How do I find the date on an old book The Scarlet Letter I believe its late 1800s to early 1900s can not find this book any where.
the book has an r5 on the lower outside binder there are little dots with leaf like design and a rectangle in the middle with scarlet letter
There are several routes you can go to see what date your book was published in. First, go to any academic library and go to the stacks to see if any of the copies that they have match yours. I suggest that you go to the public university library, since you will have access. Your taxes allow you this. If you strike out there, ask the area librarian. They get paid to know things like this or at least know how to find things out. Finally, you can go to a used book dealers who specializes in things like this. I suggest that you do a google search. I am sure that there will be many bookstores around.
For most purposes in college, such as an entry in a Works Cited list, the date you need is the original publication date, not the date a particular cover style was used. The Scarlet Letter was published in 1850 according to Wikipedia and another site, both provided as reference links.
You might not be able to find the date a particular binding was used, but if you really need to, your best bet is probably to ask a librarian to put you in touch with someone with a lot of experience in book collecting or preservation--they're probably the most likely to recognize it or be able to find information about it.