BY ANDREW OLDEN
Students at McKendree University join the campus community unaware of becoming part of an institution built on a rich history coupled with a modern flare. Often times the average student overlooks the deep historical connections the university has tucked away within its various buildings and departments. One hidden gem that managed to surface is currently housed in the vertical display case on the first floor of Holman Library. Among other autographed works that are on display within the case, lies the recently discovered copy of the eighth volume of The Library of Living Philosophers, bearing Albert Einstein’s signature. The piece was appraised by Anthony Garnett, a rare book dealer in St. Louis, and was valued at $3,000. As mentioned in the winter 2013 edition of The McKendree Magazine, the book was given to Benson Wood Library in 1957 by Dr. Milburn P. Akers, “president of the Board of Trustees in the 1960’s and the great-grandson of McKendree’s first president, Peter Akers.” Akers was a constant donor to the library’s collection and was estimated by Deborah Houk, the librarian of the school’s archives, to
have donated thousands of books over his lifetime, many of which can be found mixed amongst the circulating books in Holman’s main stacks. If any works of extensive age or historical significance are discovered such as the book bearing Einstein’s signature, they are removed and housed within the University’s Archives and Special Collections. This book was discovered while a student was researching a science paper; who knows, you could make the next big find!