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Miscellany- A Mixture from the Motu

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What do insects, fairy tales, old lace, Shakespeare and one of the founders of the Association of Book Crafts NZ have in common? Read on and all will be revealed. Miscellany - a Mixture from the Motu had its genesis in 2022 in the inaugural Print + Bind collaboration between the Association of Book Crafts NZ and various hand printers from around the country. The theme was 'Bugs' and the twelve printers and twelve binders all had free rein to interpret it as they wished. The only requirement was that the prints had to be on a single A5 sheet. Every printer made twenty-four prints of their chosen design which were then collated into twelve sets, each of which had two copies of each print. These then went to the binders who bound one set of prints into a book for a designated printer and the other set for him/herself. Thus, a potential twenty-four Bug books were born, and the idea arose that it would be wonderful to share the creations more widely than just through the Associatio

Ngako: The Collections Podcast

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Ngako: The Collections Talk is a documentary film and podcast series showcasing taonga in Auckland Libraries’ heritage and research collections.  Explore the whole series in our current exhibition , on until 2 March 2024 at Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, the Central City Library. This audio playlist contains all the episodes from Ngako: The Collections Podcast, where we explore items and stories from Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections. Wanderlust - the war years In this episode we find meaning and history in the Auckland Tramping Club’s newsletter Wanderlust.  Archivist Sharon Smith shares insights gleaned from reading the Wanderlust magazine in the period of publication during the Second World War.  We are also joined by current Auckland Tramping Club members, Ian, Anna and Dennis, on the Club’s programme of tramps and their preparation for the upcoming Club centenary celebrations. Listen to the track here . Ava, kava, kawa In this episode we explore the world of ava through a printed

Artist files: rare and rich glimpses into Aotearoa's art history.

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Image: Angela Morton Room artist files. Writer Peter Shaw has called artist files an essential part of our sense of history. "What were the things that reviewers were looking for at a particular time? What was the context in which the works were produced? These are endlessly fascinating questions, and unless you have artist files carefully collected and organized  by someone you lose all of that."* Over 700 files for individual Aotearoa artists are held in Takapuna’s Angela Morton Room Te Pātaka Toi Art Library. These can include exhibition catalogues, small printed artworks, posters, CV’s, reviews and interviews. The bulk of the material was collected from 1980 to 2010 and provides important documentation about well-established and lesser-known artists.  Shaw used our artist file for Pauline Thompson when curating the major retrospective of her work, Combined Cosmologies , held at the Pah Homestead. He said: "If the files weren’t there my picture of her work, her word

A Man, A Plan, A Tram: A Truth about Takapuna's Tramway

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Image: Takapuna Tramways & Ferry Company directors, 1907-1912 (left- right, from top row): Paul M Hansen, John Brown, Alexander R Morrison, Edwin Mitchelson, Henry Brett, Henry Hopper Adams, Captain James Smith, William J Geddis, and William Blomfield.  Paul Maximilian Hansen had a plan for Tāmaki Makaurau. The Danish-German immigrant and London-based entrepreneur envisioned an electric tramway network that would emanate from the Central City to reach every corner of Auckland, stretching far into sections that were still farmland and bush. He desired this system out of no sense of altruism, community connectedness or transportation efficiency. No, he and his cabal of investors wanted it so they could sell property. Specifically, their property. Image: Muir & Moodie. Postcard of Lake Takapuna (Pupuke), 1909. Museum of  New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa PS.002450 . By the early 1900s, the Coromandel goldfields were depleted, their vast wealth pocketed by Aotearoa’s nouveau riche, wh

A deal with the devil: the 1821 English translation of Goethe’s Faust

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Image: Mephistopheles appears to Faust in his study, Faust / by Goethe ; translated by Abraham Hayward ; with illustrations by Willy Pogany, London : Hutchinson, 1908, Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections IL:1908 POGA.    The idea of making a deal with the devil has a long history in popular imagination. Robert Johnson made a deal with a devil at the crossroads for his otherworldly guitar playing abilities while Faust was after unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasure. The Faust legend was first dramatized by famous Elizabethan playwright and spy Christopher Marlowe in the late sixteenth century in his play Doctor Faustus . Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s (1749-1832) interpretation of the Faust legend was his life’s work – began in 1772 when he was in his twenties and returned to again and again until he completed Part Two a year before he died. The long play, mostly written in rhyming verse, is divided into Faust, Part One and Faust, Part Two - the first dealing with Faust’s pact

Tree lovers, seed savers and sponge cities

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Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections’ have significant holdings on the topics of environmental action, conservation, and natural history. On show now on level 2 of the Central City Library | Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, till Monday 30 October, is the wonderful display: 'Tree lovers, seed savers and sponge cities'. In this display we focus on the manuscript, or archive collections, and supplement these with items from our ephemera, photograph, and oral history collections. This blog post highlights some of the material and information from the display. Manuscript collections take the form of physical or digital documents (or a mix of both) and can include material like scrapbooks, diaries, letters, and minute books. They can also contain photographs, ephemera, audio visual material and other taonga. Collections can range in size from the small - Richard Davis’s two meteorological diaries, to the medium sized - the seven boxes in the Tahuna Torea Rangers archive, to the very large -