Friday, 30 August 2013

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Voyager Museum celebrates 20 years

During August this year, Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum is celebrating its 20th birthday.

Ref: 31-59676, Miss Stevenson, 1910, Sir George Grey Special Collections
To mark this occasion, the museum have chosen 20 significant taonga from the collections. These are displayed in an online book exhibition entitled '20 Years: 20 Treasures book'.

Ref: Footprints 01101, launching the boat, Mangere, c. 1905., South Auckland Research Centre
Amongst the wide ranging taonga included are: the Auckland Island Depot boat, an engraving of Captain Cook's chart of NZ, Sir Peter Blake's lucky red socks, an oil painting of HMS Orpheus on Manukau Bar and Rewa a coastal trading cutter.

Ref: 1-W66, Lord Plunket boarding the steam launch 'Rehutai', 1905, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Monday, 26 August 2013


Fashion and design students or anyone with a sartorial lean will be pleased to discover some of Auckland Libraries fashion related resources.

Ref: 34-M741, Model for Milne and Choyce Department Store, 1940-1949, 
Sir George Grey Special Collections 
The Heritage Images database is a great place to spot images of fashion fads. Advertising shots, candid family snaps and professional portraits all show clothing trends through the decades. A great way of refining an image search is by using what librarian’s call ‘subject headings’: this is a defined keyword or tag. In the advanced search screen subject headings can be entered in as a search term. Some examples of fashion related subject headings are: ‘clothing and dress’, ‘fashion’ and ‘mens clothing’.

Ref: Advanced search screen on Heritage Images database

Friday, 23 August 2013

What did children in the past wear?

What did children in the past wear? What clothing nightmares did they have to endure?! Well look no further and take a trip back into the clothing faux pas of the early nineteenth and twentieth centuries. You won't find anything like these garments in Pumpkin Patch!

Outfits were sometimes stiff and starchy mini versions of adult clothing:

Ref: B0150, Grainger family portrait, c. 1890s, North Auckland Research Centre
At other points in time, it was all bows, lace and puff sleeves.....:

Ref: 31-WP18, portrait of the Archdale-Taylor family, c.1914, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 31-55861, Misses Halls, 1909, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

C Company 28 Māori Battalion Memorial House to be built

Ref: AWNS-19400703-31-1, new recruits to the Maori Battalion in training & leisure at the Papakura Camp, 1940, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Half a million dollars will be contributed by the government towards the construction of a C Company 28 Māori Battalion Memorial House on land adjacent to the Tairawhiti Museum. This recognises the huge contribution of C Company to the nation and its special place in NZ history.

Ref: AWNS-19430526-13-3, members of the Maori Battalion help clear up the bomb-torn waterfront of Tripoli, 1943, Sir George Grey Special Collections
The concept design also recognises the sacrifice by Horouta Waka District Māori in other conflicts including: The Boer War, WW1, Korea, Malaya, and contemporary war settings such as Bosnia, East Timor and Afghanistan.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Kingsland to get a parklet

Kingsland is getting a minor face lift in the form of a trendy San Francisco style 'parklet'. The location of the parklet will be the  pavement area outside the Trinity Church Hall, on the corner of Sandringham Road and New North Road.

Ref: 1-W624, New North Road, Kingsland, 1926, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Functionally the parklet will include an entrance to the village to mark the transition of land use. It will also offer respite from the hustle and bustle of inner city living in the form of seating and plantings. A new Urban Design Competition has just been launched to create this design this "people place".
Ref: 4-4681, looking across Kingsland, 1923,. Sir George Grey Special Collections

Friday, 16 August 2013

Auckland Literary Trail

The Auckland Literary Trail has been updated and is available for download.The guide from Auckland Libraries and Auckland Council covers a selection of Auckland landmarks that have inspired many great writers and featured in their literary creations.

The Auckland Literary Trail guide
This includes Waiuku in the South, which was the setting for one of Elsie Locke’s well known children’s novels, 'The End of the Harbour'. The novel features locations such as the Kentish Hotel, which is still standing today. Copies of this novel along with reference notes are held in the heritage collections at Auckland Libraries.

Ref: Footprints 04734, Kentish Hotel, 1911, photograph reproduced by courtesy of Waiuku Museum Society, 2621, South Auckland Research Centre

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Mangere Settlers’ Buildings in Auckland Airport’s Historic Precinct

Auckland Airport recently received a Property Council of New Zealand Merit award (see Hawkins Construction) for adapting the Abbeville estate historic precinct into a boutique tourism venue offering hosting for events and functions.

The precinct site includes 11 hectares of land at the end of Nixon Road. The airport created the precinct by moving Mangere settlers’ houses and buildings there after it acquired those properties for future airport expansion. It took 2 years to restore the buildings moved onto the historic precinct and was under taken in conjunction with New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

One of the houses was built by William Westney, who arrived in Mangere in 1853 and established a farm on Ihumatao Road.

Ref: Footprints 05024,
the former Westney homestead in Westney Road, Mangere, ca 1979 South Auckland Research Centre

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Textiles telling stories

The tradition of storytelling is being kept alive through textiles by mural artist Mary Kelleher. Her massive hand crafted book 'Manukau Harbour of Stories' is currently on display at Waitakere Central Library in Henderson until Wednesday 14th of August. Through swatches, objects, and embroidery, layers of history are woven together to tell tales of taniwhas, tall ships, sharks, sailors, steel works and woollen mills, people, communities and the environment.

