A Place to Watch Books
Mr. Morgan’s library, one of the historic rooms in the Morgan Library & Museum, New York City, New York. Built for J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) between 1902 and 1906 as a Renaissance-style palazzo, the once private library possesses a stunning collection of medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, several of which are on display in the raised display case. The collection also includes literary and historical manuscripts, early printed books, author and artist correspondence and papers, old master drawings and prints, and an important collection of music manuscripts.
Morgan had a great interest in British writers and acquired the only surviving manuscript of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. The Morgan Museum & Library is a major repository of Jane Austen’s correspondence, possessing one-third of all her surviving letters, as well the autograph manuscript of Lady Susan (rewritten ca. 1805), the only surviving complete manuscript of any of her novels.
In 1924, Morgan’s son fulfilled his father’s wishes and transformed the library into a public institution. Since that time the Morgan has expanded its collection of rare books and works on paper, which now include drawings by Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Picasso; three Gutenberg Bibles; a copy of Frankenstein annotated by Mary Shelley; manuscripts by John Steinbeck and Mark Twain; Henry David Thoreau’s journals; handwritten sheet music by Beethoven; and an original edition of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.
For more information on the Morgan Library & Museum, check out their website.