Showing posts from November, 2015

Spencer family negatives

The Spencer family negatives that were recently donated to Sir George Grey Special Collections have now been digitised and made available online. This collection consists of around 400 glass plate negatives which arrived in the Library’s collections through a donation from the family of Mr Percy Spencer.
Ref: Group of fruit pickers, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1365-139.
The images include people and places, Māori portraits, landscapes, and family outings such as picnics and cycle excursions.
Ref: Bicycle outing, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1365-387.
Ref: Yacht trip, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1365-132.

More Tales from the South Pacific: New Zealand’s capture of German Samoa

Soon after the start of the First World War, New Zealand’s Governor Lord Liverpool agreed to send New Zealand troops to capture the German wireless station in Samoa and occupy the German colony. New Zealand troops, supported by three New Zealand cruisers and three other Australian and French warships, took possession of German Samoa on 29th August 1914.
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, The British occupation of Samoa, 29 August 1914, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19140917-42-1.
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, The unopposed landing of the New Zealanders in Samoa, 7 September 1914, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19140917-43-1.

Hoots Mon

Those of you who have Scottish ancestry may be interested to know that two more Scottish related databases have been added to the collection.

These are - Scotland, National Probate Index (Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories) 1876-1936 and Perth and Kinross, Scotland, Electoral Registers 1832-1961.  This is the first time that the confirmations and inventories have been made available other than on the Scotlands People website; however, you will need to visit Scotlands People website for wills prior to 1876.

So, what can you expect to find on these databases?

Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories – this can be browsed by year but if looking for a particular person/family use the search box.  As with other searches you can search using a surname only, Christian (first) name only and the wild cards are also available.  You do not need to enter a date of death, place of death etc but may do so if you want to reduce your number of “hits” (start with less detail and a…

Arsons, marches and petitions: the 1970s abortion debate in New Zealand

Creating New Zealand’s abortion law Abortion was illegal in NZ until the 1970s unless required to save the mother’s life. Nevertheless, the procedure was widely practiced and often unsafe. In 1927 a Department of Health official estimated 10,000 abortions took place annually - with NZ having one of the world’s highest death rates from botched abortions. This prompted the government to set up a Committee of Inquiry in 1936. Instead of focusing on the high rate of maternal deaths, the Committee focused on the falling birth rate and recommended an increase in family allowances.  A 1939 British ruling influenced the interpretation of abortion law in NZ to include mental health as grounds for the procedure, but many doctors refused to perform abortions.
Ref: Alan Brown, Abortion march, 28 July 1972, Broadsheet Collective Records, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, NZMS 596.

The Emden and the ones who got away

SMS Emden was a German light cruiser and commerce raider in the Indian Ocean during the early months of the First World War.
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, Destroyer of five British merchant ships..., 1 October 1914, Sir GeorgeGrey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19141001-48-1.
After destroying 25 merchant vessels and 2 Allied warships, Captain Karl von Müller of the Emden decided to sail to Direction Island in the Cocos Island group and destroy the cable station there, with the aim of disrupting Allied communications and making the hunt for his ship even more difficult.
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, Captain Karl von Muller, 24 December 1914, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19141224-40-1.

Holding the Line: The 2015 Going West Books and Writers Festival Exhibition

Currently on in the exhibition space on Level 2 of the Waitakere Central Library is ‘Holding the Line’, an exhibition celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Going West Books and Writers Festival featuring material from the Going West Festival archives.
Every year a gathering of people with a passion for the written and spoken word takes place in the verdant setting of West Auckland.Named after the Maurice Gee novel in which he vividly describes the train journey from Loomis (Henderson) to the city, writers and performers of all ages and backgrounds come together to participate in the Going West Books and Writers Festival. Since the festivals beginnings in 1996, guests and audiences alike have been attracted by the unique character of the location and the diversity of the programme. In 2015, Going West celebrates 20 years as a stalwart of the literary festival scene in New Zealand with ‘Holding the Line’, the theme for this year’s event that is an apt reference to the centenary of…

Conservation week: Healthy Nature, Healthy People.