Friday, May 13, 2011

The Mother of All Overdue Library Book Stories

215-year-old book returned to library. (AP article in the San Jose Mercury News, 5/12/2011)

Excerpt:   A 215-year-old book that was part of the first lending library in Camden, Maine, has been returned.

Oliver Goldsmith's "History of England, Vol. 1" was returned recently by a Southern California man who found it among volumes collected by his grandfather, a former Portland police officer known to browse the city's book markets. The book's first printing was in 1790; the Camden copy is thought to date to 1796.

The original library, thde Federal Society Library of "Cambden," was founded in 1796 and disbanded by 1826. It's unclear how the book made its way to Portland, where it ended up with the grandfather of Chuck Regan of Thousand Oaks.

From the Camden (Maine) Public Library website:

History.    The first library established in Camden was known as the Federal Society’s Library, and was started in 1796 with a collection of 200 books. At that time, Camden was a very small town consisting of 15 houses centered around the harbor. The Federal Society’s Library operated for 34 years until the books were sold at auction.

So what is the procedure for returning a book to a library that doesn't exist anymore?

Related articles:
Another long overdue library book story, another serving of catnip to the media.  (12/9/2010)
Library book returned 99 years later.  (12/16/2009)
54 years overdue, but $1,750 fine forgiven.  (12/14/2009)

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