More than a century after it was checked out, a book has been returned to the Boise, Idaho public library.
“New Chronicles of Rebecca” by Kate Douglas Wiggin was checked out in 1911, according to Fox News. The book, published in 1907, was a sequel to the 1903 classic “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.”
Both books followed the life of Rebecca Rowena Randall as she grows up in rural Maine.
“New Chronicles of Rebecca” had been borrowed 15 times before it was taken out in 1911, according to a library slip in the book.
New Chronicles of Rebecca – originally checked out from Boise’s Carnegie Public Library in 1910! – was recently returned. With a fine of two cents per day for 111 years, whoever checked out this book would owe $803–thank goodness the Boise Public Libraries are now fine free! pic.twitter.com/csDeRNK5L7
— Boise Public Library (@boisepublib) November 16, 2021
It was returned to the Garden City Library and they kindly sent it over to us!
— Boise Public Library (@boisepublib) November 17, 2021
“We don’t have any info about where it was from,” said Lindsey Driebergen, interim communications manager for the Boise Public Library system.
The book might have spent the last century in an attic “because it was really well taken care of,” Driebergen said.
“The cover was in great shape, all of the pages were crisp, nothing was missing, all the images were there,” she said.
There is one little flaw. The library’s copy has a binding that gives the author’s last name as “Wiggins.”
“Probably that was a mistake from the Pioneer Library Bindery,” said Anne Marie Martin, an assistant at the main library.
She said library books are often rebound with a stiffer binding, which is when the mistake might have happened.
Although the Boise library, which abolished fines for late books in 2019, does not plan to collect any cash from the book’s borrower, it would like some information.
“We’re hoping someone comes forward and says, ‘Hey, it was my grandma’s book,’” Driebergen said.
“If we had a little bit of understanding as to the history of it, we’d love to hear it,” she added. “There’s obviously no fines or anything that would be implemented.”
That record concerns a book in German on the Archbishop of Bremen that was published in 1609 and was borrowed from Sidney Sussex College at Cambridge University by Col. Robert Walpole in 1667 or 1668.
The book was found 288 years later. It was returned in 1956 with no fines required.
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