Women's magazines

A library just isn’t a library without displays and with our collections, we are spoilt for choice in the display material available to us.

We decided to put together a display for the Central Auckland Research Centre on the women’s magazines in the collection because they are just such a fascinating part of our 20th century heritage – the 1970’s especially.  It was tough deciding which magazines to select and also which individual issues to highlight. With all those unique seventies designs, the adverts and the products, the fashion, the makeup, the grittiness of topics and issues…. there was so much to choose from.

Ref: Central Auckland Research Centre
In the end, we went with 'Broadsheet' and 'Eve', two different magazines from the period. The research centre has bound collections of both these, and other magazines, on the open shelves.

'Broadsheet' (1972 to 1997) was run by a collective of the Auckland Women’s Liberation movement and dealt with the real gritty issues affecting women. Things like equal pay, crime, domestic abuse, single parenting, women’s health, childcare, poverty and the more controversial issues debated to this day.

Ref: Central Auckland Research Centre
While 'Eve' covered contemporary issues, it had a heavy focus on crafts – especially knitting and crochet. Flicking through back issues is a retro knitters heaven, with patterns for every conceivable garment you could imagine – even knitted swimwear! Traditional pastimes dominated the pages but 'Eve' had its share of controversial topics of the day such as the solo father family, couples living together, the question of whether husbands should be present at the birth of their baby, and one of the most controversial articles in its early days - 'Are New Zealand women second class citizens?'

Ref: Central Auckland Research Centre
We even sparked a bit of healthy discussion and debate ourselves by highlighting a 1983 issue of 'Broadsheet' featuring Teddy Clayton on the cover, aiming her rifle at the photographer. Teddy, a medal winning shooter, was the first woman to be admitted to the NZ Rifle Association after a long struggle for women to be recognised.

Ref: Central Auckland Research Centre
The magazine display is currently in the Newspaper Room of the Central Library and will be up for the next few weeks.

Author: Joanne Graves, Central Auckland Research Centre


  1. Thanks Joanne. Both 'Eve' and 'Broadsheet' provide a wealth of research content and make for powerul displays! Watch out for Frances Walsh's talk at Birkenhead Library (30/9) as part of the Auckland Heritage Festival next month. Frances' book 'Inside stories: a history of the NZ housewife, 1890-1975' covers these and other titles held at Auckland Libraries.


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