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Library's rare books collection closing for renovations

BOSTON (AP) — One of the nation's largest public collections of rare books is closing for renovations.

Boston has begun undertaking a multi-million dollar effort to preserve the Boston Public Library's historic Rare Books and Manuscripts Department.

The nearly $16 million investment began with taking inventory of the department's nearly 250,000 books and one million manuscripts. The next phase calls for renovations to better regulate temperature and humidity in the collection's storage areas, staff spaces, conservation lab, and public reading room.

The collections have been on a limited viewing schedule since February and will close to the public starting April 27.

Among its highlights are 10th century medieval manuscripts, Revolutionary War documents and President John Adams's personal library. The library was established in 1848 and was the first public library to lend books.