Sunday, November 20, 2016

Another book finds its proper home

It has been an outstanding autumn for returning books and ephemera to the families that should rightfully have them. Earlier this month, I told the story of A Little Maid of Massachusetts Colony and its reunion with a woman who penned a short inscription inside many decades ago.

Not long after, I received an email about some law textbooks (and the papers inside) that had belonged to Elbert Nostrand Carvel, who had two stints as the governor of Delaware between 1949 and 1965. I wrote about these Carvel books way back in 2011. So it was a surprise when, 274 weeks after that post, I received this email from a reader named Lisa:
I was browsing on the net today and came across your website. Very interested to read about the items related to Elbert Carvel (my grandfather) — especially the survey from the yearbook. (BTW he married a brunette at the age of 22. During a snowstorm. During Prohibition. Had to use his handkerchief dabbed with spirits from his flask to clear the windscreen and when he arrived his bride-to-be said "Nos! Have you been drinking?!") We have a lot of info about him, but not so much in his early years. Can you tell me about the stuff you have about him?
I only had one of Carvel's textbooks still in my possession — 1914's Handbook of the Law of Municipal Corporations. It was sitting on a shelf alongside some other older books. I had kept this one because it was the volume with all of the old Carvel-related papers inside — study notes, the University of Baltimore class survey that I detailed in 2011 and more. I didn't want to sell or donate a book with that much personal history inside.

Clearly, though I couldn't have known it, I was just waiting for Lisa to get in touch!

And, clearly, this book had to get back into the hands of the Carvel family.

Lisa gave me her address and I shipped the book, with its papers tucked inside. Another happy ending. After it arrived, I received this short note:
The book came on Tuesday! I'm very happy to have it and will be sharing with my siblings at Thanksgiving. Thank you very much! And a little packet is on its way to you.
"Little packet" was quite the understatement! Linda, as an incredibly generous gesture of thanks, sent me a manila envelope filled with amazing ephemera. Look at all of these items! You will surely be reading about these in multiple future Papergreat posts. Thank you, Linda.

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