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Princeton University has announced the largest gift in its history: a trove of rare books valued at nearly $300 million, including a Gutenberg Bible, an original printing of the Declaration of Independence, all four of Shakespeare’s Folios and significant musical manuscripts written by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and Wagner.

The Scheide Library, named for the family of the philanthropist and scholar William H. Scheide, has been housed in a special room in Princeton’s Firestone Library since 1959, when Mr. Scheide, who died last November at age 100, moved it there from his family home in Titusville, Pa. The bequest makes Princeton the permanent home of what the university’s president, Christopher L. Eisgruber, called “one of the greatest collections of rare books and manuscripts in the world today.”

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