Monday, Aug 26, 2019 5:30 PM
On Saturday August 24th we celebrated eleven years as custodians of Brisbane's 'Temple of Logos', Archives Fine Books. It was an intimate gathering of family and friends once again catered by our dear friend and affineuse Wendy Downes of The Cheeseboard who helped put everyone in a celebratory frame of mind. Another cherished friend Nicole Tate added to the ambience of the evening with a beautiful repetoire played on an exquisite cross strung harp.
The formalities were short and sweet. Hamish spoke with great warmth about the behind-the-scenes role our family has played in making our eleven years at Archives Fine Books not only a story of survival but one of success. And he acknowledged the achievements of the past twelve months including our new and very fine front counter (thanks peteandchademade), the website upgrade (thanks Luke and Mat and everyone at Bibliopolis) and joining AbeBooks - a move that has faciliated us sending books all over the world.
Then it was Dawn's turn to announce the Archives Fine Book Collecting Prize. This initiative has been in the pipe-line for the past 2-3 years and is a first of its kind in Australia. Following in the tradition of established book prizes overseas, the prize aims to acknowledge young collectors and encourage them in their quiet obsessions. However unlike most book prizes this one does not require applicants to be enrolled in a tertiary instiution. Dawn spoke of the inspiration she and Hamish felt when Heather O'Donnell and Rebecca Romney of Honey and Wax (Brooklyn) established their Book Collecting Prize for Young Women in 2017. With a mission to contribute to the intellectual, cultural and aesthetic life of Brisbane, Dawn and Hamish decided to make their prize a local one for young collectors of the Greater Brisbane area up to the age of 35. You can learn more about the Archives Fine Book Collecting Prize here.
Dawn then introduced Simon Farley of the Fryer Library (University of Queensland) who will be one of four judges of the inaugural prize. Simon recalled early memories associated with the romance of books and with his usual warmth and good nature offered to bring his experience with special collections and his affection for books in general to his role as judge. The other three judges in 2020 will be Hamish Alcorn (Archives Fine Books), Samantha Puttick (illustrator and collector) and Helen Cole (Rare Books Librarian).
The rest of the evening passed in gentle good cheer. We are grateful to our guests for their fine form in helping us celebrate another milestone.