Thursday, 28 March 2013

Former Synagogue on Princes Street

The first Hebrew congregation began worship in Auckland in 1843. Their first formal place of worship was located in Nathan & Joseph's Warehouse in Shortland Street. By 1853 the congregation had grown to 100 and worship was held in a small building in Emily Place. By the 1860s this building had become too small for the rapidly increasing Jewish population and funds were raised for the construction of a synagogue.

In 1884, the Jewish Community purchased a section on the corner of Princes Street and Bowen Street. At that time the site was occupied by the former Albert Barracks Guard House, which overlooked a vegetable garden, which had formerly been used by soldiers.

Ref: 1-W136, the Jewish Synagogue in 1900, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Henry Winkelmann

Henry Winkelmann (1860-1931) was one of the most talented photographers operating in New Zealand at the beginning of the twentieth century. Henry tried several occupations before deciding, at the age of forty to earn a living from his camera.

In 1878 he sailed to New Zealand following his elder brother, Charles, who had emigrated three years earlier. Winkelmann lived initially in Dunedin, before moving to Auckland in the early 1880s. Times were hard though and in 1881, unemployed and desperate for money, he embarked with a companion on an expedition to remote, uninhabited Jarvis Island (midway between Hawaii and the Cook Islands). The purpose was to claim the island for the merchant shipping company Henderson and Macfarlane, who were keen to exploit the commercial possibilities of guano (the phosphate-rich excrement of seabirds, prized as a fertilizer).

The two men were supposed to stay on the island for three months in order to validate the claim. However, the rescue ship was very late arriving, and they ended up stranded on the barren island, close to starvation, for eight long months.

Ref: AWNS-19131002-52-4, boat wrecked on Jarvis Island, 1913, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Online bookbinding exhibition

The current exhibition at the de Beer Gallery, University of Otago, 'From Pigskin to Paper: The Art and Craft of Bookbinding' is now online. The physical exhibition runs until 22 March 2013 and was covered in a previous blog post (20 November 2012).

The online exhibition like the physical one, uses a wide selection of book illustrating the range of bookbindings in the collection. Materials include early pigskin and vellum bound books, Cambridge-style examples, a Louis XIV binding, publishers' bindings, works by the New Zealand binder Eleanor Joachim (1874-1957) and some Dunedin binders.

Ref: AWNS-19011017-9-7, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Monday, 25 March 2013

Old prescriptions book found

Earlier this year, John Veale, owner of Veale & Hulme, discovered several old prescription books amongst the rubble and boxes, during a salvage mission into the damaged building premises in Gloucester Street. The old prescription books included notes and prescriptions for clients' glasses dating back to 1906 and bear a remarkable resemblance to modern day prescriptions.

Ref: 31-62343, Miss Daisy Ormsby wearing glasses, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Veale & Hulme is one of Christchurch's oldest optometry shops. The business was founded by George Edgar Sevicke Jones (b. 29 November 1876, Waimate) who built the Sevicke Jones building in 1913, which once stood in Cathedral Square. The opticians was originally located in this building but by the late 1990s the building had become run down. In 1999, Veale & Hulme moved to Gloucester Street. The Sevicke Jones  building, which had a New Zealand Historic Place registration as a Historic Place Category 2, was demolished due to earthquake damage sustained in February 2011.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Charles Heaphy

It is hardly surprising that Charles Heaphy (1820-81) excelled from an early age at painting and cartography, since he came from an artistic, well-connected, London family. His father was a professional watercolour painter and miniaturist attached to the staff of the Duke of Wellington.

At 15, Charles began his working life as a draughtsman for the London and Birmingham Railway Company. Two years later, he joined Edward Gibbon Wakefield’s New Zealand Company as an assistant surveyor. He was part of the company’s first exploratory team, arriving in Marlborough Sound, aboard the Tory, in August 1839. He travelled around a lot during his early years in New Zealand, including gruelling expeditions across the South Island wilderness into regions never before seen by Europeans. During his travels, Heaphy painted a series of watercolour scenes that rank among the finest art from New Zealand’s early colonial period. The Heaphy Track in Kahurangi National Park is also named in his honour and attracts trampers from all parts of the world.

Heaphy moved to Auckland in 1848 and got a job in the survey office of the colonial government. He remained in the city for four years, during which time he married the daughter of prominent Auckland clergyman John Churton and, among other assignments, drew up the plan shown below.

Ref: NZ Map 816, Plan of the town of Auckland by Heaphy, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Captain Cook journal comes back to NZ

When the the Ocean liner Queen Mary 2 docked at Auckland Harbour on Monday 11 March, on board was a VIP in the form of Captain Cook's draft journal. Letters by Cook detailing the first voyage and his personal tea caddy and spoon were also on board the ship.

The brief return of this journal marks the first time it has been in the country since it was written by Cook. Complete with scribblings and crossing outs, the handwritten account describes Cook's first circumnavigation of New Zealand during 1969-1770 and the infamous encounter with Māori at Poverty Bay.

Captain James Cook was the first European to explore and map the coastline of New Zealand extensively. On each of his three voyages to the Pacific he was accompanied by artists and scientists. Accounts of each voyage were published both by Cook and others on the expeditions.

