Friday, March 13, 2015
Huge legacy for Princeton
Wednesday 18 February 2015
Emily Dickinson's chocolate pudding recipe and nine other highlights from
Princeton's $300m book haul
Princeton's record bequest includes Shakespeare's First Folio and the first
six printed editions of the Bible
By Kat Brown5:27PM GMT 18 Feb 2015
Beethoven's autograph, the 1455 Gutenberg Bible and an original printing of
the Declaration of Independence are among the incredible haul that Princeton
University has revealed as its largest-ever bequest.
The 2,500-volume collection belonged to philanthropist William Scheide and
was started in 1865 by his grandfather, then aged 18. It had been housed at
Princeton since 1959, and when Scheide died in November aged 100, he left
the university everything.
Here are 10 of the highlights:
1) The Gutenberg Bible
Absolutely nothing to do with the Police Academy films and everything to do
with the arrival of the printing press. Only 48 copies remain of the
Gutenberg Bible, which was produced in Mainz, Germany.
It was the first substantial book printed in Europe using movable type, and
the Scheide collection includes not only this, but the next five printed
editions as well.
Eleven copies of the Gutenberg Bible are in the US, and Princeton joins
Harvard and Yale universities in owning one.
2) Beethoven's music sketchbook for 1815-16
This is a big one for Princeton as it is the only one of Beethoven's
notebooks on public display outside Europe.
3) Shakespeare's first, second, third and fourth folios
If it weren't for the First Folio, a 1623 collection that brought together
many of his plays, half of Shakespeare's work may have been lost.
4) Handwritten music manuscripts of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and
5) A "lengthy" autograph speech by Abraham Lincoln from 1856 on the problems
6) General Ulysses S Grant's letter and telegram copybooks from the last
weeks of the Civil War
7 and 8) The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the bequest also includes a
14th-century copy of the Magna Carta and Emily Dickinson's recipe for
Sadly the library did not offer a scan of the pudding, but the internet
already holds the recipes for Dickinson's coconut cake, black cake, and
9) The Blickling Homilies
What do you mean you've never heard of the Blickling Homilies? They stem
from our own shores! Although admittedly this collection of medieval sermons
has been based overseas for a long time. They are named after Blickling Hall
in Norfolk, which once housed them.
10) A copy of the Koran from around 1700
Princeton's university librarian, Karin Trainer, said that Scheide's
generosity was "legendary" and added: "He was likewise generous with his
Scheide's widow, Judy McCartin Scheide, said her husband had loved to show
the books to young people.
"This collection is the fulfilment of the dreams of three generations of
Scheide book men," she said. "Having it reside permanently at Princeton is a
testament to the joy Bill took in sharing the books, papers, manuscripts,
letters, music and posters with others those were some of his happiest
times. He loved showing people especially young people who had never seen
anything like this before the collection, letting them touch the books and
experience what he called 'the wow factor.'"