Showing posts from June, 2012

Juliet Hulme

Working at  Research Central , 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.  Ref: Auckland Star, cutting from 23 March 194

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.  Ref: Image courtesy of Yale University Library 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

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.  Ref: AWNS-19020710-1-2, Sir George Grey Special Collections 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).  Ref: AWNS-19081210-7-3, Sir George Grey Special Collections Inspired by this image, research has revealed that Grayson was an intriguing character. During World War I, he fou

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.   Ref: 7-C2033, Sir George Grey Special Collections 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.   Ref: 1-W1497, Sir George Grey Special Collections 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 wo


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. Ref: 35-R50, Sir George Grey Special Collections

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.  Ref: 799-NZMS-1203A , Sir George Grey Special Collections  Ref: 799-NZMS-1203B , Sir George Grey Special Collections         

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.

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

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. Ref: 7-C1922, Sir George Grey Special Collections 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 .