About the Collection
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.
In 2006, Marvin and Sybil Weiner donated the Spirit of America Collection to Florida Atlantic University at which time the collection was transferred from their Cherry Hill, New Jersey home to Boca Raton, Florida. The collection has been cataloged and 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.
In addition, Sybil Weiner donated her print sheet music collection of over 500 pieces of American popular print music to Florida Atlantic University. The collection dates from 1895 to 1966 and includes: patriotic songs, Negro spirituals, music from American musicals and motion pictures, as well as many popular standards. To access the Sybil Weiner Sheet Music Collection, please click here.