Book That Was Checked Out In 1910 Finally Returned To Library 111 Years Later

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on : 26 Nov 2021 16:33
Book Returned to Library After Over A Century - Boise Public Library/ Facebook/ Alamy Boise Public Library/Facebook/Alamy

A library book has finally been returned a staggering 111 years after it was checked out. 

Initially, the book, titled New Chronicles of Rebecca was returned and checked into Garden City Library, but it was sent back to its rightful location after the Boise Public Library sticker was noticed.


Library assistant Anne Marie Martin noted her ‘surprise’ at the book’s return to the library.

Martin explained how she had always ‘kind of wondered what [the book’s] story was and how it ended up there’, Idaho News reports.

‘Was it in somebody’s box, did somebody pass away, did they move you know, what happened? We’ll never know but you could imagine all types of fun stories about it,’ she said.


Martin noted how ‘weird’ it was to have the book finally returned and finding there was ‘no record of [it] in [their] catalogue’.

Martin stated:

This is things you don’t know about the Carnegie public library in Boise and it’s from August 4th from 1912. This having been lost sometime in November, December of 1911 was reflected in this library report.

Here’s a passage here that talks about inventory, books worn out, 159, lost and paid for 6, kept by subscribers 13, and missing 173. Obviously, this one wasn’t worn out, but it was either lost and paid for, kept by a subscriber or missing.


The book originally cost $1.50 and if the library had still charged a late fee, it would have incurred over $800. However, in 2019 the library stopped charging for books that were overdue.

Despite how old the book was and how late it was eventually returned, Martin said it was in ‘great’ condition and is a ‘really good example of what libraries used to go before they had barcodes and things.’

However, the paper slip from the book was not in it and so Martin won’t be able to tell who took the book out.


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Topics: News, book


Idaho News 6
  1. Idaho News 6

    'It was pretty overdue': Boise library book returned 110 years after being checked out