|Harry Elkins Widener|
Harry Widener was George's oldest son. He was born in 1885 and attended Harvard University. While at Harvard, he began to show an interest in book-collecting. Soon after he graduated in 1907, book-collecting became a serious matter for the young man.
Newton writes about his library:
"It is but a collection of perhaps three thousand volumes; but they were selected by a man of almost unlimited means, with rare judgment and an instinct for discovering the best. Money alone will not make a bibliophile, although, I confess, it develops one."
One evening, Harry confessed to his friend Newton that he didn't want to be remembered only as a book-collector. "I want to be remembered in connection with a great library, and I do not see how it is going to be brought about."
As the Fates would have it, Harry Elkins Widener needn't have worried about how it would happen. He and his father were both passengers on the Titanic and were drowned in the Atlantic on April 15, 1912. His mother, Eleanor Elkins Widener, survived. She made a $3.5 million donation and had erected in his memory the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library at Harvard University. It was dedicated in 1914. Here his collection rests.
Today, the Widener Library, is the centerpiece of the Harvard University Library system. With its 15.6 million volumes, it is the largest university library system in the world.