Thursday, April 25, 2013

The curious tale of the stolen books...

London's Lambeth Palace, home to the Archbishop of Canterbury, also has a leading historic book collection. The palace's library was the scene of a major crime that stayed undiscovered for decades.

A sealed letter that arrived at one of Britain's most historic libraries in February 2011 was to leave its staff stunned.

The letter had been written before his death by a former employee of Lambeth Palace Library. Forwarded shortly after he died by the man's solicitor, it revealed the whereabouts of many of the library's precious books.

Staff had known since the mid-1970s that dozens of its valuable books had been stolen. But they had no idea of the true extent of the losses until the letter led them to the man's house in London.

"We were staggered," says Declan Kelly, director of libraries and archives for the Church of England. "A couple of my colleagues climbed into the attic. It was piled high to the rafters with boxes full of books. I had a list of 60 to 90 missing books, but more and more boxes kept coming down." Full story...

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