Collectors, Historians See Gold In Old Notebooks And Books

And Books Don't throw away that rough draft of your latest paper just yet, archivists advise. It may never have the multimillion-dollar value of Albert Einstein's draft chapter on special relativity (see story on page 3), but it may still be sought after by historians and collectors. Scientific memorabilia-including books, manuscripts, letters, instruments, and signatures-are actively collected. Einstein, who was a prolific letter writer, commands great attention and prices. So do Galileo, Kep

Billy Goodman
Apr 14, 1996

And Books Don't throw away that rough draft of your latest paper just yet, archivists advise. It may never have the multimillion-dollar value of Albert Einstein's draft chapter on special relativity (see story on page 3), but it may still be sought after by historians and collectors.

Scientific memorabilia-including books, manuscripts, letters, instruments, and signatures-are actively collected. Einstein, who was a prolific letter writer, commands great attention and prices. So do Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus, Pasteur, Darwin, and Freud.

These and a few other scientists have achieved the household-name recognition required to send prices into the stratosphere. When Einstein's special relativity manuscript sold in 1987 for $1.2 million, it set a record for scientific manuscripts. Leonardo da Vinci's notebook set a record for any manuscript at auction when William H. Gates III, chairman of Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp., bought it in 1994 for $30.8 million. At these prices, it is "celebrities...

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