500-year-old missing book returned after 100 years

Monday 05 March 2012 20.48
The book has been missing from Archbishop Marsh's Library in Dublin for more than a century
The book has been missing from Archbishop Marsh's Library in Dublin for more than a century

A book printed almost 500 years ago, which has been missing from Archbishop Marsh's Library in Dublin for more than a century, has made its way back home.

The book is part of a five-volume set of the works of the Greek philosopher and physician Galen.

It was returned to the library on Friday by a Dublin barrister who had found it in a junk shop.

According to Dr Jason McElligott from Marsh's Library, the book was printed in Basle in Switzerland in 1538.

The particular translation was done by a Theodore Gulston and the pages are marked with Gulston's revisions for a future edition.

The five volumes had been in the library's collection since 1701, until about 100 years ago when one of the volumes was seen to be missing.

On Friday, a barrister, known only as PG, returned the book to the library.

He had purchased it along with an antique mirror at a junk shop for €90.

He became suspicious and brought the book to Marsh's Library, where the librarians recognised it as their own.

Staff at the library say the book is in "remarkably good condition" and they are "delighted to have an old friend back".