The Huntington
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...
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...
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,...
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...
Welcome to The Collections, a podcast produced by The Huntington, hosted by Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence. In this first season, inaugurated during the institution’s Centennial, Dr. Lawrence talks with the heads of the library, art museum, and botanical gardens about why they do what...
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 hosts approximately twenty public lectures each year on themes related to its collections. Subscribe to the podcast to be notified every time a new lecture is released.
Peter Stallybrass, professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, examines a single letter that Elizabeth Barrett Barrett wrote to Hugh Stuart Boyd, a scholar with whom she was passionately in love long before she met her fellow poet and future husband, Robert Browning.
Rooted in The Huntington's substantial collection of Mormon history materials, this conference commemorates the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith's proclaimed First Vision experience.
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...
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...
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...
This interdisciplinary conference focuses on the transatlantic dynamics of food and power in the long 18th century. Historians, historical geographers, and literary scholars will assess the significant role of food in shaping interpersonal and geopolitical relations during this period, focusing...
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...
The use and abuse of stereotypes is not limited to present-day politics. In this conference, experts in British and American history examine stereotypes related to such vital issues as race, religion, gender, nationality, and occupation.
This conference introduces British art and social critic John Ruskin to a modern audience and makes the case for his continuing relevance in our own troubled time.
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...
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...
The Huntington hosts the East Asian Garden Lecture series, spanning topics and discussions by prominent speakers about gardens across the Pacific.
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...
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...
This conference explores how the succession of James VI of Scotland to the English throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603 influenced the governance of the realm.
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.
This interdisciplinary conference takes the recent popularity of the historical novel as a starting point to explore the relationship between history and fiction. The plenary speaker, Booker Prize-winning author Hilary Mantel (“Wolf Hall”), will appear in conversation with Mary Robertson, former...
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...
Naomi Tadmor, professor of history at the University of Lancaster and the Fletcher Jones Foundation Distinguished Fellow at The Huntington, discusses the sophisticated system of social welfare developed in 17th- and 18th-century England aimed to assist the poor and its impact on local government...
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...
The newspaper rose to centrality in modern societies by making information current, critical, legitimate, and public. Leading experts on the history of the newspaper consider its invention, its layout, its appeal to sensation, and its claim to objectivity. The conference explores our debt to the...
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...
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.
Karen Lawrence, president of The Huntington and a James Joyce scholar, delivers the annual Founder's Day Lecture on how Joyce wrote "Ulysses" by stealing from everybody else.
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...
This conference explores the dynamics of local, national, and trans-Atlantic political culture with particular reference to political communication. Experts in the field survey how connections were forged between politics in London and politics in the localities. The conference was hled at The...
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...
Michael Vinson, author and proprietor of Michael Vinson Americana, shares the tale of John Holmes Jenkins III (1940–1989), a Texas antiquarian bookseller, publisher, historian, and gambler who, in 1971, helped the FBI recover a valuable set of original colored engravings of Audubon's The Birds of...
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...
Christopher Isherwood settled in Los Angeles in 1939 and would live there for the rest of his life. This was the definitive act in Isherwood’s effort to reimagine himself, his spirituality, his personal freedom, and his place in the modern world. International scholars explore the significance of...
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...
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 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...
“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...
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...
Allison L. Strom, Carnegie Fellow at the Carnegie Observatories, shows how astronomers use the world's largest telescopes to determine the chemical DNA of even very distant galaxies.
In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of anatomist and physician Andreas Vesalius, this conference brings together rare book collectors, curators, art and cultural historians, and physicians to explore the changing concepts of the human body and visualizations of knowledge in...
Steve Martino, award-winning landscape architect, is joined by Caren Yglesias, author of Desert Gardens of Steve Martino, for a discussion about landscaping for arid climates. Martino's pioneering designs combine dramatic man-made elements with native plants in gardens that honor the natural...
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...
Susan Juster, professor of history at the University of Michigan and the Robert C. Ritchie Distinguished Fellow, discusses the changing nature of blasphemy and blasphemy prosecutions in early modern England and the North American colonies. This is part of the Distinguished Fellow Lecture series.
This conference explores the nature, significance, and dynamics of market practices, institutions, and cultures in comparative perspective. Leading historians with expertise spanning a broad range of contexts will explore the changing discourse, norms, and practices of exchange across the period.