibition in recognition of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Father Junípero Serra, this conference brings together an international group of scholars to explore larger contexts within which Serra lived and the various ways he has been represented...
Paul Theroux, one of the most acclaimed travel writers of our time, turns his unflinching eye on an American South too often overlooked. Theroux also discusses his recently published book, “Deep South”.
In 2013, Loren and Frances Rothschild donated their Evelyn Waugh archive to The Huntington. Now, their gift is celebrated in a symposium which brings together researchers, editors, and archival practitioners to explore the biographical and disciplinary significance of the new holdings. The...
What are “religious affections” and how have they influenced individuals, communities, and cultures? Leading experts in history, literature, and religious studies explore how religion shaped the roots, limits, and consequences of affections in the diverse terrain of early America. The conference...
Mary Fissell, professor of the history of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, discusses Aristotle’s Masterpiece. First published in London in 1684, it became one of the most popular medical books ever published in England and America. The lecture is sponsored by the George Dock Society for the...
Jointly presented by The Huntington and Carnegie Observatories, this conference marks the centennial of the completion of the 100-inch Hooker telescope on Mount Wilson, which saw “first light” in November 1917 and heralded the dawn of modern astronomy. Historians, scientists, and others explore...
Featuring twelve leading experts in the literary, philosophical, and scientific culture of seventeenth-century England, this conference focuses on the works and worlds of Sir Thomas Browne, the physician, essayist, and naturalist who was one of the era’s most eloquent and idiosyncratic...
Early modern collections played a key role in the creation and transmission of knowledge, but they are usually studied in terms of the objects they contained or how they came to exist. This conference instead explores how they were actually used in the 16th and 17th centuries. The conference was...
The Huntington was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, an exceptional businessman who built a financial empire that included railroad companies, utilities, and real estate holdings in Southern California. Along with his wife, Arabella Duval Huntington, he amassed extensive library, art, and...
The late Ming witnessed an unprecedented production of woodblock images printed for many different purposes, including illustrations for drama and games, decorations for stationary paper or ink making, as well as pictorial works for the market. This symposium, organized in conjunction with the...
Inspired by the centuries-old Chinese tradition of private gardens designed for scholarly pursuits, The Huntington’s Chinese garden—Liu Fang Yuan, or the Garden of Flowing Fragrance—combines the scenic beauty of nature with the expressiveness of literature to give deeper meaning to the landscape....
The Symposium, held in the Brody Botanical Center at The Huntington, features lectures from a wide variety of fields, including the sciences, botany, photography, botanical art history, the digital world and tours of The Huntington's gardens, collections, and art galleries.
Robert Hellyer, associate professor of East Asian history at Wake Forest University, examines Japan's emergence in 1870 as a tea exporting nation, and how its emphasis on green tea influences U.S. tea-drinking.
The concept of the frontier among scholars has changed considerably over the past 25 years. This symposium invited historians, literary scholars, and cultural critics to revisit the famed Frontier Thesis written by Frederick Jackson Turner more than 100 years ago. In three panel discussions,...
The Huntington Library’s collection includes printed books from the 15th century to the present. Among its treasures are a copy of Johann Gutenberg’s Bible and the first folio edition of William Shakespeare’s collected plays, published in 1623. In lectures and interviews curators and visiting...
As part of its regular program of public lectures, The Huntington hosts a variety of authors speaking about their own books on themes related to The Huntington’s collections.
This conference, sponsored by the Los Angeles Region Planning History Group, examines how the influence of amusement parks has gone beyond fun and money-making to shaping where and how Southern Californians live today.
Author and political commentator Cokie Roberts discusses her new book Capital Dames, The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868, which explores the lives of the women of Washington D.C. during the upheaval of the Civil War. Roberts has previously written about the vital female...
The Copernican Revolution in astronomy has long been regarded as a central theme in the transformation of the sciences in the early modern period. Leading experts on the history of science explore the relevance of this and other narrative frameworks for understanding scientific developments in...
Peter J. Blodgett, The Huntington’s H. Russell Smith Foundation Curator of Western American History, speaks about goals and themes of “Visions of Empire: The Quest for a Railroad Across America, 1840–1880,” an exhibition that coincides with the sesquicentennial of the passage of the Pacific...
The sixth biennial Francis Bacon Conference took place from March 10 to 12, 2016, at the California Institute of Technology and The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Titled General Relativity at One Hundred or GR 100, the three-day conference is occasioned by the...
The Huntington is among the nation’s most important centers for the study of the American West with an unsurpassed collection of materials that spans the full range of American western settlement, including the overland pioneer experience, the Gold Rush, and the development of Southern...
This symposium investigates the history of garden plant domestication in China, focusing on such topics as horticultural techniques, the origins and distribution of important species, and the knowledge gained from literary records to DNA analysis.
Encompassing approximately 120 acres of the 207-acre grounds, the botanical gardens contain more than a dozen thematic areas, including the Desert Garden, Japanese Garden, and a Chinese garden called Liu Fang Yuan, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance. A Botanical Center features classrooms, research...
This conference, organized in honor of Robert C. Ritchie upon his retirement as W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research at The Huntington Library, spotlights innovative research on how the exploitation of the oceans changed the institution of slavery, long distance trade, property crime, the...
Bringing together international leaders in the field of medieval studies, this conference focuses interdisciplinary attention on the recent resurgence of interest in fifteenth-century texts and manuscripts and reshapes the dialogue about this decisive moment in English literary history. This...
To mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of the landmark folio “The Works of Ben Jonson,” experts in the field explore the English dramatist’s impact in his own time and his reputation down to the present. The conference was held at The Huntington Sept. 16–17, 2016.
“The sun is but a morning star.” Walden’s famous last line points eastward to the sunrise; but Henry David Thoreau also wrote of the west, the sunset, and day’s end. To mark Thoreau’s bicentennial year, this conference poses the question: How can we read Thoreau from the sundown side, the far...