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Where It Belongs

A former University of Dayton student just returned a library book ? checked out 49 years ago.

James Phillips, of Minnesota, mailed the History of the Crusades back to campus, along with this note to the Roesch Library:

“Please accept my apologies for the absence of the enclosed book History of the Crusades. I apparently checked it out when I was a freshman student and somehow it got misplaced all these years.”

When contacted, Phillips explained he borrowed the book in 1967 either for a history class or his general interest, but left school and joined the U.S. Marines.

He believes someone gathered his belongings from his dorm room and sent them to his parents’ house, where they stayed until his parents passed away — his father in 1994 and his mother in 2002. The items were then mistakenly sent to his younger brother.

“He eventually realized the error and to my great surprise I received a box of goods from him. Lo and behold! Among those items in the box was the History of the Crusades book,” Phillips said.

“I apologize for my oversight in not returning the book before I left the University of Dayton, but I feel much relieved knowing now that it has finally made its way home to where it belongs,” he said.

Katy Kelly, University of Dayton communications and outreach librarian, said there was no record the book was missing.

“It was interesting to see a book that had no evidence of our modern technology returned. It still has the old borrowing card stamped with dates back to 1950,” she said. “It was very thoughtful of him to do this because not everyone would choose to return it after so long.”

The policy in 1967 allowed students to keep items for 14 days, and face a fine of 2 cents a day after that. Of course, the library will not be charging a late fee — which, in this case, would amount to about $350.

The book will go back into circulation once a barcode is applied.

The University of Dayton Libraries consist of Roesch Library, University Archives and Special Collections, and the Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, which is the world's largest repository of books, artwork and artifacts devoted to Mary, the mother of Christ.


News and Communications Staff