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NJ: State of Invention - conference @ Alexander Library, Sat June 28

May 28, 2014

If you have a hunch that New Jersey is a hotbed of inventiveness and creativity, be prepared to be affirmed and amazed at a half day conference at the Alexander Library on Saturday June 28.

The "New Jersey: State of Invention" conference, to run from 1:00 - 5:30 p.m. and conclude with a reception, will feature noted speakers and a variety of perspectives on the continued inventiveness in the Garden State. The featured speaker will be Princess Elettra Marconi Giovannelli, daughter of the famed 20th century Italian scientist and radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi. Princess Elettra will speak about her father, his legacy, and his floating laboratory - the yacht Elettra. Gugliermo Marconi established branches of his wireless telegraph company in Wall Township and Franklin Township in the early 1900's and conducted experiments in 1899 in the Navesink Highlands, on the New Jersey coast.  

Other scheduled speakers at the "State of Invention" conference include Paul Israel, director of the Edison Papers Project; Mary Chute, New Jersey State Librarian; Sheldon Hochheiser, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers historian; Brian D. Levine, Mayor of Franklin Park, NJ; Marianne Gaunt, Rutgers' Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian; and others.

The conference will also serve as a reintroduction of the New Jersey Digital Highway, an immersive, user-centered information portal built through a collaboration among cultural heritage institutions, that supports preservation of the past, new access strategies for the future, and active engagement with resources at the local and the global level. The New Jersey Digital Highway is based in the Rutgers University Libraries and was initially developed by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

A reception will feature many NJ food inventions including the pizza from the first pizza restaurant in America, Papa’s Tomato Pies (Robbinsville, NJ), a luscious dessert made possible by our state’s domestication of the wild blueberry, and many other Jersey culinary firsts. 

During the reception visitors can view exhibits from the Edison Papers Project; the Galileo Legacy Foundation / Marconi Project  (Boston, MA); IEEE History Center; the InfoAge Science History Center (Belmar, NJ) and its partner, the Antique Radio Club; the digital collection “New Jersey: State of Invention” co-developed by Rutgers University Libraries and the New Jersey State Library,  available through the New Jersey Digital Highway cultural heritage portal

The conference is free and open to the public. It is cosponsored by the Rutgers University Libraries, the Edison Papers Project, and the Classics Department of the School of Arts and Sciences.

For more information on the "New Jersey: State of Invention" conference and to register, please see: