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About the Collection

               Mr. Weiner to Receive Honorary Doctorate from FAU

The Marvin & Sybil Weiner Spirit of America Collection is comparable in scope and content to the collections of the American Antiquarian Society and the Library Company of Philadelphia. Originally inspired to emulate the personal libraries of men like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, Marvin Weiner spent a lifetime collecting the books and pamphlets that a colonial gentleman would have owned.  Taking great care to purchase the same editions that were available in 18th century America, Mr. Weiner eventually amassed a collection of more than 13,000 books, pamphlets, government publications, newspapers and serials, including rare works from as early as the 16th century.

In addition to his desire to recreate a well-stocked colonial library, Mr. Weiner’s collection was also guided by his interest in the changing concepts of freedom and liberty as they developed from Ancient Greece to the mid-20th century. As such, the collection also includes a great number of works on a wide range of topics from Constitutional issues in the United States to philosophical treatises from Europe. Through this interest, the collection grew into one of the top ten such collections in the United States, and items from the collection have been exhibited at the University of Pennsylvania, the Rosenbach Museum and Library, and the National Constitution Center.

Marvin and Sybil Weiner donated the Spirit of America Collection to Florida Atlantic University in 2006 at which time the collection was transferred from their Cherry Hill, New Jersey home to Boca Raton, Florida. Since that time, the staff in FAU Special Collections & Archives have carefully unpacked 29 pallets of historical materials. Most items have been preliminarily inventoried and the collection is housed in its own suite on the fifth floor of the S. E. Wimberly Library. Throughout the processing period, our staff continues preservation efforts to ensure that the collection will be available to future scholars.


About Marvin and Sybil Weiner


  For more than 70 years, Marvin Weiner has been a dedicated and knowledgeable collector of rare print materials focusing on independence, civil liberties and early American government. He is a long-term member of the American Historical Association, the Grolier Club, the Philobiblon Club, the Manuscript Society, and many well-respected foundations. Sybil Weiner, beloved wife and mother, supported his intellectual interests and ever-growing library. In 2008, she donated her collection over 500 pieces of American patriotic sheet music from 1895 to 1966 to the American Popular Print Music collection.

Marvin Weiner biography by Herbert Weiner
Sybil Weiner's collection of sheet music



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