The Farmington Library was in for an unexpected surprise when a town historian returned two long-overdue books about 200 years later.
The books, volumes 2 and 3 of "A History of Greece," were printed in Dublin in 1786 and are part of the library’s original collection.
"It’s a group of history buffs, or historians from town headed by Betty Coykendall, who’s phenomenal. She’s been a big part of our library for many years. I believe they were purchased on an online auction," said Terry Matava with the library.
The books were inscribed with the words "Mark Root’s Property" and stamped with "Phoenix Library."
"At one point it looks like it was property of Mark Root," said library community services coordinator Leah Farrell picking up one book. She’s the Library Community Services Coordinator. She then picked up the second book. “And as you can see in this book, he actually crossed it out at one point. And then again you can see here 'Phoenix Library.' This was one of the libraries in Farmington.”
So who is Mark Root? And what happened to the books after their sale to the Phoenix Library? The answers are still a mystery.
The books will now be stored in locked cases inside the library's Farmington Room, where the history collection is located.
"They’re back here 200 years later. It's like, wow. I just think that’s pretty neat," said Matava.
Once the two books have been catalogued, they will be available for the public to read. However, since they are fragile, they will not allowed to be checked out of the library.
Librarians plan to look for volume 1 of "A History of Greece" in hope of completing the collection.
About 800 books are returned to the library each day. Librarians said they are glad these books have returned home.