nternet Mad Scientist Has Best Personal Library in the World

By | October 9, 2008

The personal library of Walker Digital founder Jay Walker includes an actual Sputnik I satellite, ruby-bound books, and “a framed napkin from 1943 on which Franklin D. Roosevelt outlined his plan to win World War II.” Not that we care or are jealous.

What excites him even more is using his treasures to make mind-expanding connections. He loves juxtapositions, like placing a 16th-century map that combines experience and guesswork—”the first one showing North and South America,” he says—next to a modern map carried by astronauts to the moon. “If this is what can happen in 500 years, nothing is impossible.” … Walker struggles to balance privacy with his impulse to share his finds with the outside world. Schoolchildren often visit by invitation, as do executives, politicians, and scholars. Last February, the organizers of the TED conference persuaded him to decorate their stage with some of his treasures. But he’s never invited any press in to see the collection—until now.  – wired

[More photos on Wired]

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