Princeton University says it has received the largest donation in its history, a collection of rare books and manuscripts valued at nearly $300 million.

The Ivy League university announced Monday the gift was left by 1936 graduate William Scheide, who died last November at age 100.

The 2,500-volume collection includes the first six printed editions of the Bible, an original printing of the Declaration of Independence and Beethoven's autographed music sketchbook.

Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber calls it "one of the greatest collections of rare books and manuscripts in the world today."

The collection has been housed at Princeton's Firestone Library since 1959. It will continue to be accessible to students, scholars and the public upon request.

The library has begun digitizing the collection to make it even more accessible.