Thomas Jefferson's Last Books Turn Up in Library

St. Louis' Washington University now holds third-largest collection
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2011 5:56 PM CST
This photo provided by Washington University in St. Louis shows a scrap of paper with Greek notes scholars say was written by Thomas Jefferson, tucked in a volume of Plutarch’s Lives.   (AP Photo/Washington University, Joe Angeles)

(Newser) – About 70 books in the library at Washington University in St. Louis were once pored over by a voracious reader in early America—a guy by the name of Thomas Jefferson, the New York Times reports. The school just learned that the books were part of the last library Jefferson accumulated at Monticello, after he sold his first library to the Library of Congress in 1815. The new books elevate the Washington University library to the third-largest collection of titles owned by Jefferson, after the Library of Congress and University of Virginia.

“These books add a dimension to the study of the life of Jefferson at Monticello,” said the scholar who made the discovery. “They expand our understanding and give us a tangible connection." One of the bigger finds is an architectural book Jefferson consulted while designing UVA, notes AP. It even has notes he scribbled in the margins. (Read more Thomas Jefferson stories.)

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