Treasures of the Month
Our Collection contains approximately 3000 objects, 16,000 books and 40,000 documents and photos in the archives. Each month we will delve into the Collection to showcase one of these treasures.
This year's treasures are below. Previous years can be viewed via the tabs above.
Treasure of the Month - February 2017
Letter from Arthur Conan Doyle to his son, Adrian
This short letter, from around 1926, provides a revealing insight into Conan Doyle’s indulgent relationship with his wayward youngest son.
The teenage Adrian apparently had the use of an Austin car purchased for him by his father – an expensive £400, approximately two years’ wages for most working men.
The letter details the damage sustained by Adrian’s fast and reckless driving, perhaps marking the start of his adult career as a racing driver with a playboy reputation. Instead of demanding recompense or imposing sanctions, Conan Doyle asks only that Adrian give ‘a definite promise’ to ‘go slowly’.
The remarks that the costly repairs ‘can easily be set right’, and that he is ‘very pleased’ with Adrian arguably show Conan Doyle (by now in his late sixties) to be a doting and lenient parent, perhaps not rare in older fathers.
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The Christmas Exhibition at Portsmouth Central Library showcased some of the many Christmas cards in the collection collected by Richard Lancelyn Green.(Janary 2017)