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Quinn Library developing special collection on religious tolerance

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (Feb. 19, 2007) -- Ohio University Chillicothe's Quinn Library is developing a special collection on the topic of religious tolerance that, according to Head Librarian Allan Pollchik, should be among the largest in the nation on this subject.

The collection, which will eventually number more than 200 books, will feature rare books by 18th century authors Pierre Bayle, John Locke and Voltaire. Thomas Jefferson consulted the same editions of these books in framing his concepts on religious tolerance. 

The library, using funds from author Dan Brown, has begun purchasing rare books for the collection. This portion of the collection is scheduled to be available for public viewing later this month. Brown, author of "The Da Vinci Code," made a generous gift to the library after Head Librarian Stanley Planton provided assistance in conducting research for Brown's book. The gift was designated for print resources. The bulk of the collection will be purchased from the library's budget.

"At this time, when religious intolerance is fanning the flames of violence and war around the globe, it seems especially appropriate and valuable to study this topic so that we can learn from current authors as well as the same authors who influenced Jefferson, one of the framers of our own Constitution," Pollchik said.

"This topic is not just current, but has a long and important history. When Jefferson was dreaming about a new country he had, on his shelves, books by these three authors that greatly influenced his thinking about religious tolerance."

The collection promises to be a resource to the region and a treasure of national renown. 

"This undertaking emphasizes the type of resources that the campus has to offer to the region and beyond. This collection is in concert with one of the goals of Ohio University's Vision OHIO strategic plan, to increase the university's national prominence," Dean Richard Bebee said.

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