Showing posts from June, 2012
New installments of the New Zealand Herald and the Auckland Star have just gone onto Papers Past. The New Zealand Herald now covers 1863 to 1884 and more is planned for the future. Whilst the coverage for the Auckland Star runs from 1870 through to the end of World War Two in 1945.

This treasure trove of fully searchable content is available at your finger tips on Papers Past. What will you find? Try searching for your birthday in the past or search using your surname as a keyword ... you might be surprised by what you find!

Juliet Hulme

Working in the Central Auckland Research Centre, one does tend to fancy oneself as a bit of a Nancy Drew at times. As we locate missing relatives and solve mysteries, we hope don’t start too many world wars in unsuspecting families.

Whilst scrolling through microfilms on a job for a customer, I came across an interesting photo in a 1948 copy of the Auckland Star. The caption reads: “Juliet Hulme and William Brown make a colourful picture in their bright tartan slacks when they arrived at Whenuapai this morning.” The issue was dated Tuesday 23 March 1948.

Could it be .... I wondered. Was this the murderess Juliet Hulme, aka Anne Perry, aka Kate Winslet in ‘Heavenly Creatures’? And why was Juliet and the boy, who appeared not to be related, wearing matching tartan slacks? Juliet did have a younger brother called Jonathan but it seems he arrived in New Zealand much later in the year with their parents. Naturally, I went ahead and sleuthed.

In the collection here in the re…

New Zealand Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic Review

Read all about it, The Central Auckland Research Centre at the Central City Library has the final instalment of the microfilm version of the New Zealand Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic Review!

Coverage includes: 2 August 1890 - 25 July 1901, 7 August 1902 - 31 July 1913, 7 January 1914 - 12 November 1914, 7 January 1915 - 15 Aprril 1942.

David Verran of the research centre notes: "As the title suggests the magazine focussed on sport, particularly horse racing, boxing, cricket and rugby, as well as on reports of stage performances and later also the motion picture industry. It was aimed more at men and generally those with a reasonable income, but included social pages for those who could afford to run a car. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century it was also an industry magazine for the liquor trade, and more likely available in hotel bars for patrons to read. Those issues include profiles of publicans, details of particular hotels and contact details for "tur…

Auckland Weekly News photographs online

Auckland Libraries is fast approaching the end of a project to digitise all the Auckland Weekly News photographic supplements published between 1898 and 1943. You can already see all of the photographs up to 1927 on the Heritage Images database.

The project has turned up some fascinating and intriguing images, such as an 1886 design by John Crook of Ponsonby for an airship (see below), imaginatively seen flying over central Auckland.

From the outset it was decided to digitise all the published photographs, not just those obviously relating to New Zealand. One of these images from around the world, is a rather dramatic photograph of Victor Grayson, addressing a crowd of unemployed workers at Tower Hill in London in 1908 (see below).

Inspired by this image, research has revealed that Grayson was an intriguing character. During World War I, he fought in the New Zealand forces and his digitised service records can be viewed and downloaded from Archives New Zealand. Grayson was…

Discovery at the Bavarian State Library

The Vatican has reported that 29 previously unpublished homilies, said to be the work of the third century theologian Origen of Alexandria have been discovered in the Bavarian State Library, by an Italian scholar.

Origen was one of the most important and prolific early church fathers. He is considered to have played a critical role in the development of Christian thought. His importance was reflected by Pope Benedict XVI, who dedicated two of his weekly church teaching sessions in 2007 to the importance of Origen's life and work.

Despite Origen's importance, few of his original texts remain, in part because he was post-humously condemned in the fifth century by the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople.

The Greek manuscript dates from the 12th century and has already been digitised by the Bavarian State Library and is available online (just enter "Homiliae in psalmos" into the search box).

Find out more.

Anniversary of Sir John Logan Campbell's death

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Sir John Logan Campbell, often considered to be the founding father of Auckland. There are many reminders of Sir John in the Auckland of today, including his gift of Cornwall Park to the people of Aotearoa New Zealand. The deeds for the park can be found in the Sir George Grey Special Collections at Central City Library. 

