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Librarian Finds 400-Year-Old Butterfly Inside Book

Librarian Finds 400-Year-Old Butterfly Inside Book

Thursday, 13 May, 2021 - 05:15
FILE - A monarch butterfly clings to a plant at the Monarch Grove Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, California, Dec. 30, 2014. Reuters

A Librarian found a 400-year-old butterfly pressed between the pages of an ancient library book.

According to The Metro, the perfectly preserved small tortoiseshell specimen was found inside a 1634 copy of Theatre of Insects, Britain's earliest tome on the subject.

Librarian Jenni Lecky-Thompson, who made the discovery at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, said: "It is common to find botanical specimens inside old books, but unusual to find an insect specimen. This one could have been put there by the first owner back in the 17th century. If so it is amazing it has survived there for so long."

"I've had some discussion with rare books experts and they think it most likely that the butterfly has been inside the book for centuries. It definitely wasn't placed there by anyone since its arrival at Trinity Hall. As it is a valuable rare book it is kept securely locked away in a bookcase," she added.

The book was donated to the college by the family of former student Lawrence Strangman, who died in 1980. Trinity Hall, which has had the book in its collection since 1996, revealed the butterfly is as colorful as the day it was pressed between the book's pages.

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