Earlier this year we sadly lost Gavin McLean. In addition to his staggering historical output (sole or co-authoring 53 books, and editing a further 10), and his unfailing support and advocacy of public history, Gavin was a true bibliophile. His home library contains more than 15,000 volumes on just shy of 200 linear metres of shelving! A number of sub-collections of Gavin’s library are to be relocated to repositories where they will be utilised and appreciated, but this still only constitutes roughly half of Gavin’s library.
After pondering, and discussing ideas with many of those closest to Gavin, we (his executors) concluded that given his depth of association and support for public history, the most fitting course of action for the remainder of his collection is to offer these books up free to PHANZA members, or as we like to think of this community, ‘a good home’. As such we are holding an ‘open library’ this Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm, during which any PHANZA members are welcome to come and take what they would like. The address is 83 Volga Street, Island Bay. If you are visiting Wellington from out of town, feel free to take advantage of this offer.
Wide-ranging as Gavin’s interests were, there’s a bit of everything in there, but to highlight a few areas: three full bookcases of New Zealand history; four linear metres each of Australian and American history; about six metres of military history; nearly 15 metres of biography; and a good 20 metres of general history covering the spectrum from classical Greece to the present.
For any further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org