Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Deceased Collections

This past Sunday, my family lost a wonderful Uncle to Prostate Cancer.  His service is this Friday and we're all just taking this week one day at a time.  However, I've always wondered what happens to people's collections when they pass away.  I mean, what will happen to my 1,000+ books when I'm gone?  Will my niece like the books I've picked out for her to add to her collection?  Or will she send them off to have them picked up by a charity because there's just too many?
With my Uncle passed on now, I know he has some books in his house in a spare room.  But I'm not sure who will get them.  He never specified who was going to be getting what from his Will; but I'm sure we will find out soon enough.

However, I have always wondered what happens to collections of famous people once they've passed on.  Did their families split up the books and share them around?  Or were they shipped off to a charity, a school or somewhere else?  Or did the unfortunate person who passed on not have a family to give their books to and the whole collection ended up being stuck somewhere else or given to a second-hand bookstore where it was split up completely?

So, have you ever picked up books from deceased relatives and found them to be a wonderful reminder of who they are?  I have.  I picked up my Grandparents' books - which are taking up a shelf here in my office.  And I have my Grandpa's complete collection of journals from 1926 - 1984.  What a life he had.  Grandpa may not have left a big mark in Australian history, but his journals speak of what kind of life it was over those decades; and that's just remarkable in itself.  Well, until my next post, happy reading!


  1. I am sorry to hear of the loss of your Uncle, I hope his service went well.

    I'm lucky enough to have some treasured books from my grandparents - they are mostly local history, but one is a gardening book that reminds me of them every time I use it.

    You're lucky to have the journals, have you thought of transcribing them & putting them online? Social history enthusiasts would love them.

    1. He's at peace now and that's the main thing.

      I've tried transcribing my Grandfather's journals - twice now - and each time, I lose them somewhere along the line. So, I've stopped trying and just kept them in his desk where the print will stay nice and safe and away from sunlight.
      But putting them online wouldn't be something my Grandpa would have wanted... he was such a traditional man. Didn't mind computers, but would have hated the internet. :)