A history book about the US has been returned to a library in California, almost 100 years overdue. The copy of Benson Lossing’s A History of the United States, published in 1881, was returned to St Helena public library in Napa Valley earlier this month. It had been due back on 21 February 1927.
At the time the book was borrowed, fines for overdue titles were a nickel (five cents) a day, meaning Jim Perry, who had the book, theoretically owed about $1,756 (£1,417). Luckily for him, the library scrapped late fines in 2019.
Perry found the copy in a box of books that belonged to his late wife, Sandra Learned Perry, according to the St Helena Star. He told the newspaper that he was “pretty sure” her grandfather, John McCormick, a descendant of one of St Helena’s oldest pioneer families, was the original borrower of the book.
Perry originally returned A History of the United States to the library’s front desk without leaving his name, but was tracked down after the library appealed for more information about the book’s history.
Library staff suspect the book was one of 540 volumes originally available from the Free Public Library, a predecessor to St Helena Public Library. The book has now been placed in a glass display case at the library’s entrance.
The Guinness World Record for an unreturned and overdue library book is held by a book owned by Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. The history book, written in German, was borrowed in 1667 or 1668 by Colonel Robert Walpole, the father of Sir Robert Walpole, regarded as the first prime minister of Great Britain.
It was discovered by Prof John Plumb while he was working on a biography of Walpole, and returned to Sidney Sussex on 16 January 1956, at least 287 years overdue.
Other late-returned books include the first in WFP Napier’s four-volume History of the War in the Peninsula and in the South of France, which was looted from a US library during the American civil war and returned in 2009, almost 145 years overdue.
In 2016, a copy of The Microscope and Its Revelations that was borrowed from the library at Hereford Cathedral school by a pupil, Arthur Boycott, was returned more than 120 years after it was first borrowed.
( Information from politico.com was used in this report. Also if you have any problem of this article or if you need to remove this articles, please email here and we will delete this immediately. [email protected] )