Newspaper files gifted to museum

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 09:36 24/06/2014
Bill Thomas
FAIRFAX NZ
SAFE KEEPING: Former Marlborough Express librarian Bill Thomas categorises bound copies of every Marlborough Express newspaper since the publication began in 1866, at the Marlborough Museum.

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One hundred and forty eight years of Marlborough's reported history has been moved into the possession of the Marlborough Museum.

The Marlborough Express has gifted its bound newspaper collection, dating back to 1866, to the museum. The collection includes every copy of the Express, Marlborough Midweek, Saturday Express and Kaikoura Star.

General manager Vanessa Watson said with plans to move into a new building next year, it was time the "precious archives" were put in the hands of the experts.

"We've always had a close relationship with the Marlborough Museum and they were very happy to accept our donation."

Keeping the papers at the museum would ensure public access to the collection, Watson said.

The archives, previously kept at the Express building on Arthur St, in Blenheim, were often used by people for family research, projects and assignments. Watson said people who used them would often lose track of time and be in library for hours.

"It is actually really consuming, if you ever have to go back and look up something you know you're going to waste an hour because you end up browsing. It's really fascinating."

The archives served as a day-to-day record of events as they unfolded, and were also an indicator of changing times, Watson said.

"The advertisements talk about the culture of the times in ways I think stories can't," she said.

The Express would continue to donate bound copies of every Marlborough Express newspaper to the museum as they were bound each year.

"It's very good to have it in the hands of the experts, where they are all looked after, and available to the public where they can still do their research," Watson said.

The museum is based at Brayshaw Park, 26 Arthur Baker Place, Blenheim.

kat.duggan@mex.co.nz

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