University of Illinois Purchases Rare Manuscript Written by Sir Isaac Newton

The $275,000 for the manuscript was provided by an alumni donation

The University of Illinois' Rare Book and Manuscript Library has acquired a manuscript written by Sir Isaac Newton.

The school says the library paid $275,000 to purchase the manuscript at auction. The money came from an alumni donation. The manuscript describes how to make the philosopher's stone, a substance thought to have the power to turn lead to gold, cure illness and grant immortality.

Library head Lynne Thomas says the manuscript "provides additional context for scientific exploration in the 16th and 17th centuries." She says it's "interesting seeing science and legend side by side."

The four-page manuscript won't be displayed. It'll be available to view on request. It also will be digitized, giving scholars access online.

The library plans an event in the summer or fall to unveil the manuscript.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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