Dorset Freemasons have given over £4,300 to save a historic photo collection at the Dorset History Centre. The Dorset Archive Trust have been trying to save the “Herbert Collection” of images showing 20th Century life in Dorset.
When Richard Merritt, leader of Dorset’s Freemasons, heard about the project to save the pictures, he stepped in to help.
“Vinegar Syndrome”, an irreversible breakdown of the acetate, has been destroying the negatives. To save this fascinating insight into the county’s history, the Dorset Archive Trust needed to act quickly. Dorset Freemasons visited the Archives on 20 December 2017 and presented a cheque for £4,370 to allow the charitable foundation to complete the digitisation all the images.
During 2017, the 300th anniversary of the first Masonic Grand Lodge, Dorset Masons have held regular celebrations across Dorset, usually with a charitable focus. Richard Merritt said, “We are delighted to provide some extra funding for this project. As Freemasons, we believe in playing a key role in our communities and give time and money to charitable ventures regularly.”
Sam Johnson, the County Archivist said, “I just wanted to thank the Freemasons for the very generous support offered to the Herbert photographic project. The donation has made all the difference and means that we can now finish the job.”
The Herbert Collection is the work of Graham Herbert, a professional Weymouth photographer. Herbert captured many aspects of local life during the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
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