Robert H. Taylor ’30 Collection of English Literature

Robert Taylor, Princeton Class of 1930, was a passionate book collector, with more than 7,000 books that resided in a specially built room in the Princeton University library and were eventually bequeathed to the University. The collection that he formed was described by the Times of London as "the most distinguished collection of books and manuscripts of English literature made in this (20th) century". The collection was bequeathed to Princeton University Library in 1985, where it had already been on deposit since 1971.He also contributed financially toward the purchase of rare materials, including a copy of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. He was presented with the University’s Donald F. Hyde Award for distinction in book collecting and service to the community of scholars in 1975.

Taylor was active in book-related organizations throughout his life. He 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 served as president of the Grolier Club, the Keats-Shelley Association of America, and the Bibliographical Society of America, as well as chair of the Council of Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library. He also was a director of the philanthropic Surdna Foundation established by his grandfather, John E. Andrus, a private grant making organization that fosters sustainable communities in the United States.

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