Mervyn Binns collection

Saving the Mervyn Binns Collection

Mon. 6 December 2010 … Bruce Gillespie

Meteor’s first collection‘-saving operation, conducted on Monday 6th December 2010 proved far more successful than we could have hoped. This was a result of Bill Wright’s splendid planning, the cooperation of Merv and Helena Binns, part of whose collection was being donated to Meteor, and the fact that Bill’s appeal for volunteers produced just the right person for the job: Fiona Park.

Bill had put out an appeal for volunteers via Samantha Rooney, president of the Melbourne Science Fiction Club, but in the end we could conduct the operation only a weekday. Fortunately, Fiona was able to spend one of her holidays (a) driving the mini-van from Access Storage from South Melbourne to Bentleigh and back; (b) helping Bruce Gillespie to pack the books in the Access Storage boxes; and (c) with Bruce, lugging boxes into the van and out again at the other end.

When Bill, Fiona and I converged at the home of Merv and Helena Binns in Bentleigh on Monday morning, we found that Merv had separated out all the books and magazines he was storing with Meteor Inc. at this stage. We had to pack all of them in the archive boxes, label the boxes, then lug the boxes onto the van.

Access self-storage van at Mervin Binns 6-Dec-10

Almost everything that might have gone wrong did not go wrong. We were under acute time restrictions, but managed to get back in time to unpack the van and transfer the contents to a storage room. The only real enemy were the gears of the van provided by Access (for free for the day!) — every time Fiona went back into first, she was wondering whether she would be able to start again. Fiona power prevailed.

Fiona, Bruce and Bill at Binns Boxing 6-Dec-10

One obstacle was unexpected … because of a misunderstanding by Access, the lockable storage compartment provided was too small for the boxes packed. A bigger storage space was found, which means that we are already set up (within limits) for future operations.

Thanks to Sam Rooney for blitzing the MSFC for volunteers — and of course Bill, Fiona, and I will take a bow any time.

Job still to be done: cataloguing the items donated by Merv. Bill originally hoped to do this while packing them, but time constraints were against us. However, Access Storage has its own room where people can access collections, so we can probably do the cataloguing at a later date. We will need Meteor Inc. volunteers for this job.