Saturday, March 10, 2007

Today's Mysterious Book-Theft Story

Shelf:Life links to this odd little story, a transcript from an Australian t.v. news program in which Macquarie University professor Don Barker tells a reporter that he discovered an apparent theft from the United Theological Seminary (in Dayton, OH) back in December.

"DON BARKER: It's a page from a codex, which is, ah, like our books today that we know today, not a roll, but a codex with pages and it's the first page of a book of what was probably a book of psalms.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: The Macquarie University academic recommended the police be called in.

DON BARKER: I said, 'do you know how much it's worth?' They said, 'no'. I said, 'well it's worth about $600,000'. Well they started to take a lot of interest in the manuscript then.


And I suggested that they get the police involved because I've got a feeling it was stolen. They made a real search of the whole library and everywhere else and couldn't find it."

Unfortunately the story contains no further information on the missing item, and I was unable to find any news reports noting the discovery of the theft or the investigation. There is an article in the Dayton Daily News from 30 November 2006 describing Barker's visit to the UTS, but it must have appeared before it was noticed that the codex leaf wasn't where it should be. So questions about this case remain unanswered. If anyone has any further information, feel free to pass it along.