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Private Passions, Public Legacy: Paul Mellon's Personal Library

Book, Christopher Columbus,

This exhibit presents 60 items from Paul Mellon's private collection of material relating to the history of Virginia. The entire collection, 447 items, is housed at the University of Virginia. A 600-word essay provides biographical information on Mellon and his bequest. The exhibit is arranged in six sections, from "Exploring the New World" through "Slavery and the Civil War" to "Opening New Vistas". "Acquiring Virginia's Legacy" presents six highlights of the collection and a 1,400-word essay explaining its significance. A 150-word explanatory essay accompanies each image. The exhibit includes facsimiles of 11 books, seven prints, seven letters, five objects of ephemera, and five maps. Among the ephemera is a myriopticon, a rolled painting that viewers can "unroll" to view scenes from the Civil War. The site is primarily interesting as an exhibit and may not be particularly useful for researchers except as an introduction to the Mellon collection.