Philanthropic 50: Albert and Shirley Small

by Editorial

In April, the University of Virginia held a symposium on the writer Jorge Luis Borges. The venue: The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, which houses more manuscripts and material on Borges than exists in his native Argentina. Residential and commercial real estate developer Small largely underwrote the new building in 2004, and it was named after the Smalls. He also gave the library much of his own enormous collection of historic prints, manuscripts and rare books, the result of a lifelong passion. But he had enough documents, maps and memorabilia left over for a permanent exhibition on the history of the nation’s capital in the library at George Washington University, including a letter from George Washington bought at auction by Small in 2012 for $290,000. Oh, and more manuscripts for a gallery at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

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