Professor Russell Stone has recently edited  'Poenamo', Sir John's pioneer reminiscences. Republished as a complete facsimile of the 1889 reissue, 'Poenamo Revisited: New Zealand's very first adventure story' is full of additional content, illustrations and biographical details.  
Stone is an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Auckland and a specialist on Sir John Logan Campbell. He is also a trustee of the Auckland Library Heritage Trust, which works to promote and preserve the Sir George Grey Special Collections.

Find out more about the book and the events at C…

Grey's New Zealand Māori Manuscripts talk

Hear Robert Eruera from the Sir George Grey Special Collections speak about the wealth of cultural and historical pre-European information that can be found within Grey’s New Zealand Māori Manuscripts.

On Wednesday 27 June from 12-1pm at Auckland Central Library, Level 2, Whare Wānanga, 44-46 Lorne Street, Auckland 1142.

Find out more and book your place.


Matariki atua, ka eke mai i te rangi e roa e
Whāngai iho ki te mata o te tau, e roa e.

Divine Matariki, come hither from the distant heavens,
Bestow the first fruits of the year upon us.

UNESCO Memory of the World

Fancy going on a world tour of documentary heritage collections? Then read on ...

The UNESCO Memory of the World project was launched ten years ago. It aims to recognise & create awareness, provide access and ultimately help contribute towards the preservation of culturally significant documentary heritage from around the world. Cultural institutions are encouraged to nominate material for the internationally recognised register.

A look through the register reveals a wide array of items: illuminated manuscripts, archival records from significant companies, newspaper collections, photograph & film archives and even woodblocks. A wide range of languages, cultures, individuals, groups and events of significant social and cultural change are represented.

Illuminated addresses

Jubilee celebrations continue with the digitisation by the National Archives (UK) of a portion of the highly ornate ‘Privy Purse series’. These are congratulatory illuminated addresses presented to Queen Victoria to celebrate her Golden Jubilee in 1887 and Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

Meanwhile back at the Central City Library, illuminated addresses also form part of the Sir George Grey Special Collections. You can view an online exhibition of these beautifully illustrated and decorated addresses created for a variety of occasions.      


The Reed brothers

At the Dunedin Public Libraries’ Reed Gallery, there is currently an exhibition showcasing the letters and manuscripts collected by the Dunedin publisher, Alfred Hamish Reed (1875-1975) over a sixty year period.

Our Will and Pleasure: Royal Autographs, Letters & Memorabilia of the British Monarchy covers the seventeenth century through to the early twentieth century and includes items written or signed by members of the royal houses of Great Britain from the House of Stuart to the current House of Windsor. The exhibition is timed to coincide with the wider events marking the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

It is also available as a rich online exhibition detailing the individual case items, along with excerpts and background information and high resolution zoomable scans.

Hokianga Harbour photographs

The Sir George Grey Special Collections has recently acquired a collection of 475 glass plate negatives taken by the photographer C P Dawes in and around Kohukohu, a small settlement on the Hokianga Harbour, in the early years of the 20th century. This rich treasure trove was found unexpectedly in an antique shop in Kaitaia, by a staff member who was holidaying in the area.

Heritage images & databases talk

On the 15 June, from 12-1pm in the Whare Wānanga on Level 2 at Auckland Central Library, there will be a talk by Heritage & Research staff on AL’s heritage photographic collections and online databases. More information about this talk.

Photographers & Photographists talk

On 13 June at Auckland Central City Library, Keith Giles from the Sir George Grey Special Collections will be talking on Photographers & Photographists: Investigating early NZ photographers. Keith will provide information on the Photographers Database, an index to many of the photographers who have worked in New Zealand from the 1840s to the present day.

More information.

Historic LINZ survey plans

What is available?  The plans are on aperture cards, and cover just the North Auckland Land Registration District - Cape Reinga to Mercer, but not further into the Waikato.

