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WIU Libraries to Celebrate New Nielsen Collection June 21

May 31, 2012


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MACOMB, IL – The largest book-collection donation that Western Illinois University Libraries have yet received will be celebrated at a reception.

The Nielsen Collection, donated by the family of Maurice Nielsen, WIU philosophy professor emeritus who passed away in June 2006, includes his entire book collection. According to University Libraries Dean Phyllis Self, a majority of the 9,000 books received are about philosophy and religious studies subjects, but, she noted, the Nielsen Collection also includes books covering a variety of other subject areas.

Self said University Libraries received the donation last summer, and it took eight months to process the 260 boxes of books. More than 2,700 books were added to University Libraries' collection, and 591 books that were Nielsen's were used to replace books already in University Libraries' collection because his copies were in better physical condition. The remaining books were then added to materials for the annual book sale, resulting in the largest sale to date, she noted.

"We plan to honor this magnificent collection with a reception from 4-5 p.m. Thursday, June 21 in the Leslie F. Malpass Library Garden Lounge," Self said. "We are thrilled to receive such a wonderful selection of books. Dr. Nielsen loved books, and the quality of his collection certainly reflects that."

According to Nielsen's daughters, Karen and Eileen, they grew up surrounded by their father's books and knew how much they meant to him.

"It was important to us that we find a place that would appreciate and preserve as much of the collection as possible," they noted. "We are very pleased that so many of them have been added to University Libraries' collection, and we are looking forward to the June 21 Nielsen Collection celebration in his honor."

Michael Jones, director of development for Libraries; the Centennial Honors College; and the School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach, said that receiving a donation of this caliber is truly an honor.

"If we were to purchase the books that have now been added to our collection, it would have easily cost more than $100,000," he noted. "We are honored to join the Nielsen family in celebrating this generous gift."

For more information about the Nielsen Collection and the June 21 reception, contact the University Libraries' administration office at (309) 298-2762.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations