The Hunt for Joe Brown's lost negatives

Mountain Heritage Trust are appealing on behalf of the Joe Brown family for any knowledge of the unique collection of negatives which detail all his climbing exploits between the 1940s and 1970s. As one of Britain's most important climbing figures, Joe Brown's collection offers an insight in to progression of cutting edge climbing, including the likes of Cenotaph Corner in Llanberis Pass.

Joe Brown's daughter Zoe Brown takes up the story.

'At some point about around 20 years ago Joe Brown lost track of his collection of black and white negatives which included all his photographs from 1948 to probably the early 1970s. The Rock and Ice members of which Joe was a member were all in the habit of loaning their pictures out for people to copy for books etc but he has no idea as to where or who might now have them, and our efforts to track them down have been unsuccessful. We are obviously hoping that they are still out there somewhere but are now at a loss of where to try next. Very miserably most of the prints that would have come from them are now disappeared over the years as well. We are hoping that the climbing community might be able to help us trace down this important collection of photographs so they can be properly cared for. Hopefully this appeal might be seen by someone and jog their memory. Dad would obviously dearly love to get them back, and from a historic point of view, as Dad is now 89, it would be fantastic to capture the stories behind the pictures before the opportunity is gone. They were last seen contained in a bound negative folder.'

Zoe has for some years been working on the archives and a biography of Joe Brown and it is crucial that the missing negatives are located and put in a place of safety.

Mountain Heritage Trust are hoping that word of this search might spread far enough across the climbing community so that this collection can be found. Anybody with any knowledge of their whereabouts should contact the Mountain Heritage Trust on enquiries@mountain-heritage.org

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