Each aperture card has a copy of a Survey Office (SO) rolled plan, or a Maori Land (ML) plan, or a Deposited Plan (DP). They were filmed from the 1970s, are filed numerically, and cover from the 1870s to 1996.

We have SO 300 to 68624, ML 1 to 15956 and DP 1 to 177,743, along with Old Land Claims 1 to 882, Deeds Plans 1 to 1399, and an assortment of Application Plans and Trig Reference details.
What do these plans actually show?  They physically define the legal boundaries of properties when surveyed, and provide the land area and the dimensions.

As an example, I used Auckland Council’s online Property and Rates Search by street number and street name to locate our current DP number. DPs are also on rate demands and Gazette notices, amongst other sources. The relevant aperture card provided me with a copy of the ori…

Digitisation & access to Queen Victoria's Journals

Queen Victoria’s Journals from the Royal Archives have been digitised by the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford and the Royal Archives, London.

These journals cover the period 1932-1091 and are available online. In total, there are 141 surviving volumes numbering 43,765 pages. Their release has been timed to coincide with the celebrations to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II - the only British Monarch other than Queen Victoria to have reigned for 60 years.

The Apprentice exhibition

The Apprentice is a black & white photographic exhibition of London in the 1960s, taken by well known West Auckland landscape photographer, Ted Scott.

From 7 to 30 June at West Auckland Research Centre, JT Diamond Room, Floor 2, Waitakere Central Library, 3 Ratanui St, Henderson.

Ted Scott will be giving a gallery talk on Wednesday, the13th June from 1-1.30pm.

More information.

Flip, Flop & Fly: Pancakes at Papatoetoe exhibition

Flip, flop and fly! - pancakes at Papatoetoe, 1966. Two women tossing pancakes during a street parade organised by the St George Street Business Association, Papatoetoe, March 1966. "All eyes are on the 'ball' during the Hawaiian Day pancake tossing race. Mrs Hayward (left) came from behind to beat Mrs Walker (right)". (South Auckland Courier, 16 March 1966, p. 26). 

Flip, Flop & Fly: Pancakes at Papatoetoe features in an exhibition of photographs by the late Trevor Penman that provide a fascinating insight into life in Papatoetoe during the 1950s and 1960s.

The exhibition, organised by the Papatoetoe Historical Society, features a number of photographs from the South Auckland Research Centre collection and the Auckland Libraries Footprints database.

Auckland Then & Now exhibition


  An exhibition of photographs comparing present day Auckland to 100 years ago.  From 1 June to 20 July at Auckland Central Library, Atrium, Level 2, 44-46 Lorne Street, Auckland CBD.

More information.

Tapa cloth books collected during the voyages of Captain Cook

If you were intrigued by the image of the tapa cloth book included two posts ago, then read on …

Housed in the Sir George Grey Special Collections at Auckland Central Library is one of thirty surviving, individually distinct copies of ‘A catalogue of the different specimens of cloth collected in the three voyages of Captain Cook’.  London: Printed for Alexander Shaw, 1787.

For more information, check out Real Gold: treasures of Auckland City Libraries.

Other copies can be found at the Alexander Turnbull Library and the British Museum.

Tangata O Le Moana book

Tangata O Le Moana, edited by: Sean Mallon, Kolokesa Māhina-Tuai, and Damon Salesa. Te Papa Press, 2012.
Using a fresh perspective, this award winning and lusciously illustrated book seeks to reposition and reframe Pacific Island people and history within a new context, which moves beyond past traditional (mis)representations and omissions. Whilst the book does not profess to be a comprehensive history of the Pacific, the collective combination of fifteen essays written by well known (Anne Salmond, Janet Davidson, Peter Adds) and newly emerging authors, represents the intertwining of the people and historical narratives of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Pacific heritage collections and resources

In honour of le Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa - Samoan Language Week & Samoan Independence Day, check out the Pacific heritage collections and resources available at Auckland Libraries.