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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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4726. LIBRARY, Jefferson's.—
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4726. LIBRARY, Jefferson's.—

know my collection, its condition and extent.
I have been fifty years making it, and have
spared no pains, opportunity or expense, to
make it what it is. While residing in Paris,
I devoted every afternoon I was disengaged,
for a summer or two, in examining all the
principal book stores, turning over every book
with my own hand, and putting by everything
which related to America, and indeed whatever
was rare and valuable in every science. Besides
this, I had standing orders during the
whole time I was in Europe, on its principal
book-marts, particularly Amsterdam, Frankfort,
Madrid and London, for such works relating to
America as could not be found in Paris. So
that in that department particularly, such a collection
was made as probably can never again
be effected, because it is hardly probable that
the same opportunities, the same time, industry,
perseverance and expense, with some knowledge
of the bibliography of the subject, would again
happen to be in concurrence. During the same
period, and after my return to America, I was
led to procure, also, whatever related to the
duties of those in the high concerns of the nation.
So that the collection, which I suppose
is of between nine and ten thousand volumes,
while it includes what is chiefly valuable in
science and literature generally, extends more
particularly to whatever belongs to the American
Statesman. In the diplomatic and parliamentary
branches, it is particularly full.—
To S. H. Smith. Washington ed. vi, 383. Ford ed., ix, 486.
(M. Sep. 1814)