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Old South Church's Bay Psalm Book Sells For Nearly $14.2 Million

This article is more than 5 years old.
The auction house described the Bay Psalm Book as "the world’s most valuable book." (AP)
The auction house described the Bay Psalm Book as "the world’s most valuable book." (AP)

A first-edition copy of the first book printed in the New World was sold Tuesday night at auction for a record sum.

The 1640 Bay Psalm Book was sold for nearly $14.2 million, making it the most expensive printed book ever auctioned. It was bought by billionaire David Rubenstein, who said he'll put the book on display at libraries across the country.

The book, which was written by the Puritans, was put on the block by Boston's Old South Church. The church, which had two copies of the book, will use the sale money for its ministry projects.

Prior to the auction, a Sotheby's official estimated that the book could sell for up to $30 million.

There are 11 copies of the Bay Psalm Book that remain in existence.

Correction: Due to a transcription error, an earlier version of this report incorrectly stated that the book is from 1840; it is from 1640.

Earlier:

This program aired on November 27, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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