Ref: 4-1347, Captain Cook, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

What's happening in New York libraries?

The Underground Library is a fictional student's project to encourage more people to come into New York libraries. Whilst this premise doesn't seem to match the bustling reality of most libraries around the world,  the project itself is an interesting concept. Using subway adverts, people are encouraged to use their mobile phones to download 10 tantalising pages of a book. Not only does this give commuters something to do on the train but it is also the lure to get them interested enough in a book, that they to visit the library and take it out.

Ref: AWNS-19420729-16-1, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Funds now available

Both the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust (CPTHT) and the Pacific Development and Conservation Trust (PADEVCON) are currently receiving applications for funding. Applications close for both trusts at 5pm on 2 April 2013.

The CPTHT funds projects which improve understanding of the Chinese community in New Zealand and strengthen the unique identity of Chinese New Zealanders. Established in 2004,  the trust is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs. The organisation was formed to commemorate the hardship endured by poll tax payers, their descendants and future generations. One of the historical projects funded by the trust was the restoration of Chinese gravestones.

Ref:31-411C, members of the Jee Kai group, c.1910s,  Sir George Grey Special Collections

Monday, 18 March 2013

Footprints in time

New and expanded versions of the Auckland Libraries heritage databases Footprints and Manukau’s Journey have just been released.

Footprints includes more than 5,000 photographs and other images relating to the South Auckland and the Counties Manukau area.

A unique feature of Footprints is the facility it offers to browse the online collection via various themes – Agriculture, Community Life, Education, Leisure, Politics, Religion, Transport, Work. The new edition has added three new themes: ‘Maori’, ‘Pasifika’, and ‘Cultural Diversity’. These enable the user to quickly browse through images relating to Maori and Pacific Island people and other ethnic groups.

Ref: Footprints search screen

Friday, 15 March 2013

Dominion Road Stories

The Dominion Road Stories event is nearly here and it has all the anticipation of good theatre!

Auckland Libraries, West Auckland Research Centre Oral History team in collaboration with Auckland Theatre Company  will be participating in a weekend of story gathering.

The Story Emporium is an opportunity for the public to put their Dominion Road Story on the record. These will be archived in the Auckland Libraries Oral History Collection.

 

Ref: Dominion Road postcards (click on back of postcard to view quote)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Military mileposts reach a milestone

Read all about it, military mileposts are 150 years old!

In March 1863, a series of mileposts were installed at one mile intervals along a 22 mile stretch between Auckland’s CBD and the British Army Commissariat in Drury, mostly along Great South Road. They were placed to help Army contract drivers record their daily mileage and each triangular, totara post had the mile number chiseled into its two shorter faces. Automobile Association signs were added to many mileposts or their former locations in the 1960s and these have become popular features in their own right.

Ref: 1-W92, Looking East from One Tree iIll with the Great South Road in the centre foreground, 1906, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Lost Rudyard Kipling poems found

Thomas Pinney, an American professor of English at the University of California, has discovered more that 50 unpublished poems by the much loved writer and poet Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). The 50 unpublished poems are being included alongside more than 1,300 of Kipling's poems in the three-volume 'The Cambridge Edition of The Poems of Rudyard Kipling'. This is the first ever complete edition of his verse and it will be available from 7 March.

The collection of newly discovered material includes poems dating and relating to WW1. Kipling originally supported the war, so much so that he encouraged his son John to join up, which he did, enlisting in the Irish Guards. John died at the Battle of Loos in 1915 and in the lines of the poem 'My Boy Jack', a parent's heart felt sadness at the loss of his son is evident. Following on from his son's death, Kipling views about WW1 changed and can be seen in the poem 'Epitaphs of the War', "If any question why we died / Tell them, because our fathers lied".

Ref: AWNS-19231129-38-4, Kipling (on the right) became Rector of St Andrew's University, Scotland, 1923, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Pinning cows - now on Historypin!


Ref: AWNS-19010322-8-1, Ploughing, 1901, Sir George Grey Special Collections
You may remember a post called 'Pinning cows' from last month (Thursday 7 February). Well we have gone and done it and now have a shiny new Historypin collection dedicated to cows and the dairy industry in New Zealand! Don't worry no real cows or packs of butter were harmed in this process ....
Ref: 2-V1223, Milk maid milking a cow, 1906-1908, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Monday, 11 March 2013

Pacific newspapers in Auckland

In recent years, a number of Auckland-based newspapers have sprung up to cater for local Pacific Island communities. The majority of these publications have been produced for the Samoan community.
 
The first such title was Samoana, a Samoan-language weekly tabloid which was established in Mangere in 1979. This initially offered mostly Samoan news, but over the years included an increasing amount of news about the New Zealand-based Samoaon community. It ceased publication in 2006.

In 1997 the rival Otahuhu-based Weekly Samoa Post also began publication. This lasted until 2005, being succeeded by Le Samoa Post until 2007. Like Samoana, the Post included mostly Samoan language material.
 
