Wednesday, April 11, 2007

They're Back! Bradman Follow Up

You may, or may not, remember this post from earlier this year. In it I had a little whinge about how I'd loaned two scrapbooks of original newspaper clippings about Sir Donald Bradman to the State Library in 2004 and how they'd then gone missing, presumably for all time. Well now I can share the rest of the tale. Mind you it'd help if you read the previous post first for the background information.

In around mid March of this year I received a text message, out of the blue, asking me to contact the Library. I thought, "Oh crap, not again!" but eventually I phoned. On the other end of the phone was a delightful young lady informing me that she'd located the books! Her story was that after Barry Gibbs passed away his office lay empty until early this year. Once the new person started moving into his old office she found boxes of paper and other office supplies, books and the like, which she turned over to the lady I spoke to. The boxes were then sorted through and in one were two scrap books. As she said, "I thought to myself, 'Can these be THOSE scrapbooks?' and thought I'd better check. Sure enough there were there, exactly as described and the sealer? Your name and contact details, albeit out of date, were inserted into the 1930 book." From there she called me and off we went.

I offered them to the Library as a research tool, so that the information could be scanned, before I took possession of the books. That all went ahead, although I believe that the Library felt that they had all the raw information already and didn't scan anything, and as of 1pm yesterday the books came back to me and with me they'll remain until such a time as I can work out what to do with them.

It was great to be able to sit down and re-read through them and see the information contained within. There's two books, both small sized books, the first book is just over 60 pages, the second is 80 pages plus. The first book covers the 1928/1929 Ashes series, which is notable for being the first Ashes series that Bradman played in, and the second book covers the 1930 Ashes series, in which Bradman exploded setting record after record (the scans on this entry are from the 1930 book - I'd love to scan the entire books but the 1929 book is very fragile and the original cover is long gone). The books are of the proper vintage and are complete with scorecards and relevant information for the games played. They cover the domestic series, along with the test matches, and have some stunning original clippings. Frustratingly the 1928/29 book says it's 'Vol I, No I' and references a second volume - I expect that whoever made these books at the time probably made several others. I wonder if they exist or are now lost to time? As for their worth, well you tell me - to some they'd be worthless, to others, well the sky might well be the limit. They're off limits for the duration now.

So a huge thanks to Suzy at the State Library - expect something nice to be on your desk by the end of the week. She went above and beyond the call, after all I'd told her that I expected that the books were lost and that I'd wait until they surfaced in an auction somewhere so I could try and buy them back, so she could have just kept quiet, not said a word and I'd have been none the wiser. Considering my day job it's refreshing to have some faith restored (plus I know that Shish just loves stories like this).

1 comment:

shishyboo said...

yes I do love stories like this and this one has a happy ending which is a bonus. YAY!