British Library mislays 9,000 books

An 1876 illustrated edition of Alice in Wonderland is among the missing books.

More than 9,000 books are missing from the British Library, including Renaissance treatises on theology and alchemy, a medieval text on astronomy, first editions of 19th- and 20th-century novels, and a luxury edition of Mein Kampf produced in 1939 to celebrate Hitler’s 50th birthday. The library believes almost all have not been stolen but rather mislaid among its 650km of shelves and 150m items – although some have not been seen in well over half a century. One item, an essay entitled Of the Lawful and Unlawful Usurie Amongest Christians, by 16th-century German theologian Wolfgang Musculus, is valued by the library at £20,000, and has not been seen for almost two years. Others are precious only to a specialist market, such as a set of tables of 1930s London cab fares, or the 1925 souvenir history of Portsmouth Football Club. (continue)

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