Harold E. Perry, the former state employee who pleaded guilty of stealing numbers of precious documents and volumes from the state archives and Houghton and Widener libraries, was yesterday sentenced to 35 days of observation by state psychiatrists at the Westboro Hospital.
Found in Perry's Cambridge rooms at the time of his arrest were 40 books, six of which had been taken from University libraries. Police also discovered covers and opening leaves of "Cadenus and Vanesa," a 1726 work of Dean Jonathan Swift, known to have been taken from Houghton Library.
Although a Boston newspaper intimated yesterday that Perry might have destroyed the remainder of the "priceless" Houghton volume, University library authorities stated last night that he more likely removed the distinctive binding and opening pages because they identified the book as Harvard property.
Keyes D. Metcalf, University librarian and director of Widener Library, had previously stated that only a few volumes of "Americana" were missing from Harvard collections, adding, however, that there was no way of being certain because the library has taken no recent inventory.
Perry's Widener stack pass was revoked last year, and he never received permission to use Houghton. Official at Houghton stated yesterday that the stolen Swift volume was a small one, and that Perry might have picked it up during an attempt to sell books and documents to the library.