'Dear Librarian, I fear this book is some 50 years overdue! Please don't just throw it out, now that I've taken the time and trouble to return it. It must be an 'antique' by now," the note reads.
The book has originally been due back in the summer of 1974, officials said. The book would have accrued late fees totaling $1,648.56 at the rate of 13 cents per day.
Suzanne Traue, subject liaison librarian for UCL Libraries, said she returned to her office after 18 months of working from home to find the book among a stack of items that had been placed on her desk.
"I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this book came with a note, but I think my jaw may literally have dropped when I read it," Traue said in a UCL Libraries news release.