Princeton Receives $42 Million Bequest for Special Collections

Princeton University has announced a $42 million bequest from the estate of alumnus Robert H. Taylor ('30), who died in 1985.

The gift was from a trust Taylor established in the 1970s that provided the university with funds for more than thirty years, terminating on the death of Taylor's niece last year. The final payment brought Taylor's total giving to the university to more than $71 million. The bequest will be used to expand the university library's special collections and establish a new position: curator of the Robert H. Taylor Collection at Firestone Library. Princeton also announced that the university librarian position will now be known as the Robert H. Taylor 1930 University Librarian, a position currently occupied by Anne Jarvis. In addition, the bequest will benefit the Princeton University Art Museum, the Department of English, and other priorities as determined by Princeton's president and provost.

Taylor, who studied architecture as an undergraduate, served as chair of the Friends of Princeton Library from 1954 to 1980 and was a member of the advisory councils of the Department of English and the library. He also contributed financially toward the purchase of rare materials, including a copy of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Active in book-related organizations during his life, Taylor also served as a director of the Surdna Foundation, which was established by his grandfather, John E. Andrus.

"Mr. Taylor has made a magnificent contribution to our world-renowned library, enhancing its collections and supporting its overall mission," said Princeton president Christopher L. Eisgruber. "The personal legacy he has created at his alma mater by including the university in his estate plan will have a tremendous impact on generations of students, scholars, and all who share his love of literature."

"Taylor Bequest to Support Princeton University’s Library." Princeton University Press Release 07/03/2017.