A Finnish library-goer moved to avoid 100 years of ten-pennies-a-week fines when he or she quietly returned a book that was on loan for more than a century.

The item was a bound copy of a 1902 volume of Vartija, an active religious monthly periodical at the time.

The library in Vantaa in southern Finland had long since lost track of the loan, but welcomed the book back to its collections.

'We are unclear when exactly it was borrowed and who returned it. There weren't any documents with it,' librarian Minna Saastamoinen said.

'There is an old note attached to the book which says there is a fine of 10 pennies a week for late returns,' she added.

The library sticker inside the cover, and the old-fashioned handwriting on it, showed the book was last officially loaned out at the beginning of the last century.

The periodical was borrowed such a long time ago that the Korso branch of the Vantaa library did not even exist when the book was borrowed.