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Newton's library sold to US in secret deal



Sunday Times London
http://museum-security.org/


Newton's library sold to US in secret deal

A SECRET deal between Keele University and a book dealer has resulted
in Sir Isaac Newton's private library and some of his original
manuscripts being exported to America, writes Jonathan Leake. The deal
has infuriated Chris Smith, the culture secretary, who has ordered
officials to draw up new rules to control the export of historic books
and artefacts.

Keele was bequeathed England's leading collection of old mathematics
and physics books in 1968 by Charles Turner. But last year a private
meeting of the university's council decided to sell it for =A31m to
raise money for computing facilities. The collection was sold to
America earlier this year by the book dealer Simon Finch.

Newton discovered the rules governing gravity and the motion of
planets. The collection included eight books from his library,
complete with annotations showing he used them to help produce
Principia Mathematica, his major work. Three first editions of
Principia are included in the collection.

This weekend, the culture department confirmed they had been lost to
Britain because officials had no power to halt their export.
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