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Re: 25 Years of Serving the Scholarly Community



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For those who may not be familiar with the name Bern Dibner, he was one of
the most remarkable contributors to the field of the history of science,
and an extraordinary gentleman from a personal perspective. This is a guy
who, born in Russia in 1897, was brought to the US when his parents
immigrated seven years later. He became a naturalized citizen, put himself
through Brooklyn Polytech all the way to a Doctorate, served in the US Army
during WWII, rising to Lt. Colonel and winning a Bronze Star, He started
Burndy Corp, a significant engineering firm, in 1924, and remained active
as its Chairman until his death in 1988. Along the way, he became the
greatest collector of the History of Science, and founded the Burndy
Library, whose 40,000 volumes of original historical scientific texts were
eventually donated to the Smithsonian. He wrote many books on the history
of science, and created the renowned Heralds of Science, the definitive
bibliography of original historical scientific source material.

Most of all, Bern Dibner believed in doing everything he could to help
others experience the joy that he personally found in seeking out the
foundations of modern science. He was a warm and wonderful person, and
served as a role model and hero for many, many people. Bern was a friend of
my late great-uncle, and as such I met him on a number of occasions in my
youth. More than once, without my even asking, he took it upon himself to
send me a book that he had written or published on a topic that he thought
might interest me, or that he thought would be helpful in my school work.
Bern Dibner was, in many respects, the essence of the Yiddish term
"mensch", and it is wonderful to see his legacy carried on by the
Smithsonian. Go to this lecture, and revel in the intellectual curiosity
and passion for the history of science that was Bern Dibner!

-David S. Rose
  Five Roses Press
  New York, NY

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The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, part of the =
Smithsonian Institution Libraries, turns 25 this October. To mark the =
anniversary, on Wednesday, October 3, 2001, the Libraries will host a =
half-day of programming in the Carmichael Auditorium of the National =
Museum of American History, Behring Center. The event is free and open to =
the public and is made possible by the generous support of the Dibner =
Fund.=20

A symposium begins the afternoon at 1:15 p.m. and is opened by an =
introductory lecture, titled "From Collector to Reader: Bern Dibner and =
History of Science Collections," delivered by noted British rare book =
dealer and scholar Roger Gaskell. Following the talk, a panel, composed of
=
scholars and notable scientists and curators from both inside and outside =
the Smithsonian community, debate issues concerning the course of =
contemporary research in the history of science and technology and discuss
=
the potential impact of the Smithsonian Libraries' collections on the =
scholarship of the new millennium.=20

The Smithsonian Libraries' annual Dibner Library Lecture follows at 5:00 =
p.m. in the Carmichael Auditorium at the Museum of American History. Owen =
Gingerich, professor of astronomy and the history of science and technology
=
 at Harvard University, will speak on "Icons of Understanding: Celebrating
=
Bern Dibner's Heralds of Science." The lecture brings to light one of the =
gems in the Smithsonian Libraries' collections. 'The Heralds of Science' =
is a series of 200 books, which collectively represent some of the most =
important contributions to the physical and biological sciences that have =
been issued since the dawn of printing.=20

For further details, please see:=20
www.sil.si.edu/press/press-release-dibner25.htm

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