University of Iowa to receive $750,000 book collection from Sout - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

University of Iowa to receive $750,000 book collection from South Dakota man

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After 20 years of collecting, a South Dakota man is donating his one-of-a-kind collection of books to the University of Iowa worth an estimated $750,000.

73-year-old Allen Lewis has had a love for science fiction and fantasy since age 12.

"Writers explore certain problems or areas within our society... and then expand them and put them in another location," Lewis said.

But it wasn't until the late 90s that he began his book collection. Most are hard bound, first editions, first printings, and also contain signatures.

"I've never run into anybody in the world that has as many signatures as I have," he said.

Since Lewis is out of room and his 4 children are unable to take them, he has decided to donate them to the University of Iowa.

"[The University of Iowa] has a big collection of the early 1900s and even the late 1800s and has very little modern so I fit right in with where they want to go," Lewis said.

The University said they would pay someone to box and ship the books, but Allen said he wanted to do it himself. Once the books are gone, he hopes to donate the bookshelves to a South Dakota organization, school, or church.

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