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He started collecting books in 1955. Currently his private collection, the Schøyen Collection, contains above 13 000 manuscript items, the oldest book is about 5000 years old.
- Biblical manuscript in Coptic language, dated to the 3rd century.
- 15 Dead Sea Scrolls
- Sumerian text from the 21st century B.C.; Ur-Nammu's law-code
- Babylonian calendar from 2000–1600 B.C.
- Tutankhamun's signet ring
- MS 5236, an ancient Greek block print dating to the 6th century BC
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