Introduction

In May 2000, the University of Virginia Library received 447 rare books, manuscripts, and maps from the estate of Paul Mellon. Celebrated as a philanthropist, art collector, and breeder of thoroughbred horses, Mellon was also a passionate book collector and amassed one of the greatest libraries of original documents of American history. Although Mellon was originally from Pittsburgh, he adopted Virginia as his home state and, through his bequest, ensured that items from his collection significant to Virginia history remained in the Commonwealth. Private Passions, Public Legacy is the first full-scale display of a collection that has been in private hands for over half a century.


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