The William Andrews Clark Memorial Library has been given the most valuable gift in its history. The Paul Chrzanowski Collection, consisting of some 72 rare books, has been appraised at just under two million dollars. Dr. Chrzanowski, a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, spent twenty years collecting books that were read or might have been read by Shakespeare. The earliest book in the collection, the Cordiale quattuor novissimorum, printed in 1479 by William Caxton, is one of only eleven known copies. The collection also includes five books printed by Wynkyn de Worde, Caxton’s successor, and Richard Pynson’s edition of Boccaccio’s Fall of Princes (1494) among the incunables. Other highlights include a second and a fourth folio of Shakespeare’s works (1632 and 1685), a quarto Henry the Sixth (1619), a second edition of the King James Bible (1613), a first edition of Montaigne in English (1603), and the 1550 Piers Plowman.
Paul Chrzanowski Collection