On the night of Tuesday, August 19, 1969, a thief dressed in black walked into Harvard University’s Widener Library. He carried a backpack holding a ball-peen hammer, a screwdriver, a chisel, masking tape, rope, a crow bar, and electricians’ gloves. Once he reached the top floor, he hid inside a men’s bathroom until the doors locked for the night. He was virtually alone with 8 million volumes.

Aaron Skirboll