Keele inquiry deems rare book sale proper

December 10, 1999

Keele University has cleared itself of improper behaviour in its sale of rare mathematics books to a private dealer for Pounds 1 million. An investigation by Keele's audit committee has concluded that it was legally entitled to sell the Turner collection to international book dealer Simon Finch and obtain the best price for it.

The sale last year of the collection of 1,400 items, including books from Sir Isaac Newton's library, outraged academics who complained that the university had failed to ensure that the books would remain in Britain and continue to be available for research.

The audit committee concluded that all university staff involved in the sale "acted with probity and in good faith" and there was "no evidence that Keele was short-changed on price".

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