Cambridge University hopes to buy a collection of the papers of alumnus Sir Isaac Newton, saying it fears the documents may be taken out of England if it doesn’t, the Associated Press reported Aug. 24.
The Earl of Macclesfield has offered to sell his collection of Newton’s papers through Sotheby’s for $9.4 million — far beyond the university’s budget. The national lottery’s heritage fund has pledged $7.2 million and Cambridge has appealed to companies, foundations and trusts for the remaining $2.2 million.
The university owns the bulk of Newton’s scientific papers and hopes to reunite them with the Macclesfield Collection, which includes the physicist’s early writings on gravitation and mathematical principles.
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