Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Carnegie Library book heist

How does one steal more than 300 rare books and documents from a room under constant surveillance? Probably slowly, over a long period of time – like other infamous book heists. Carnegie Library officials say detectives have suspects in the theft of 314 rare books, maps, and folios. The items were taken from a restricted area of the main library in Oakland. The person previously responsible for the collection is no longer employed. One of the missing books is a 1687 first edition of Isaac Newton's "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica". A copy sold for $3.7 million in 2016.
The Oliver Room in the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is home to books, atlases and other items so rare and valuable that it’s off limits to the public. Only scholars and researchers can visit, by appointment. Their every move is watched continuously. That didn't stop the 314 books and items from the room vanishing. While the library did not provide the exact value of the items, rare book dealers say the missing items were “easily worth” more than $5 million. The Oliver Room has been closed since April 2017.