Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 1, Issue 4, December 1959
"The historical collection of Dr F. A. Bett is the richest gathering of material devoted to a single area that has been assembled in New Zealand." Mr C. R. H. Taylor, the chief librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, told a public meeting held on September 29, 1959, in the Old Folks' Hall under the auspices of the Nelson Historical Society.
The Bett Collection is being held in trust by the Turnbull Library until such time as suitable premises to house it are provided in Nelson, and mention was made of the old Marsden home in Isel Park as a property which should be bought by the city for the purpose.
Mr Taylor said that there were so far recorded over 350 manucsripts, many of which were substantial volumes. They concerned nearly every name that had been notable in Nelson history, such as Thomas Brunner, J. C. Richmond, J. W. Saxton, John Tinlino and Sir David Monro.
There were ships' logs, diaries of early settlers, records of business firms, documents of transactions and agreements, circulars, reports, notices, prospectuses, programmes, map books, cuttings, almanacs, directories and telephone books, guide books and year books.
These led to the printed material which was not exclusively Nelson, but practically every important book and pamphlet about Nelson or touching upon the area, was present, along with much of general New Zealand interest.