Journal of the Nelson and Marlborough Historical Societies, Volume 2, Issue 5, 1993
Marlborough Provincial Archives and Museum
As the 1990 Journal went to press, the Marlborough Historical Society was celebrating the opening of its Archives and Museum complex at Brayshaw Park. The official opening was performed by then Governor General, Sir Paul Reeves, on 14 October 1990.
Financed by a bequest from Ralph Denton, with contributions from local authorities, the building provided more appropriate housing for the valuable collection of archives previously kept in the legendary tin shed in Howick Road. It also provided facilities for the storage and display of historical artefacts from the Marlborough region.
With increasing quantitites of archives being received as a result of local government reorganisation, and greatly increased public usage of the Archives, the new building quickly became inadequate.
In planning Stage 2 of the building, the Society departed from the original concept in order to provide a cost effective complex which could be easily expanded. A grant from the New Zealand Lotteries Board enabled construction to proceed, virtually doubling the available space. In addition to archive and museum storage and work areas, the extension provides space for the important textile collection, a fumigation chamber and increased public research facilities.
The continuing use of volunteers to run the complex is an enormous undertaking for the Society. It has made a commitment to seek the provision of long term finance to enable the appointment of permanent staff. The members of the Marlborough Historical Society are to be congratulated for their efforts in providing such an admirable home for their province's heritage.