Ex-US Prez Jefferson`s missing books `found`

Last Updated: Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 09:09

New York: A large number of books from
former US President Thomas Jefferson`s private collection have
been discovered, more than 180 years after his heirs sold them
off at an auction to pay off his debts, a media report said.

Jefferson had several collections, including 6,700
books that he sold to the Library of Congress in 1815 after
the British burned Washington.

The former President immediately started another
collection that swelled to 1,600 books by the time he died on
July 4, 1826. His relatives had auctioned that collection in
1829. But, there was no record of who bought the books.

Now, a team of researchers from the Jefferson Library
at his home in Monticello traced the trove of 74 books in the
collection of Washington University in St Louis, `The New York
Times` reported.

The books discovered were among the last ones that
the US`s most bibliophilic president collected as well as read
in the decade before he died, according to the researchers led
by Endrina Tay.

In fact, the in his retirement collection, the former
President catalogued 1,600 books according to "the faculties
of the human mind", like memory, reason and imagination, and
then classified them further. Many were in French or Italian.

"These books add a dimension to the study of the
life of Jefferson at Monticello. They expand our understanding
and give us a tangible connection. It helps us understand how
Jefferson used his books -- whether they were well worn, which
means he read them often.

"Some have annotations, and two architectural volumes
include notations of calculations that Jefferson made," Tay
was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 09:09

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