A turn-up for the books

by Laurence Worms - Ash Rare Books

A Monument of Fame

The latest issue of The Spectator (13 April 2013) contains a long article by Professor James Carley about a remarkable group of books which has miraculously found its way back to Lambeth Palace Library after many decades.

Early in 1975 the Lambeth Palace Librarian noticed a troubling gap on the shelves where some important books had been kept. The books could not be found and a search of the rest of the Library showed that this gap was not unique. On examining the card catalogue it was discovered that the catalogue cards for the missing items had also been removed. This made it difficult to ascertain exactly what was missing but it was thought that around sixty items had been removed from the Library. The police were informed and the bookselling community notified. None of the books was recovered, however, and the trail went cold.

Over thirty-five years later, in February 2011, the newly appointed Librarian, Giles Mandelbrote, was contacted by…

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