Here at the RBMSCL, we ask our researchers to put everything they won’t need for their research in lockers, and we present them with their very own padlock to use during their visit. (Other special collections libraries do this, too, as it helps to keep our unique materials safe and secure.)
Occasionally, a padlock doesn’t make it back to us at the end of a research visit—and we have extras, so we don’t fret. But a very kind and conscientious patron discovered one of our padlocks at the bottom of her bag upon her return to the United Kingdom and sent it all the way back to us here in Durham. Thanks, lovely patron, and come visit us again soon!
Thanks to Josh Larkin-Rowley, Research Services Assistant, and Rachel Ingold, Curator for the History of Medicine Collections, for suggesting this post and to Beth Doyle, Head of Conservation Services and editor of Preservation Underground, for taking the photograph!