Jul 20, 2024  |  
 | Remer,MN
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Brad Matthews

NextImg:Copy of ‘Beowulf’ returned to Pennsylvania library 5 decades late

A copy of the medieval epic poem “Beowulf” was returned to the Sewickley Public Library in Pennsylvania recently, 54 years after it was checked out.

The book, a translation of old English done by Chauncey Brewster Tinker and published in 1902, was checked out in January 1969, the library said in a post on Instagram this month.

The library noted that, at the time, it had a late fee of 5 cents per day overdue. So now the fine would be almost $1,000.

The borrower, Carol McIntyre, brought it back to Sewickley when she returned to the area for Thanksgiving. In 1969, she had to read “Beowulf” in high school, but she was unable to find the book when it was time to return it.

“I was going through some of my books, and there it is! I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh,’” Ms. Mcintyre told Pittsburgh ABC affiliate WTAE-TV.

The library no longer has late fees and was happy to have the book back.

“As we celebrate our library’s enduring 150-year history, it is really incredible to have a part of it return during this celebratory year to add to our library’s continuing story,” the library wrote on Instagram.

The Sewickley library was not the only book repository in the state to receive a volume decades overdue recently.

Last month, a book sale returned a copy of the nautical adventure novel “The Cruise of the Esmeralda” to the Carbondale Public Library. That book was almost 120 years overdue, having been checked out in 1904.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at