Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's library sells for nearly $2.4 million at auction

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It wasn't just her life that made Ruth Bader Ginsburg notorious.

The personal library of the Supreme Court justice, who died in 2020, is renowned now, too, having sold for nearly $2.4 million at auction this week.

The auction, completed Thursday by Bonhams, included more than 1,000 personal books belonging to Ginsburg from her time at Harvard and Columbia law schools to her service on the Supreme Court.

Getting the highest bid: Her annotated copy of the 1957-58 Harvard Law Review, on which she was a member, brought $100,312.50 – way beyond the pre-sale estimate of $2,500 to $3,500, the auction house said.

All of the more than 160 lots sold well beyond estimates, Bonhams said.

Other highlights included Ginsburg's copy of her own 2016 memoir, "My Own Words," bound just for her by Simon and Schuster and bearing her personal bookplate, which sold for $81,562.50 after being estimated at $1,000 to $2,000; and Gloria Steinem's "My Life on the Road," signed by the feminist, journalist and activist, which sold for $52,812.50 (estimated at $300 to $500).

"This auction was a delight from start to finish, and it really feels like a watershed moment for collectors of women’s history," Catherine Williamson, head of Bonhams book department, told USA TODAY in an email.

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The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg's annotated copy of the 1957-58 Harvard Law Review. The book was among the items in the auction of the late Supreme Court justice's personal library, which sold at auction for nearly $2.4 million.
The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg's annotated copy of the 1957-58 Harvard Law Review. The book was among the items in the auction of the late Supreme Court justice's personal library, which sold at auction for nearly $2.4 million.

Other items sold at auction:

►The sheet music for "I'll Fight," inscribed to Ginsburg by Diane Warren, who wrote the song for the 2018 documentary "RBG." It sold for $35,312.50 (estimate of $100 to $200).

►"Beloved," inscribed to Ruth and Martin Ginsburg by author Toni Morrison, who won the Pulitzer Prize for the 1987 novel. Sold for for $31,562.50 (estimate of $300 to $500).

►Justice Sonia Sotomayor's 2013 memoir, "My Beloved World," inscribed to Ginsburg, which sold for $40,312.50 (estimate of $300 to $500).

►Some of Ginsburg's textbooks from Columbia and Harvard brought more than $25,000 each.

The sheet music for "I'll Fight," inscribed to Ginsburg by Diane Warren, who wrote the song for the 2018 documentary, "RBG," which sold for $35,312.50 (estimate of $100 - 200).  The music was among the items in the auction of the late Supreme Court justice's personal library, which sold at auction for nearly $2.4 million.
The sheet music for "I'll Fight," inscribed to Ginsburg by Diane Warren, who wrote the song for the 2018 documentary, "RBG," which sold for $35,312.50 (estimate of $100 - 200). The music was among the items in the auction of the late Supreme Court justice's personal library, which sold at auction for nearly $2.4 million.

"A person's library can give us a sense of who the individual is and how she came to be," Williamson said in a press release ahead of the auction, which ran Jan. 19-27. "Justice Ginsburg's library is no different, as it records her evolution from student (and voracious reader) to lawyer and law professor, to judge and finally, Justice of the United States Supreme Court."

Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's library sells for nearly $2.4 million at auction

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