- Early Gifts of A.H. Reed
Handwritten document of Free Pardon, in the matter of Eleanor Bradshaw and Margaret Jones, signed by Queen Victoria, with embossed royal seal, dated 18 March 1842.
Case 1 contains some of A.H. Reed’s earliest gifts to Dunedin Public Library. Although initially avoidant of publicity, Reed had decided by the late 1920s to build up a significant collection of books and manuscripts which he would eventually donate to the Library. Records show however that he openly made numerous one-off donations starting in 1926.
As recorded in the Library’s Donation book, 1 December 1908-11 May 1956, Reed’s early gifts included: a document with the signature of Queen Victoria, donated in May 1926. The document dates from the fifth year of her reign, at which time she was in her early twenties. The Queen’s clemency is extended to two women convicted respectively of larceny and embezzlement in the county of Shropshire.
Blackwood's Edinburgh magazine. Vol. 147, no.24 (December, 1828).
Another of Reed’s earliest gifts to the Library was a December 1828 issue of Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, from the library of essayist and poet Charles Lamb (1775-1834) donated in September 1926.
B.L. Farjeon. A young girl’s life: a novel. London: Ward and Downey, 1889. Three volumes, Vol. 1 displayed.
In March 1927 Reed donated this three-volume, autographed copy of Benjamin Farjeon’s A young girl’s life. The author worked at the newly established Otago Daily Times and lived in Dunedin from 1861-1867 before returning to England to further his career as a novelist.
James George Frazer. Adonis, Attis, Osiris: studies in the history of oriental religion. 3rd edition. London: Macmillan, 1914. Two volumes; Vol. 2 displayed.
Another early one-off gift from Reed, donated in February 1935, was a single volume of Adonis, Attis, Osiris from the library of Shackleton’s 1914 Antarctic Expedition.
A.H. & A.W. Reed. First New Zealand Christmases. Dunedin: A.H. Reed, 1933.
As well as rare book and manuscript materials, Reed’s early gifts included items published by his own company, such as this first edition of First New Zealand Christmases, donated in October 1933.