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Alex [Alexander] Robertson Collection

 Record Group
Identifier: A0444


This collection contains 40 volumes of autograph and letter books, newspaper articles written by Alex Robertson, and copies of music scores and portraits. It was gifted to the Invercargill Public Library sometime between 1946 and 1950 by its owner, Alex Robertson.


  • 1687 - 1914

Biographical / Historical

Alexander Robertson (Alex) was born at Invercargill on the 12th of August 1878. His parents, Isabella and John, were both from Scotland, having emigrated to Southland in the late 1860s. John was an engineer who became a long time employee of Flemings Flour and Grain Mill.

Alex had one sister and four brothers, and attended Invercargill Middle School before gaining an apprenticeship in cabinetry. He was employed by Charles Begg & Co and Broad Smalls Ltd as a cabinet maker in repairing and making new furniture. He also served with the First Reserves during World War One.

The family home, Tullmet Cottage located at 152 Spey Street, was purchased in the 1870s, and was inherited by Alex who lived there after his father's death in 1929 until the early 1950's when it was pulled down. A quiet bachelor, he enjoyed reading and studying at the library.

Alex unfortunately drowned in the Invercargill Estuary in November 1956, aged 78. He was at that time deaf and his sight was failing.

Letters found in the Alfred and Isabel Reed Collection at the Dunedin Public Libraries indicate that the autographs were collected over a long time (before 1900 to 1950) and came from three major sources:

- Purchased direct from London Auction Sales by mail order.

- From exchanges from Alfred Redd and others, most likely members of Ex Libris Society.

- From his brothers John, William and Malcolm.

See Bibliography for References


33 volume(s) (Drawers West 3 a - d and 4)

Language of Materials



'A stunning scrapbook' by Michael Fallow, The Southland Times 03/06/2006.

'Profile on Alex (Alexander) Robertson 1878 to 1956' by John Robertson, 2001.

Invercargill Public Library Vertical File, BIO - Alexander Robertson
Alex [Alexander] Robertson Collection
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Invercargill City Libraries and Archives Repository

50 Dee Street
Invercargill Southland 9810 New Zealand