|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Saturday, August 27, 2016
|Dozens of Thomas Jefferson's Books Found at Washington University in St. Louis|
A scrap of paper with Greek notes scholars say was written by Thomas Jefferson and found tucked in a volume of Plutarchs Lives. The book is one of dozens owned by Thomas Jefferson that have been found in the rare books collection at the St. Louis school. The books were among about 3,000 that were donated to the school in 1880 after the death of Jefferson's granddaughter, Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge, and her husband, Joseph Coolidge. AP Photo/Washington University, Joe Angeles.
By: Heather Hollingsworth, Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP).- Dozens of Thomas Jefferson's books, some including handwritten notes from the nation's third president, have been found in the rare books collection at Washington University in St. Louis.
Now, historians are poring through the 69 newly discovered books and five others the school already knew about, and librarians are searching the collection for more volumes that may have belonged to the founding father.
Even if no other Jefferson-owned books are found, the school's collection of 74 books is the third largest in the nation after the Library of Congress and the University of Virginia.
"It is so out of the blue and pretty amazing," said Washington University's rare books curator Erin Davis of the discovery that was announced on President's Day.
The books were among about 3,000 that were donated to the school in 1880 after the death of Jefferson's granddaughter, Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge, and her husband, Joseph Coolidge.
There was no indication at the time that any of them had belonged to Jefferson. But it turns out that 2 ½ years after Jefferson's 1826 death, his library of 1,600 books was sold to settle debts. Ellen Coolidge's grandfather helped oversee her schooling when she lived at his mountaintop estate at Monticello when she was a teenager and young adult.
She was eager to acquire some of her grandfather's books, and her husband wrote her brother-in-law, Nicholas Trist, and told him what they wanted him to buy them at the auction. They were particularly interested in books that contained Jefferson's notes or other marks.
"My dear N. I beg you to interest yourself in my behalf in relation to the books; remember that his library will not be sold again, and that all the memorials of T.J. for myself and children, and friends, must be secured now!_this is the last chance!" the letter reads.
Two researchers, Ann Lucas Birle and Endrina Tay, began searching for what became of the couple's library last year. The researchers' big break came in October, when they learned the Coolidges' daughter and son-in-law had a relationship with one of the founders of Washington University and donated the books to the school.
In the hand-pressed books that were common in Jefferson's day, printers would place the letters of the alphabet called signatures at the bottom of some pages so that when the books were bound, the pages would be placed in the correct order. One way Jefferson marked his books was to place a small "T'' in front of one of the "I" signature, which was significant because "I" is "J" in the Latin alphabet.
"It was a little bit of detective work," said Anne Posega, head of special collections at Washington University Libraries.
Jefferson scholars traveled to St. Louis last week and spent three days confirming the books had belonged to the former president. They never imagined they would find the books in one place.
"I think the assumption was either they were with the family or dispersed," Tay said.
Among the significant finds is an architectural book that Jefferson consulted when he designed the University of Virginia. Jefferson didn't write in his books as much as some of his contemporaries, but his handwriting is clearly visible in the book. In another book, they found a small scrap of paper with Greek notes in Jefferson's hand.
A few of the volumes have been placed on display, and the school is welcoming Jefferson scholars to review the newly discovered books. But the search is far from over.
"We think we are going to find more treasures," Tay said.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
February 23, 2011
National Gallery Opens Exhibition by One of the Most Versatile Artists of the Renaissance
Comprehensive Retrospective Dedicated to the German Painter Eugen Schönebeck at the Schirn
Home Movie of President Kennedy in Houston Donated to Sixth Floor Museum
Dozens of Thomas Jefferson's Books Found at Washington University in St. Louis
New York City's National September 11 Memorial & Museum Creates 9/11 Timeline
The Pace Gallery Presents Donald Judd: Works in Granite, Cor-ten, Plywood, and Enamel on Aluminum
Christie's Launches Spring 2011 Season of Post-War and Contemporary Art with First Open
James Naismith's Original Rules of Basket Ball to Be Shown at the Nelson-Atkins
Michael Hoppen Contemporary Presents the Diorama Map Series Featuring Sohei Nishino
High Announces Hale Woodruff's Renowned Monumental Talladega Murals to Tour Nationally
Raising Over £325,000, Charity Auction Success for The Photographers' Gallery
Ayse Erkmen's New Exhibition Entitled "On Its Own" on View at Rampa, Istanbul
Unknown Photographer Discovered by U of T Student Researching at the Art Gallery of Ontario
Historic Table, Which has Been at Brightling Park, Sussex, for Over 250 Years, to Sell at Bonhams
Getty Museum Presents Ancient Cambodian Bronze Masterpieces from the Khmer Empire
The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market Showcases Extraordinary Art with Extraordinary Stories
Yale University Art Gallery Artist-in-Residence Program, Now in Its Eighth Year
Michigan State University Museum Launches Largest International Exhibit
Utah Museum Presents One of the Most Important Photographers of the 20th Century
Saint Louis Art Museum Announces that Emerson Commits $5 Million Toward $145 Million Campaign
Rare Painting of Doomed WW2 Bomb Store that was Covered Up for Years, Offered at Bonhams
Tim Davies Selected to Represent Wales at the 54th International Art Exhibition in Venice
Bertoia's to Auction the Late Donal Markey's Near-Flawless Collection of Toys, Folk Art and Advertising
Walker Art Gallery Acquires Important Watercolour: "Goodbye on the Mersey" by James Tissot
Bishopsgate Institute, Designed by Charles Harrison Townsend, to Unveil £7 Million Refurbishment
New Faces Join Third Master Paintings Week to Be Held During July in London
Christie's Expands Asia Team with Key Senior Appointments
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Spanish publisher clones world's most mysterious book: The Voynich Manuscript
2.- Naked Trump leaves NY in giggles until demolished
3.- New research reveals that iceman "Otzi" was potentially a versatile tailor
4.- United States judge sides with artist forced to prove painting is not his
5.- Caravaggio was not a murderer: The response to an article in Burlington Magazine
6.- High-tech imaging reveals rare precolonial Mexican manuscript hidden from view
7.- Smithsonian: Venus-like exoplanet might have Oxygen atmosphere, but not life
8.- Papuan tribe preserves ancient rite of mummification
9.- Kunsthalle Bremen acquires major copperplate engraving by Albrecht Dürer
10.- World's largest William Blake gallery to open in San Francisco
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.