Ref: Banner for Samoana newspaper, South Auckland Research Centre

Friday, 8 March 2013

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in London. It was originally one of Henry VIII's hunting parks and in 1851, the park hosted the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace. It is a place people go to picnic, 'promenade', play sports including horse riding and boating, attend services and events such as royal processions and visit the various memorials.

Ref: AWNS-19330524-41-1, The Sunday Morning Promenade, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Hyde Park wouldn't be the same though without Speakers’ Corner. Located in the North East of the park, the paved area closest to Marble Arch is generally considered to be Speaker's Corner, however legally the public speaking area covers a much larger area.

This seemingly innocuous location in the park is a globally recognised symbolic site where people can meet and freely express their views. Since 1872, all speakers have had a legal right to speak here publicly about anything, as long as no profane language is used. At its peak during the 1930s to 1970s, this site had a 'vibrant culture of direct political engagement, street theatre, heckling and debate' (from Sounds from the Park).

Thursday, 7 March 2013

TVNZ Archive

Footage of  Turkeys in gumboots, the Rolling Stones' 1973 concert at Western Springs, the 1953 Royal tour through Northland and Waikato and the 1975 Māori Land March led by Dame Whina Cooper - TVNZ's archive has it all!

The New Zealand Television Archive is an audiovisual production library, which licenses images, sounds and music to clients all around the world. The archive has a range of footage from 50 years of television in New Zealand, plus older collections. The TVNZ archive holds most of the country's locally produced and broadcasted such as news, current affairs, documentaries, sports, entertainment, and drama. It also has the largest world wide collection of moving images relating to Māori culture and heritage.

Ref: Footprints 02915, Film Crew at Howick Historical Village, 1996, photograph reproduced by kind permission of Fairfax Media, South Auckland Research Centre

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

It's all about the maps

Known also as ‘panoramic’ or ‘perspective’ maps, bird's-eye views of cities became popular in many parts of the world during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The idea was to depict street patterns, prominent buildings and other landscape features as if viewed from above at an oblique angle. Sometimes the artists had recourse to hot-air balloons. More often, as was probably the case with this rendition of Auckland, they were reliant on observations made while trudging the city streets and the vistas available from taller buildings.

Ref: NZ Map 374, bird's-eye view of Auckland City, 1886, Sir George Grey Special Collections 
The inscription on the lower left corner reads: ‘This view is compiled and drawn as from a point one thousand feet above and one hundred feet to the rear of the hospital during the year 1885 and part of 1886, by George Treacy Stevens'. Little is known about the artist. He might be the ‘George Stevens’ buried in Karori Cemetery, Wellington, in 1916. Another copy of this map (G9084.A8, Maps Collection) is also held by the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

New technology meets an old manuscript

A digital version of a manuscript about Henry VIII has been produced by a team of postgraduate students, scholars and technical advisors from Royal Holloway University of London and the British Library. It allows readers to make the link between the original handwritten text in Greek and Latin and online dictionaries and editorial comments including footnotes. Highlighted text in the original text corresponds with highlighted text in the transcription and translation, allowing readers to follow the content line by line on each page. All these innovations help the reader to understand more about how and why the text was written.

The manuscript  is about Henry VIII and is held at the British Library. It was written by George Etheridge. and was intended for Henry VIII's daughter Elizabeth. Etheridge, was a classical Oxford scholar, physician and an ardent Catholic. As a result of his faith, he was expelled in 1559 from his position as Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford, following Henry VIII's removal of papal authority and establishment of Royal control of the Church.

Ref: AWNS-19020515, Reverend of the Catholic Church, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Monday, 4 March 2013

Western Park

Originally known as City Park, Western Park in Freeman's Bay is one of Auckland's oldest civic amenities. When Governor William Hobson selected Auckland as the capital of the new colony in 1840, he set aside 75 hectares around an extinct volcano cone as the Auckland Domain. The seat of government moved to Wellington in 1865, but Auckland continued to grow steadily.

Ref: NZ Map 4686, the winning entry, Sir George Grey Special Collections
In 1873, having decided that the burgeoning populace required another reserve on the western side of town, the city councillors organised a contest with a prize of ten guineas for the best design transforming an eight-hectare site off Ponsonby Road, formerly used as a rubbish dump, into parkland. There were eleven entries. The winning design came from architect and surveyor William Francis Hammond and orchardist and gardener J. C. Blackmore, which can be seen above.

Friday, 1 March 2013

In the spotlight: Albert Park's band rotunda

Strike up the band for Albert Park. The band stand was built in 1901 and is the oldest surviving band stand or rotunda in the Auckland region. It was designed by James Slater, who also planned the layout of Albert Park. One of most interesting features of the band stand is its onion-shaped, domed roof. It is made of sheet metal and topped by a pointed finial.

Ref: 35-R134, Albert Park showing the band rotunda, 1910-1919, Sir George Grey Special Collections
The band stand is a registered category II historic place under the Historic Places Act. But it is just one of a number of structures, monuments, artworks, trees and gardens that make this the region’s finest Victorian public park. This is reflected in Albert Park’s category A status as a protected heritage place in the legacy Auckland City District Plan (Central Area Section) (see pp.4-6).