Ben Shaw (1907-1986) was a Liverpool councillor who was involved with the re-development of the Arts sector in Liverpool, including National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside (NMGM). He was born in Russia and came to England with his parents. He pursued a career as a textile wholesaler. In 1957 he was elected a member of Liverpool City Council, and then in 1974 he was elected to Merseyside County Council, becoming chairman of the Arts and Culture Committee 1984-1985.
It was due to his interest and concern that the Merseyside Maritime Museum was established in 1984, with the Museum of Labour History in 1986. In that year he was awarded the CBE in recognition of his service to the Arts, and was elected a Trustee of NMGM, but was only able to serve a short time up to his death later that year. Three galleries on the second floor of MMM were dedicated to his memory.
The main collection consists of 13 boxes, mostly containing correspondence files from his time as a member of the two councils, and promotional material relating to various Arts organisations, including NMGM. The collection has been on loan to National Museums Liverpool since 1990.
Eight boxes of additions were found in 2002. They also contain correspondence, details of city planning and redevelopment, and papers of the Liverpool City Council Arts, Culture and Libraries Committee which was then taken over by the Merseyside County Council Arts and Culture Committee in 1974.
The collection is held at our reserve store and is available by appointment only.