Oral history interview with Claudio Todeschini

  • 2000-Jun-13

Claudio Todeschini was born in Tripoli, Libya, and spent his childhood in Italy and South Africa. He received his first degree in civil engineering from the University of Capetown, South Africa. He began his graduate studies on concrete shell structures at the Imperial College, University of London. Todeschini received his DIC (Diploma of Imperial College) in 1961, and then went to the United States and became a PhD research assistant at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He finished his PhD work on thin-shell structures at the University of Illinois in 1967. Then, Todeschini accepted a professorship at the University of Maryland in 1966, and a year later, he added to his workload by becoming a part-time researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the US Department of Commerce. While working on an information system for the Department of Commerce, Todeschini gained a strong interest in information storage and retrieval, and terminological relationships. In 1969, he joined the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and began working on the INIS (International Nuclear Information System) information system. His involvement with the INIS project began with terminology work in Luxembourg, where he adapted and developed terminology from the pre-existing EURATOM information system. In fact, Todeschini focused on terminology throughout most of his career at the IAEA, which he discusses throughout the interview. Todeschini also discusses the INIS's decentralized input system, and the incorporation of abstracts into that system. He details how the INIS has been available in each member state, and how for profit organizations are able to host access for the system. In conclusion, Todeschini discusses the various heads of the INIS system and describes his most important personal contributions to the system.

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