Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Les Brown Collection

Just over 6 weeks ago the Museum received its single largest donation from Paul Bowe, great friend and Executor of the Estate of the late Les Brown. Close to 600 books, hundreds of photographs and subject files arrived at the museum, literally, overnight. These were of course from Les’ library which he had built up over the previous 40 odd years and used to research and answer so many questions on Norfolk’s history.  

The work of sorting, cataloguing and deciding where the collection would be housed has consumed much time since then. The first big part of the job has now been completed thanks to Janelle Blucher and Sue Brian’s work processing all the books. They have recorded the details of each and entered a catalogue record so that they are all searchable. We made the decision to house the collection together rather than integrate it into our existing collection, so cleared away other items in the Guard House to allow them to fill ten entire bookshelf bays! The photo is of Janelle and Sue as they put the last book onto the shelves.

Janelle and Sue putting the last book on the bookshelf!
Helen Sampson has begun the task of going through the individual files – which amount to around ten, very full, boxes worth. As these are documented they will also be catalogued and hopefully housed alongside the books in filing cabinets.  What a wonderful problem for the museum – ‘where to fit all these resources?!’.

We had a comment on our Norfolk Island Museum facebook page the other day in relation to a post about the donation of Les’ materials to the museum. Pat said “My husband, Noel, & I were saddened to hear of the death of Les Brown. He was a great friend to us when we visited Norfolk Island & helped me immensely with my family research. We are so pleased that his wonderful collection of books & papers are with the Norfolk Island Museum”.

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