Scheide Library

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The Scheide Library

The Scheide Library once a private library, is now a permanent part of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections of the Princeton University Library. It is housed in the Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library on the campus of Princeton University.[1]

In 2015, following the death of William Scheide, the library was gifted to the University to be a part of the permanent collection. It marks the largest gift in the university's history.[2]

The Scheide Library is possibly the finest collection of rare books and manuscripts in the Western Hemisphere. It is the only library outside of Europe to possess all four of the first printed bibles: The Gutenberg Bible, the 1460 Bible (or Mentelin Bible), the 36-line Bible, and the 1462 Bible. Other notable holdings include manuscripts by Abraham Lincoln, J.S. Bach, and Ludwig van Beethoven, a copy of the Declaration of Independence, and first editions of Shakespeare, and Milton.[3] The library also holds significant collections of medieval manuscripts and incunabula, printed books on travel and exploration, and Americana.[1]

The Scheide Library was assembled by three generations of collectors, William T. Scheide, his son, John H. Scheide, and grandson, William H. Scheide,[4] who founded the Bach Aria Group, credited with reviving interest in Bach's cantatas.[5]


  1. ^ a b "RBSC : Scheide Library". 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
  2. ^ "Scheide donates rare books library to Princeton; collection is largest gift in University's history". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Collector Assembles a Rare Quartet of Bibles - New York Times". 2002-06-10. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
  4. ^ Nicholas A. Basbanes, A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books, Henry Holt, New York, 1995, Chapter 7, "Infinite Riches," pp. 263-274.
  5. ^ "Princeton Alumni Weekly: Book offers rare look inside Scheide '36's collection". Retrieved 2011-12-31.

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Coordinates: 40°20′58″N 74°39′27″W / 40.349496°N 74.657367°W / 40.349496; -74.657367