May 27, 2022

Late Heiress Leaves $20 Million to NY Public Library and Central Park Conservancy

From the WSJ:

A late widow who lived in a modest New York City apartment, eschewed fancy jewelry and favored track suits over furs has surprised friends by leaving a $20 million fortune to the New York Public Library and a nonprofit group that looks after Central Park.

Mary McConnell Bailey died at age 88 in 2011.

From The NY Post:

The library and Central Park Conservancy recently got checks for $10 million each.


Even the library didn’t know how much she was going to donate.

“I met her many times and had lunch with her twice, but I cannot remember her voice. That’s how soft-spoken she was,” said John Bacon, the library’s director of planned giving.


Bailey’s family had owned shares in the Roaring Spring Blank Book Co., which produces the marble-cover notebooks nearly every schoolkid uses.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.