Thursday, August 8, 2013

Long Overdue: Borrowed Library Book Returned After 185 Years

A history book checked out of a library has finally been returned...185 years after it was borrowed!

The book, volume two of a series titled Ancient Civilizations by distinguished author Charles Rollin, was checked out of the Centre College's Grace Doherty Library in Danville, Kentucky, on July 21, 1854. At the time, Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States, and Kentucky was still a slave state. Someone had inscribed a rather intriguing note in the back of the book which reads, "From this date, I shall eat neither meat nor gravy."

The overdue book was recently discovered in the nearby Kentucky School for Deaf. An inscription in the book states it was originally published and placed in the library's collection in the year 1828.

The director of the library states that there are eight volumes in the series Ancient Civilizations and that all of the volumes have disappeared from the library's extensive inventory over the years. The returned volume is potentially worth a great deal of money and an important historical find, so it more than likely will not be available for library-goers to check out in the future. If late charges were to be imposed on the overdue title at ten cents a day, the late charge would amount to almost  $7000.

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