Lapidus Initiative for Early American Inquiry

Renowned book collector Sid Lapidus has donated $1 million to Iona University’s Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS), establishing the Lapidus Initiative for Early American Inquiry to preserve and advance the study of early American history and the humanities.

Thanks to this support, the ITPS will expand our efforts in creating student and scholarly opportunities as well as public and community partnerships. Included in this work will be the continued preservation and digitization of the Thomas Paine National Historical Association collection of Paine-related archival materials, memorabilia, and artifacts.

From an early age, Mr. Lapidus was intrigued by Paine, writer, philosopher, and Enlightenment theorist whose influential works include Common Sense, Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason. Paine’s cottage sits near New Rochelle High School, which Mr. Lapidus attended while a resident of New Rochelle.

A longtime trustee of the New-York Historical Society, Mr. Lapidus has collected significant troves of historical materials. A previous donation he made to Iona included a library of research on Thomas Paine and the influence of his thought on the transatlantic Age of Revolutions.