Jefferson was a relentless advocate for education.
His world view—part Enlightenment logic, part New World optimism—was the combined product of voracious reading, scientific experimentation, and extensive discussion with the great minds of his time.
In service to that legacy, the Foundation engages a national and global audience in a dialogue with Jefferson’s ideas. The Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies (ICJS) is a hub for research and information sharing between a flourishing network of fellows, visiting scholars, and Monticello experts. Since its inception in 1994, ICJS has hosted more than 500 scholars from twenty-five countries, and organized conferences in locations ranging from China and Cuba to the Czech Republic, Poland, and Italy. We are establishing meaningful partnerships with scholars and institutions around the world, affirming the global relevance of Jefferson’s impact.
The Jefferson Library is our intellectual centerpiece—a facility entirely dedicated to collecting and conserving resources on Monticello and Jefferson’s era. The Library retains over 30,000 books, 10,000 unique items (not available in any other library), and 100 million digital titles, and is considered the authoritative source on Jefferson’s life, times, and legacy. As with any world-class institution, our collection is always evolving. Foundation staff works tirelessly to archive and digitize newly-received materials for the benefit of scholars and a growing online community.
No priority could be more reflective of Jefferson’s own ambitions for an enlightened citizenry.
“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”
—Thomas Jefferson, 1816
Every gift matters.