'Manukau Harbour of Stories', front cover, photo courtesy of Robyn Mason, West Auckland Research Centre
The book is on loan from Lopdell House Gallery, which commissioned the work to educate people about the extraordinary heritage of New Zealand's second largest natural harbour. To support this artwork, the gallery have designed a series of creative workshops for schools years 1-8. During these workshops, children design their own artist books to explore the harbour's history.  The workshops also link into the primary school curriculum for art, technology, social history music and Te Reo.

'Manukau Harbour of Stories', inside detail, photo courtesy of Robyn Mason, West Auckland Research Centre
If your local library or school would like to display the volume or you would like more information contact Iona Matheson or phone the gallery on 09 817 8987 ext 204.

'Manukau Harbour of Stories', back cover, photo courtesy of Robyn Mason, West Auckland Research Centre

Monday, 12 August 2013

Dams out West

Many people would not think of dams as being heritage assets, but there a number of historic but still operational dams in the Auckland region.

Ref: JTD-07B-03192, Huia Dam, 1941, West Auckland Research Centre
The Waitakere Ranges Water Supply System draws water from the ranges in West Auckland including the Huia, Nihotupu and Waitakere streams. During the 20th century, five large dams were constructed. These created the a series of reservoirs and associated tramways, piping, tunnels and filter stations. The main dams which are still in use include: the Waitakere Dam (1910), Upper Nihotupu Dam (1923), Upper Huia Dam (1929), Lower Nihotupu Dam (1948) and the Lower Huia Dam (1971).

Friday, 9 August 2013

Diaries in the spotlight

A new exhibition at Turnbull Library Gallery called 'Logs to Blogs' opened on  29 July and runs until 28 September in Wellington. Focusing on diaries and the many different forms that this takes, a wide range of diaries and their authors are included in this exhibition. Find out more about the exhibition and the planned series of related talks.

Ref: 4-7046, woman writing, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Auckland Libraries holds a number of fascinating diaries in its heritage collections. For example, Sir George Grey Special collections holds Mrs. Felton Mathew's original journal (or diary) of her voyage to New Zealand, March 2nd 1840 - February 21st 1844. Ref: NZMS 7, Sir George Grey Special Collections. The record can be viewed on Manuscripts Online - simply enter the search term felton mathew, which will bring up the diary and other material by Sarah, such as her sketch books and letters from her cousin and future husband.

Ref: 2-V1108, man writing, Sir George Grey Special Collections
The four research centres in Central, South, West and North hold a wide variety of published diaries. Including diaries from: Rev. R. Burrows during Heke's war in the North (1845); Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923); Annie & Harold Beauchamp on board R.M.S. "Ruahine, travelling from Wellington to London (1898) and a NZ solider in a POW camp during WW2,

Forget Facebook and Twitter, diaries were (and still are) the original way to record your thoughts. And these heritage collections at Auckland Libraries let you dip into the past & play time traveller, become a voyeur to someone else's life, play detective by piecing together their life story or solve a mystery and more!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Cook Islands Māori Language Week

Kia orana, happy Cook Islands Māori Language Week!

Running from 4 to 10 August 2013, the aim of the language week is to celebrate the Cook Islands language and culture and to promote the teaching, learning and use of the language in every environment. Visit the Facebook page and find out more

You can also view the poster for the Akirāta Oū Festival and find out more about this event, which is running in conjunction with the language week

Enjoy the selection of  heritage photos below, which are drawn from the heritage collections of Auckland Weekly News at Auckland Libraries and learn a few words at the same time.

Tangata / People:

Ref: AWNS-19011212-8-2, the Princess of Mauke, 1901, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Monday, 5 August 2013

1899, the year of prize winners!

1899 was the year of prize winners! Animals, plants, decorated boats and carts and ponies, this year saw award them all with winners at fetes, agricultural and flower shows around New Zealand.

Here for your viewing pleasure from the Heritage Images database are some of the highlights.

Ref: AWNS-18990630-3-5, fantail at the Auckland Poultry Show, 1899, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Friday, 2 August 2013

Rosemary Seymour - Research Award

In 1974 Rosemary Seymour (1919-1984), a sociologist from the Waikato, started a newsletter and a networked group of women interested in women’s studies. This evolved into the Women’s Studies Association (NZ) and in 1985 a fund was established in Seymour's memory.

The WSA (NZ) is a feminist organisation formed to promote radical social change through the medium of women’s studies.  Fundamental to WSA's beliefs is the opinion 'that a feminist perspective necessarily acknowledges oppression on the grounds of race, sexuality, class and disability as well as gender'. The organisation has a focus on addressing oppression of all women including Māori as part of their work and activities

Ref: NZMS 856-65, Scottish Hussars marching team receiving an award, c. 1950-1959, Sir George Grey Special Collections
In 2013 two research grants of $1000 are available - one of which is open to all women, whilst only Māori women are eligible for the second award. Women’s groups can apply for either award.

Applications should be emailed by 31st October 2013. More information about the awards can be found on the organisation's website, as well as details about previous recipients.