It is a shock to most people, that Hugh Hefner of Playboy Magazine is not only the most famous scrapbooker, but also a Guinness World Record holder for the most number of scrapbooks in his collection!
Hefner spent more than a decade working on his “memoirs” before abandoning the project completely, as it was unwieldy, had too much information, and no easy way to present concise details. He didn’t give up on his true passion of scrapbooking however, and continues to update his 2,485 volumes of scrapbooks beginning with his early days in 1943.
He knew he wanted a legacy, and the memoirs “concept” wasn’t working for him. The scrap books did however, and they are a stunning archive detailing almost every public and private aspect of his very long life, created and maintained with a true “deliberateness” (a word not often used!) that demonstrates Hefner knew from the beginning that his life would be interesting, full of controversy, and worthy of being documented.
The books contain both good and bad memories of his Playboy existence, and utilizes as many public documents (ie: newspaper clippings and articles) to give credence to the remainder of the information and pictures he provides.
Hefner is aging of course, and it is believed that the company will not be handed down to family members, as his current sons do not have the interest in the company that his daughter, and former CEO of Playboy, Christie Hefner, demonstrated.
The question on the minds of the public however, are how will the public ever get the opportunity to read, review and enjoy Hefner’s hobby? Because of his larger than life stature, and over 2400 scrap books so far, it is doubtful that these books will ever make it to a public room where interested viewers could peruse the fine material
The only option that makes sense (and upsets true scrapbookers), would be to digitize (scan) every page of every book and build an online library of Hefner’s life. In other words, taking the completely fulfilling, touchable books with bent pages, and placing them onto the cold screen of a computer.
But, it is better to do that and allow people to share in Hefner’s legacy, than to never allow that legacy to be fulfilled.
Aunt Helen writes for LoveWorks Magazine.