Poking around the Internet, I came across this description of the personal collection of American librarian Paula Peyraud, who assembled a vast and impressive collection of books, letters, and art for the Georgian period (1760–1820), including important work by Samuel Johnson, Jane Austen, and hundreds of less famous figures.
A more complete description of her collection can be found in this PDF, and if you’re interested in books and collecting it’s well worth a read. Though not my collecting vector, the collection Peyraud was amazing not only in quality (though she favored extensively hand-annotated works by contemporary figures over pristine copies), but also in the sheer vastness of her holdings. “By the time of Peyraud’s sad death in 2008, the complete collection ran to approximately half a million printed books.” Having assembled a bit over 1% of that number, the sheer size of her library (which she kept, meticulously cataloged, in a subterranean book gallery at the big family home she inherited) is stunning. I’m also tickled by the idea of an American librarian outbidding a Viscountess for a choice item.