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Silvio Bedini Papers

Identifier: 102

Scope and Contents

Silvio A. Bedini (January 17, 1917 – November 14, 2007) was a historian of science and technology. He spent most of his professional career at the Smithsonian Institution. Some of Bedini’s extensive list of publications include books, book chapters, and periodical articles related to Thomas Jefferson’s appreciation for nature and his involvement with the sciences.


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Biographical / Historical

The historian Silvio A. Bedini was born on January 17, 1917 in Ridgefield, Connecticut. He obtained his A.B. from Columbia University in 1942 and his L.L.D. from the University of Bridgeport in 1970. After a period during and after World War II serving in U.S. Army Intelligence, he spent much of his formal career employed at the Smithsonian Institution, beginning in 1961 as Curator in the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering with the Museum of History and Technology (MHT). Eventually, he became Assistant Director of MHT. In 1972, he was appointed Deputy Director of the Smithsonian’s newly created National Museum of History and Technology (which eventually became the National Museum of American History). In 1978 he became Keeper of the Rare Books in the Smithsonian’s Dibner Library. He retired in 1987, becoming Historian Emeritus at the Smithsonian.

Bedini became interested in the life of Thomas Jefferson because of the latter’s intense and lifelong preoccupation with science and exploration, and in particular Jefferson’s interest in, and impact on, the intersections between government, technology, and science.

Bedini died in Washington, D.C. on November 14, 2007.


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Silvio Bedini Papers
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Phil Nieburg
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Repository Details

Part of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Archives Repository

Jefferson Library, Thomas Jefferson Foundation
Post Office Box 316
Charlottesville VA 22902
(434) 984-7543