Beethoven’s autograph, the 1455 Gutenberg Bible and an original printing of the Declaration of Independence are among the incredible haul that Princeton University has revealed as its largest-ever bequest.

Philanthropist William Scheide passed away a few months ago and left an astounding collection to Princeton University. Scheide’s collection was actually started by his grandfather and has been maintained at the university since 1959. It is worth approximately $300 million.

Recently, Princeton released to the public the contents of the collection, as reported by The Telegraph in “Emily Dickinson’s chocolate pudding recipe and nine other highlights from Princeton’s $300m book haul.”

Other highlights from the Scheide collection include:

  • A copy of the original Gutenberg Bible
  • One of Beethoven’s musical sketchbooks
  • Three original Shakespeare folios
  • Handwritten sheet music from Bach, Mozart, Wagner and others
  • An autographed speech by President Lincoln
  • General Grant’s copybooks from the last weeks of the Civil War
  • A copy of the Koran from 1700

Even if you do not have an amazing collection to leave to your favorite charity, consult an experienced estate planning attorney for ideas on how to leverage what you do have for good.

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