Monday, May 15, 2006

Donors of Wharton Library Revealed (from the Buffalo News)

Anonymous no longer

For about a century, writer Edith Wharton's personal library was overseas. Now, thanks to a pair of Buffalonians, the collection has been bought and returned to The Mount, Wharton's onetime home in Lenox, Mass.

The caretakers of The Mount bought the personal library for $2.6 million from its owner in England, through the help of an anonymous, private donor, according to the Associated Press.

At a recent ceremony celebrating the collection's return, the couple's identity was revealed: Robert and Elisabeth Wilmers.

The chairman of M&T Bank and his wife, who heads Roche and Co., attended the event, whose guest list included a famous former librarian, first lady Laura Bush.

The Wilmers are longtime supporters of The Mount and have a home in the area. Four years ago, Roche and Co. sponsored the restoration and decoration of the mansion's forecourt and entrance hall.

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