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Jim Matthew was an avid collector who amassed an amazing array of thousands of cameras and related memorabilia. At the heart of his collection were his most prized possessions – Kodak Brownies, which were the first (from 1900), and for a long time, the most popular mass market cameras in the world.

He had almost every model ever made – hundreds of them. He also had other thematic collections, such as stereoscopic and 3D cameras and viewers, and East European models, including many that were rare in the West.

He travelled the world with his work, and bought cameras wherever he went. It was a private collection, but was opened occasionally for public viewing, for example, during the St Monans Community Arts Festival.

After his death, the collection was in danger of being broken up, but now the Jim Matthew Camera Collection Trust will keep it as a community and national asset. Fundraising is now beginning in earnest, with the aim of ensuring that the collection is maintained in St Monans, and open to the public on a regular basis.

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