Princeton $300M rare-book donation includes Beethoven sketchbook, and more

Posted on: February 20, 2015

“Princeton University has announced the largest gift in its history: a trove of rare books valued at nearly $300 million, including a Gutenberg Bible, an original printing of the Declaration of Independence, all four of Shakespeare’s Folios and significant musical manuscripts written by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and Wagner,” writes Jennifer Schuessler in Tuesday’s (2/17) New York Times. “The Scheide Library, named for the family of the philanthropist and scholar William H. Scheide … who died last November at age 100.… The roughly 2,500-item collection originated with Mr. Scheide’s grandfather, an oil executive who began amassing material in 1865. Mr. Scheide, a musicologist and founder of the Bach Aria Group who, among many other philanthropic activities, was a leading financer of the NAACP’s Brown vs. Board of Education lawsuit, continued adding to the collection until shortly before his death. The Scheide collection, which is being digitized, will remain a distinct collection within Firestone Library, where it will be relocated to a new space as part of the library’s current renovation.”

Posted February 20, 2015