In an email to the Yale community earlier today, President Peter Salovey disclosed that the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, purportedly shut down for a major renovation, was actually closed after he lost every one of the university’s rare books and manuscripts.

“I’m really sorry, gang,” Salovey wrote. “I should have told you that we had to close the library because I totally blanked on where I left the several million volumes housed in Beinecke. I was just really embarrassed and I panicked and I thought I’d give myself a little extra time to put my hands on them, and the whole renovation thing seemed like such a perfect story.”

Salovey reassured students and faculty that he was doing everything he could to reclaim the missing documents.

“I’ve retraced my steps at least a hundred times,” Salovey wrote. “I’ve checked my bedside table, my office, that room with the really tall shelves where I use the Gutenberg Bible as a stepstool, my car. Everywhere, really.”

While admitting he should have come clean sooner, Salovey defended his initial deception as an understandable action given the circumstances.

“I mean, come on, guys. Let he who hasn’t told a little white lie to give himself the requisite time to locate a priceless collection of historical texts cast the first stone. I think I read that in my stepstool.”

“On an unrelated note,” Salovey continued. “If anyone has seen a check made out for $250 million, please let me know.”

—A. Kinnane