Princeton University receives donation of rare books

Princeton University in New Jersey has received a donation of rare books and manuscripts valued at around $300m.

The collection was bequeathed to the university by William H Scheide, a 1936 alumnus of the college who passed away recently at the age of 100.

Shakespeare Scheide Princeton
The collection includes a copy of each of Shakespeare's folios

It includes a wealth of material from the early years of the printing press, including the first six printed editions of the Bible, an original printing of the Declaration of Independence and a selection of manuscripts from some of history's greatest composers.

Anthony Grafton, Princeton's Henry Putnam University professor of history, commented: "At its core, the Scheide Library is the richest collection anywhere of the first documents printed in 15th-century Europe.

"But its magnificent books and manuscripts illuminate many areas, from the printing of the Bible to the ways in which the greatest composers created their music."

Princeton president, Christopher L Eisgruber, added: "Through Bill Scheide's generosity, one of the greatest collections of rare books and manuscripts in the world today will have a permanent home here.

"I cannot imagine a more marvelous collection to serve as the heart of our library. We are grateful for Bill Scheide's everlasting dedication to Princeton and his commitment to sharing his breathtaking collection with scholars and students for generations to come."

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