Hugo Bedau Papers
The Department of Special Collections announces the completion of the finding aid for the Hugo A. Bedau Papers which are part of the National Death Penalty Archive. Bedau is a commentator, scholar, and activist for the abolition of capital punishment. This collection reflects Bedau’s commitment as an activist who has challenged the fundamental legality of the death penalty and as a prominent spokesperson known for his scholarship and writing concerning the death penalty.
In 1966, Bedau was hired as Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University where spent the next thirty-three years as he helped found the Center for the Study of Decision Making. Among his other scholarly work, Bedau is the
author of: The Death Penalty in America: An Anthology (1962), that is currently in its 4th edition; co-editor, Capital Punishment in the United States (1976); Courts, the Constitution and Capital Punishment (1977); Death is Different (1987); editor, Civil Disobedience in Focus (1991); co-author, In Spite of Innocence (1992); Current Issues and Enduring Questions (4th edition, 1996); and a contributor to many other volumes.
In addition to his scholarship, Bedau has been active in the capital punishment abolition movement for many decades. He was the chairman of the board for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) and a board member for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, the American League to Abolish Capital Punishment and several other organizations. Both aspects of Bedau’s work as academic and an activist are strongly reflected in his papers. This collection a valuable resource for scholars, students and historians studying the controversial and politically volatile subject of capital punishment from 1955 -2002 through the words and actions of Bedau. The entire collection, totaling nearly 37 cubic feet, contains Bedau’s drafts, reprints, correspondence, writings and unpublished work, conference materials, newsletters, organizational records, and capital punishment case files.
See the Hugo A. Bedau Papers finding aid.
For more information, please see our Manuscript and Collections Pages or contact Brian Keough, Head of Special Collections and Archives, (518) 437-3931 or firstname.lastname@example.org