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Book Returned to Scottish Library 73 Years Late

By November 24, 2021Libraries, News

A book has been returned to a Scottish Library more than 73 years late.

The staff at Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries received the book in a parcel sent by the borrower’s daughter along with a letter.

The book, Stately Timber by Rupert Hughes, is an adventure story set in Boston, and should have been returned to the library on November 6th, 1948.

Donna Dewar, of Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries, said: “I burst out laughing when I opened the parcel, I couldn’t believe it.

“We had a book returned to our Rosyth branch after 14 years recently, which we thought was amazing enough, but this was way beyond anything we’ve heard of.”

Donna Dewar added: “For a bit of fun we worked out how much could have been due in fees and it comes to £2,847.

“It arrived with a lovely letter from the borrower’s daughter who was able to give us a bit of detail.”

In the letter, the borrower’s daughter explained her late father had previously lived in Fife in 1948, and didn’t know whether he forgot to return the book or had kept it on purpose.

She wrote” “I find it fascinating to see the dates of when this book was taken out, during the latter years of WW2, and that the war ended between stamps marked by librarians.

“Life goes on around momentous historical events.”

Christine McLean, OnFife’s head of cultural heritage and wellbeing, said: “We’re thrilled to have received it… and we look forward to finding a special place to display the book, and the story of its journey, in our local studies section.”



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