Even in the 19th century, overdue books attracted fines!

Whilst cataloguing the collection of 18th century books on loan to the Research Collections from Worcester City Library, one of our volunteers found a notice pasted into the cover of one in 1881, warning 19th century borrowers of the terrible consequences of keeping hold of overdue books.

It seems to date from a time when the Library operated by subscription, so readers who had purchased double shares, could keep books longer.  Frankly, trying to work out the fines system gave our team quite the headache.  It seems the best course of action was simply to return your books on time!

The overdue warning notice in full. From the loans form on the left, it appears this book hardly went out on loan…