Friday, March 16, 2007

Rockford Rare Books Sold

Last week I mentioned that Rockford College would be selling off portions of its rare book collection; the first auction session was yesterday, and the Rockford Register Star has a report on the results. The eleven volumes sold netted the college approximately $28,000, just slightly more than the pre-sale estimate of $19,900.

"Two of the books up for sale Thursday - a 1929 edition of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and a 1903 English Bible - netted $10,800 each. The college will orchestrate another auction of more than 350 other books June 7. Selling off superfluous assets is the college’s latest attempt to brighten its financial picture."

Rockford president Richard Kneedler said of the sale "This book sale is partly about money, but it’s also about making sure that the rare books and archives of Rockford College are related to the mission of the institution. We were very careful to retain books of a regional interest and those from Jane Addams’ personal collection."

I really have to say if the college is in such bad shape that $28,000 from selling rare books is what's going to keep it afloat, that's a problem. As I wrote before, the amount of money gained from this sale is probably minimal compared to the number of potential donors who will look elsewhere to find suitable homes for their materials rather than 'entrust' it to Rockford.