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Scheide Library

William H. Scheide examines the Gutenberg Bible.
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
Curator of Rare Books

The Scheide Library was gifted to Princeton's Firestone Library in 2015. The collection had been housed within Firestone since 1959, when William H. Scheide '36 moved the collection from his hometown of Titusville, Pennsylvania. It holds the first six printed editions of the Bible, starting with the 1455 Gutenberg Bible, the earliest substantial European printed book; the original printing of the Declaration of Independence; Beethoven's autograph (in his own handwriting) music sketchbook for 1815-16, the only outside Europe; Shakespeare's first, second, third and fourth folios; significant autograph music manuscripts of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Wagner; a lengthy autograph speech by Abraham Lincoln from 1856 on the problems of slavery; and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's original letter and telegram copy books from the last weeks of the Civil War.

Collection Strengths

  • John Wycliffe

    The Scheide Library is the only library outside Europe to include all 18 of the pre-Luther German Bible editions, the earliest of which is the edition printed by Johan Mentelin in Strasbourg [before 27 June 1466].

  • William H. Scheide examines the Gutenberg Bible.

    The Scheide Library has a large (about 150 volumes) collection of 15th century books. These have been given to the Princeton University Library and include an important collection of books printed by Johann Gutenberg and his partners. Primary is a copy of the famous Gutenberg Bible.