Bookstore seeks owner of 1930s autograph book

The autograph book was given to Margaret MacQueen on her 11th birthday on December 21, 1931. City Lights Bookshop discovered the book, along with school workbooks in the basement of the shop.

City Lights Bookshop discovered the small green autograph book in the basement of the shop

The autograph book was given to Margaret MacQueen on December 21, 1931. (Rebecca Zandbergen/CBC News)

This month, staff at City Lights Bookshop discovered an old box in the basement at the shop on Richmond Street.

Inside were treasures that told the story of a young London girl growing up in the city. 

Margaret MacQueen's small green leather book, with the word 'Autographs' embossed on the cover in gold calligraphy, has the bookstore searching for her family. 

The first page of the autograph book reveals information about the owner. (Rebecca Zandbergen/CBC News)

The inscription inside suggests the book was given to her on her 11th birthday. The date is December 21, 1931. 

"It was the little bits of somebody's life - that little box that we all have," said Teresa Tarasewicz, co-owner of City Lights, on Richmond Street. 

"The fact that she got it at 11 years old makes it even more special. Everyone gets a little diary at some point in their lives, and you write out your thoughts and what you think," Tarasewicz said. 

The autograph book is filled with lovely messages from friends, including funny ones such as, "When you are married and get twins, call on me for safety pins" from school friend Ruth, and the more somber "Life is not always a path of roses," from 'loving friend' Mary. 
Teresa Tarasewicz, co-owner of City Lights bookstore on Richmond Street, holds up the autograph book she found in a box of belongings at the bookstore. (Kate Dubinski/CBC News)

The box, found by the book clerks in the basement of City Lights, also contains workbooks and geography lessons, as well as a telegram. 

"The things that we save make no sense," said Tarasewicz. 

Tarasewicz is particularly interested in a certificate of health from a nurse in Saskatchewan, and a telegram.

Items found in a box in the basement of City Lights bookstore. The items date back to 1931. (Kate Dubinski/CBC News)

There is also a love letter typed for Margaret from a beau that ends, "I will leave the last part of the letter blank so you can fill it in how you want it to end." 

Margaret had filled in the words "I love you." 

The box and its contents have been given to the London Room at the library.