There is usually much more to any story about historic collections than the headlines. The Mendham Collection, about which I wrote the other day, is a good example. My piece of course simplified the story a bit to make the point that deposit collections are at risk of sale and break-up, even if well used and if they seem to be protected by funding conditions and other legal stuff. I thought I’d share some more detail that came my way.
This comment by Michael Hall on the “About” page offers interesting information on the original receipt of the books by the Law Society. And this email from Clive Field to the religious-archives mailing list gives more insight into what happened this year and the detail of what did and didn’t sell at Sothebys.
The story is not over yet. As Clive Field says, “It remains unclear what will happen next. The collection is now effectively in three parts: a) lots which were offered for sale … but which failed to find a buyer, and which are with Sotheby’s; b) other items removed by Sotheby’s from Canterbury Cathedral last July, with a view to sale, and which are presumably still with Sotheby’s; c) the substantial “rump” of the collection which remains at Canterbury, at least pending the expiry of the loan agreement with the Society on 31 December 2013.” Not to mention the fourth part: the books which were sold.