Jim and Ellen Reid began seriously collecting Bibles in 1981. They had met, and then married in 1968 through their mutual love of God and the Bible, which love continued until Jim sadly died in 2005. Ellen has continued collecting Bibles, and has now decided to share her extensive range (at last count more than 1000) with the general public.
Ellen and her daughter Jean have bought a shop in St Arnaud, country Victoria, 250 km northwest of Melbourne. The site was part of the ‘diggings’ when the gold rushes were on in St Arnaud in the mid 1800s. A miner’s cottage was erected there in the 1870s, and then two shops in 1900. The building has Heritage listing, but was in a sad state of repair. Ellen and Jean have now spent the best part of 2 years renovating the shops on a limited budget and hope to have it finished by Dec 2011.
Ellen and Jean are partners in the museum. Ellen has been collecting and studying Bibles and artefacts for 30 years, and Jean is the web designer, museum curator and property renovator. The Bible Museum not only includes over 1000 Bibles but also many objects related to the Bible, such as musical instruments, incense, coins and stamps, archaeological artefacts and models. Our aim is to bring the Bible to life!
The museum is a recent development, which has grown out of a long term interest in Bibles. We began collecting Bibles in England in 1981, and have travelled around Europe and the USA, visiting famous Bible collections in museums and libraries, while adding to the collection. We previously mounted displays in public libraries in eastern Melbourne suburbs, at the Ballarat Heritage Weekend, and various fairs.
Ellen Reid is a retired Pharmacist. Her late husband, Jim, was a school teacher, and they jointly collected Bibles and books. Jean Reid is Ellen's daughter. She worked for several years as a Food Technologist in W.A., England and Victoria. Jean has also worked in IT in London and Victoria, and managed our bookshop in south east London.