Wednesday, 23 October 2013

'Our boys, our families' research guide

As part of the build up to the First World War centenary commemorations within NZ and around the world, Auckland Libraries, Auckland Council Heritage Unit and Auckland Council Archives have developed an A5 research guide. 'Our boys, our families' outlines the First World War resources available at Auckland Libraries and Auckland Council Archives. This includes: Rolls of Honour, cemetery records, memorials, books and photographs from the Schmidt Collection and supplement to the Auckland Weekly News.

Ref: 7-A14534, a family receiving the result of the ballot for Class B reservists under the NZ Military Service Act, 1918, Sir George Grey Special Collections
The research guide is intended to assist you with your own research into family members or people who took part in the war. This could be a soldier on the front line, a nurse on a hospital ship or a person on the home front including conscientious objectors. There are a selection of handy research prompts tucked into the back pocket of the guide and a page dedicated to good research practices to help you get started with your research.

Ref: 31-L688, portrait of the Leith brothers, Sapper David Alexander Leith, Reg No 4/1661, and Sapper James Charles Leith, Reg No 4/1290, both with the New Zealand Tunnelling Company, 1915, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Revised versions of the research guide, including a focus on different community case studies, are planned to be released during the commemoration period to create a collection of research guides.

Ref: 31-F3350, Private Flanton of the Māori Contingent, New Zealand Māori Pioneer Battalion, wearing a New Zealand Returned Soldiers Association Badge, 1917, Sir George Grey Special Collections
One of the case studies in this first version  is focused on Niuean soldiers. We are keen to expand our knowledge about the Niuean soldiers who took part in the First World War. Can you help? 150 Niuean men went off to war as part of the Māori Pioneer Battalion and we would like to honour their sacrifice by telling their stories. We also want to identify the soldiers in the photographs held in Auckland Libraries' heritage collections. You can search for these photos by entering the keywords Niue soldiers into the search box on the Heritage Images database. Please contact us if you have any information that you would like to contribute.

Ref: 31-WP8025, the Nurse Nobbs soldiers group including 22 Niuean soldiers in World War 1 military uniform, 1916, Sir George Grey Special Collections
We are also investigating the option of developing an online resource, which will allow you to digitally submit and work on your  research, so that it can be recorded and accessible to others. Stay tuned to this blog, where we will let you know how this project develops.

Ref: AWNS-19250430-47-6, Poppy Day in Auckland, 19125, Sir George Grey Special Collections
For more information you can read the story on the library website and see the listing for this guide on the WW100 website. You can also access an online version of the research guide.

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