The Scheide Library at Princeton University: A $300 Million Rare Book Bequest

Princeton University Receives $300 Million Rare Book Bequest.

Scheide_Library,_Princeton_University,_Princeton_NJThis item has been in the news this week, and it is significant both from a library standpoint and from an archive standpoint.

Lisa Peet, writing for Library Journal, summarizes the story and the holdings of this wonderful collection of rare books and manuscripts (for the full story, visit the link above).

To read about it on Princeton’s website, visit this page (along with some amazing pictures). I think you will find it interesting as well.

I might also add that the Scheide Libraryfound within the Firestone Library at Princeton, is itself quite amazing; be sure to check out the images of that as well.

Princeton University’s Firestone Library recently received the largest gift in the university’s history, the university reported on February 16: some 2,500 rare books and music manuscripts, with an expected appraised value of nearly $300 million. William Hurd (Bill) Scheide, a Princeton alumnus and third-generation collector of rare books, bequeathed the collection to the university upon his death, at age 100, in November 2014.

And here is a description of some of the materials in the Scheide collection:

The collection focuses strongly on the history of printing in Europe and the Americas. Other themes include the exploration and development of America, the history of the Bible—including the first six copies ever printed, starting with a 1455 Gutenberg Bible that Bill’s father, a member of Princeton’s class of 1896, purchased in 1924—and the history of science. It is not primarily concerned with literature, although it does contain two copies of Shakespeare’s first folio (as well as the second, third, and fourth); Needham considers it to be more about “the history of thought.” In addition, Bill Scheide, a musicologist, added a small but important collection of music manuscripts and notebooks by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart, and others, including many autographed pieces.

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