New York: Former US President  Thomas Jefferson's  private collection comprising a number of books has been discovered, more than 180 years after his heirs auctioned them to pay off his debts, a media report said.

Jefferson had huge collections, including 6,700 books that he sold to the Library of Congress in 1815 after the British burned Washington.

The former President right away started off with another collection that swelled to 1,600 books by the time he died on July 4, 1826. His relatives had auctioned that collection in 1829. But, there was no record of who bought the books.

Now, a team of researchers from the Jefferson Library at his home in Monticello traced the trove of 74 books in the collection of Washington University in St Louis, reportedly.

The books discovered were amid the last ones that the US's most bibliophilic president collected as well as read in the decade before he died, according to the researchers led by Endrina Tay.

In fact, in his retirement collection, the former President catalogued 1,600 books according to "the faculties of the human mind", like memory, reason and imagination, and then classified them further.

Many were in French or Italian.

"These books add a dimension to the study of the life of Jefferson at Monticello. They expand our understanding and give us a tangible connection. It helps us understand how Jefferson used his books -- whether they were well worn, which means he read them often.”

"Some have annotations, and two architectural volumes include notations of calculations that Jefferson made," Tay said to news daily.


(With Agency inputs)