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Collection Scope and Content Notes


The papers include de Finetti's student notebooks, research material, lecture and teaching notes, professional and administrative records, newspaper clippings, personal and professional correspondence, and books from his working library. The majority of the documents are in Italian and some are in English, French, and German.

The papers, mainly covering the years 1930-1985, are organized into several series and subseries according to subject matter. Original folders, created by de Finetti, are indicated by headings in quotation marks. Sometimes an inventory sheet by Fulvia de Finetti can be found at the beginning of these folders.

De Finetti's educational records (Series I) consist of notebooks and loose notes from his student days at the University of Milan during the years 1924-1927.

Documents comprised under "Professional Activities" (Series II) concern his involvement in numerous professional organizations, in academic business, and in publication projects. Topics include de Finetti's job applications at various institutions, academic business at the University of Trieste and Rome, and his membership on the scientific board of Statistica and in Accademia dei Lincei.

Bruno de Finetti's research papers (Series III) consist largely of notes, drafts, and typescripts, representing his scientific and academic work as well as its application in such projects as the development of a unified coding system for government records. Also documented is his participation in various national and international conferences and workshops. Major research topics featured in this series are probability theory, probability calculus, statistics, actuarial science, game theory, subjective probability, Bayes' theorem, and mathematics applied to economics.

The correspondence (Series IV) illustrates primarily de Finetti's research and academic activities. Noteworthy correspondents are, among others, Oskar Morgenstern, George Polya, Antonio Gennaro, Luciano Daboni, Dennis Lindley, Jerzy Neyman, Siro Lombardini, Pierpaolo Luzzatto-Fegiz, and Jimmie Savage. General events discussed are research by de Finetti and others, mutual exchange of papers and related comments, and de Finetti's publication and teaching projects. The material is arranged alphabetically according to correspondent and then chronologically within folders. However, please note that many pieces of correspondence can also be found in de Finetti's original, subject-related folders throughout the collection, which were not removed in order to preserve the original arrangement.

Series V documents de Finetti's personal interests such as his involvment in school reform and teaching methodology, his political activism, and related legal problems. A wide variety of materials illustrate de Finetti's efforts to improve science and mathematics teaching, teacher education, and school curricula. Subjects discussed are writings by de Finetti such as Il "saper vedere" in matematica and "Perchè la matematica?" de Finetti's plans for educational movies, and a project for an educational center for teachers. Numerous letters, memoranda, newspaper clippings, articles, and court documents give evidence of de Finetti's political and social activism. Documented are his memberships in the fascist party, his participation in the Movimento Politico Lavoratori (MPL), and his role as editor of the Radical Party's publication Notizie Radicali.

A collection of writings by de Finetti and others, mostly in form of offprints and typescripts, sometimes accompanied by related correspondence, is compiled under the last series (Series VI). These writings illustrate his lifelong political and social engagement on subjects ranging from domestic and foreign politics to ethics, politics of language, sustainable development, and Italian bureaucracy, just to name a few. In addition, annotated books from his library document his research work and his comments on the literature.


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