The Gest Oriental Library at Princeton University
The Gest Oriental Library was founded by two men, Guion Moore Gest and his friend and adviser Commander I. V. Gillis. Mr. Gest (1864–1948) was a Quaker in religion and an engineer by profession. In 1914 he founded in New York City the construction engineering firm bearing his name, which specialized in laying underground electrical conduits and which did important engineering work in South America and Asia as well as in the United States and Canada. It was during one of his business visits to China that Mr. Gest met Commander Gillis, then Naval Attaché at the United States Legation in Peking, who later was to resign his naval commission and become Mr. Gest’ s adviser and agent in the selection and purchase of the Chinese books which now form the Gest Oriental Library. In a true sense, Gillis (who died also in 1948) was a cofounder of the Gest Library.