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Anonymous donor gives valuable books to UCR

June 25, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A valuable donation to the University of California, Riverside. An anonymous private collector has given nearly two dozen facsimiles of medieval and early printed books, and more than 150 volumes on the history of books or book art to the institution. The materials are worth nearly $100,000. The facsimiles are nearly exact reproductions of early printed books and of manuscripts drawn, inscribed and copied by hand in the Middle Ages.

Among the print facsimiles are the Gutenberg Bible and "Astronomicum Caesareum," a 17th century book of astronomical reckoning, complete with movable paper wheels (volvelles) used to calculate a planet's position.

The manuscript facsimiles include: "The Crusader Bible," a picture Bible thought to have been created at the direction of Louis IX of France in the mid-1240s which, over the years, acquired inscriptions in five languages and three scripts; and four manuscripts of a commentary on the Apocalypse, the biblical Book of Revelation, compiled by the 8th century Spanish monk Beatus, also known as Beato de Liébana. The originals were copied by hand in various monastic communities.