What would YOU do if you found one of the two known surviving copies of the 1556 Italian History of the Dukes of Ferrara, Commentario Delle Cose di Ferrara? Hopefully, you too would return it to its rightful owner. 

OXFAM volunteer Andrew Chapman, a rare book specialist for the charity’s bookshop in St. Giles, returned the book the Royal Society, one of the world’s most eminent and the oldest academy in continuous existence.  The Oxford Time reported that this book once belonged to Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk in 1681. Apparently, it was one of the first books to form the Royal Society’s library.The book was identified by a small library stamp, reading “Royal Soc.” Nobody knows when it was removed from the library, but it could have been as early as 1681.

This was not the first important find for Chapman. In 2008, he identified the first edition of Rumour at Nightfall by Graham Green with sold for £15,000 in auction. To learn more about such news-worthy OXFAM finds, see OXFAM news release.