David Rubenstein’s paper trail

By Laurie Bennett

December 2, 2013 at 8:06am

Among the curios recently acquired by private equity billionaire David Rubenstein: the world’s most expensive book.

The Bay Psalm Book, printed in 1640 and believed to be the first book published in what would become the United States, cost Rubenstein $14.2 million. He intends to loan it to libraries around the country.

Bay Psalm Book
Bay Psalm Book, formally known as
The Whole Book of Psalmes

Rubenstein, co-CEO of Carlyle Group, is a lover of American history with an obvious weakness for old documents.

He paid $632,500 in June for a copy of the first newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence.

Last year he paid $2.1 million for the Emancipation Proclamation. In 2007, he spent $23.1 million on a copy of the 1297 Magna Carta, which he then loaned to the National Archives.

Ranked by Forbes as 209th among the 400 richest Americans, Rubenstein has given millions to the archives, and to historical groups such as the White House Historical Association and the National Library for the Study of George Washington.

Earlier this year, he pledged $10 million to recreate slave quarters at Monticello, the Virginia plantation of Thomas Jefferson.

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