Bernard Brenner brass rubbings collection
Scope and Content
This collection consists of 166 rubbings of monumental brasses made by Bernard “Bernie” Brenner from 1974 through the 1980s in England. The rubbings range in type of paper, rubbing medium, color, and size. The rubbings generally feature deceased figures such as men, women, and couples. Animals and heraldic imagery are also present. The collection also contains pamphlets and booklets from the parish churches that Brenner visited – and that the brasses originate from – as well as bulletins from the Monumental Brass Society.
- circa 1978-1990
- Brenner, Bernard (Person)
Collection is open to research.
Public Domain. There are no known restrictions.
Biographical and Historical Information
Monumental brasses - sometimes known simply as "brasses" - are a type of sepulchral memorial that was popularized in 13th century Europe, particularly in England and the rest of the British Isles. Consisting of slabs of engraved brass, these memorials typically feature idealized, youthful figures of the deceased, alongside animals and heraldic imagery. In England, they are often found in the oldest local church of the area, called the parish church.
Brass rubbing is a technique used to reproduce the engraving on a monumental brass. Rubbings are made by carefully pressing paper onto the surface of the brass and and gently rubbing over this with a waxy crayon (typically heelball/cobbler's wax) to reproduce the image onto the paper.
Bernard "Bernie" Brenner was a resident of Northern Virginia and former agricultural journalist for United Press International. Devoted Anglophiles, Brenner and his first wife Madeline Hosmer Brenner would often travel to the United Kingdom to visit monumental brasses and create rubbings for their collection. In 1981 the Brenners published a pamphlet on the Robert de Bures brass, considered one of the finer monumental brasses. Brenner passed away in 2009.
22 Linear Feet (166 rubbings, 3 boxes)
Language of Materials
This collection consists of 166 rubbings of monumental brasses made by Bernie Brenner from 1974 through the 1980s in England. The collection also contains pamphlets and booklets from the parish churches that Brenner visited - and that the brasses originate from - as well as bulletins from the Monumental Brass Society.
The collection is arranged in two series according to format.
- Series 1: Brass Rubbings
- Series 2: Booklets and Pamphlets
Top of MC 31 and 34
MC 30.2 - 30.4
OS R 6, C 3, S 5
OS R 6, C 3, S 6
Collection donated by Bernard Brenner from 1996 - 1998.
Processed by Special Collections Research Center staff. EAD markup completed by Eron Ackerman and Jordan Patty in April 2009.
Reprocessed by Amanda Menjivar from Spring 2019 - March 2023. Rehousing and preservation services provided by Amy Sullivan. Inventory assistance provided by Lana Mason and Meghan Glasbrenner. Finding aid completed by Amanda Menjivar in April 2023.
- Brass rubbing Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Brasses Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Church buildings Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Heraldry -- Great Britain Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Middle Ages Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Monumental Brass Society (London, England)
- Guide to the Bernard Brenner brass rubbings collection
- Bernard Brenner brass rubbings collection
- Eron Ackerman and Amanda Menjivar
- April 12, 2023
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description