Eide Library will house one of the biggest collections of Asian works in U.S.

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Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 10:18 pm

SARASOTA-- The Elling Eide Library and Research Facility is just months away from opening up.

Located on 72 acres of property along Little Sarasota Bay, the library will house one of the largest collections of Asian works in the southeastern United States.

The library is named after the man whose family owns the land. Elling Eide grew up in Sarasota and graduated from Sarasota High School. He then attended Harvard, where he studied Asian languages.

"All his life, he had dreamed about building a facility and housing his collection of rare and interesting Chinese books," said Harold Mitchell, who is Eide's cousin and runs the Elling Eide Foundation.

According to Mitchell, the library will hold more than 60 thousand volumes of books.

The $7.5 million library will not be open to the public. Those permitted will be scholars who are accepted by the Foundation.

On Wednesday, Sarasota County Commissioners changed the zoning of the property to allow the Foundation to house scholars who wish to study at the facility.

Construction on the library will be completed this fall. It will open in early 2015.

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