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NEWS: Rare book collection to be auctioned in San Francisco

  • About 1,000 history books from the acclaimed collection of the late John McClelland Jr. — former longtime editor and publisher of The Daily News — will go on the auction block today in California.

    McClelland was a noted regional historian and collected books about the Northwest for much of his adult life. All told, the avid reader had about 3,000 books in his Seattle library home, daughter Genevieve Lee said Wednesday.

    The highlight of today's auction likely will be McClelland's copy of the first edition of George Vancouver's accounts of his travels and atlas - valued between $25,000 and $35,000, according to auction officials. Several other books and maps will be sold in more than 300 "lots" or collections.

    McClelland and his family began downsizing about two years ago, including selling his prized golf book collection in February. His Northwest history books, though, were too precious for McClelland to part with while still alive.

    "He wanted to keep those with him," Lee said. "He knew (auctioning them) was the plan but wanted to have the Northwest books around while he was alive."

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