Reed Gallery exhibition celebrates A.H. Reeds original gift to Dunedin

By Dunedin Public Libraries | Posted: Friday March 2, 2018

The latest Reed Gallery exhibition marks the seventieth anniversary of A.H. Reeds original gift of his rare book and manuscript collection, officially donated to the Dunedin Public Library in 1948 in commemoration of the centenary of the founding of the province of Otago.

The founding collection, of several hundred printed and manuscript books and more than 1,000 autograph letters, was named the Alfred and Isabel Reed Collection, in his honour and in memory of his beloved late wife.

Reed’s collecting was largely driven by his philanthropic nature and he desired to build a collection that could be handled and studied, not just admired from a distance.

The exhibition showcases a range of items which were part of Reed’s original gift of 1948, including medieval manuscripts, biblical works, ‘association’ books, Dickensiana and other ‘books of unusual interest’ as Reed enigmatically described them.

The exhibition prominently features examples of two of Reed’s notable hobbies which derived from his collecting: his hand-illuminated autograph letter albums, and extra-illustrated or ‘grangerized’ books.

The Reed Gallery is located on the Third Floor of the City Library. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

By Deed of Gift: The Founding of the Reed Collection, 1948
16 March to 8 July 2018, Reed Gallery

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