National Museum of American History Embarks on Conservation of Jefferson’s Bible

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WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is currently performing a specialized conservation treatment to ensure the long-term preservation of Thomas Jefferson’s bible, a small handmade book that provides an intimate view of Jefferson’s private religious and moral philosophy. At age 77 and living at Monticello in retirement following his two terms as President, Jefferson completed a project he had long planned and long discussed with others. In 1820 he assembled what he titled “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.” Using excerpts from the Four Gospels of the New Testament, Jefferson arranged the text to tell a chronological and edited story of Jesus’ life and moral philosophy. “The volume provides an exclusive insight to the religious and moral beliefs of the writer of the Declaration of Independence, the nation’s third President, as well as his