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Jay Walker's library, as seen onstage at TED2008

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In February, Jay Walker lent TED a wall of priceless and geeky artifacts to serve as the stage set for TED2008. In the TEDTalks from this conference, behind the speakers (and inspiring them), you can see Walker’s Sputnik and his Enigma machine, his Star Wars stormtrooper helmet and his Gutenberg bible, and rows of manuscripts and objects from throughout history. Now, Walker has opened the doors of his amazing library to the press. Steven Levy for Wired sums up Walker’s passion for collecting:

What excites him … is using his treasures to make mind-expanding connections. He loves juxtapositions, like placing a 16th-century map that combines experience and guesswork — “the first one showing North and South America,” he says — next to a modern map carried by astronauts to the moon. “If this is what can happen in 500 years, nothing is impossible.”