Seriously Overdue Book

On February 28 of this year, Mike Dau and his wife Paula, of Lake Forest, Illinois, made a special stop in Lexington on their way to vacation in Florida to return a book missing from the library at Washington and Lee — for 145 years.
Harry Goodheart, Class of 1966, the owner of Goodheart Books in Tryon, NC, facilitated the donation by arranging communication between Mr. Dau, owner of the book, and Laura Turner, Technical Services Librarian at the W&L University Library.
The book, History of the War in the Peninsula and in the South of France by W. F. P. Napier, was volume one of a four-volume set. An undated inscription in the book by a Union soldier named C.S. Gates refers to the book being removed during Hunter’s Raid in June 1864. On the title page, the handwritten “Washington College” mimics the title page of volume 2 that remained in the library collection. The bindings of the gift volume and volume 2 also are identical. The other volumes of the library’s set are bound differently and came to the library through another gift in the early 20th century.
Mr. Dau was excited to see the match between volumes 1 and 2. The only stipulation on the donation was that he not be charged any overdue fees for returning it!
For additional information, see these articles in the Lexington News-Gazette, Roanoke Times and Washington Post.
Robert Siegel interviewed Laura Turner on National Public Radio.
And Washington and Lee’s News Office prepared this news release.
W&L students, faculty, and staff can browse this compilation of (mostly) relevant articles, retrieved from the Newsbank Access World News database.