Showing posts from 2021

Top 10 Podcast Tracks 2021

We are pleased to share for your listening pleasure the Top 10 Tracks of 2021 from across our variety of Podcast series and playlists. This is how the numbers rolled! At number one, with nearly 200 more listens than the next track: Kiribati to Aotearoa with Teri Taukoriri is our best travelled podcast track of 2021!  Our analytics show that this reached an audience across the Pacific with most plays registered from The Federation of Micronesia. Originally recorded as part of a project to document Kiribati migration stories in the Warkworth area, this clip supported our Food for Thought exhibition. In it, Sue Berman with Teri Taukoriri about growing up in Kiribati. Teri recalls everyday meals and shares memories of special celebrations and cooking in Kiribati: “Fish is everyday, chicken every now and then but pigs are for special occasions”. Teri goes on to talk about how important fish is to the family here in Aotearoa New Zealand and her favourite way to cook and prepare fish. This t

Maps by Thomas Wing at Auckland Libraries

Thomas Wing (1810-1888), master mariner, cartographer, harbour master and pilot, was a notable figure in New Zealand’s colonial history. Auckland Libraries has three of his original maps of the west coast of the North Island. They are some of the earliest maps made in New Zealand by Pākehā and are counted among the unique treasures of the library. Wing came from a seafaring family and acquired his maritime knowledge during his youth at the port of Harwich, in Essex, England. He first went to sea aged fourteen and some four years later in 1829 he made his first trip to Sydney on the Ferguson , chartered to transport convicts from Dublin. Although the Ferguson only stayed long enough in Sydney to revictual, Wing would have likely met other mariners and heard talk of New Zealand, the place that was to figure so largely in his later life.  After his return to England, it is believed that the young Wing then joined the Hydrographic Department of the Admiralty where he developed his maritime

Waitematā Harbour crossings

Opened in 1959, the Auckland Harbour Bridge is a distinctive and crucial piece of infrastructure. The incident in September 2020 when a truck was tipped over by a strong wind gust, causing damage to the bridge structure and creating traffic chaos, showed how reliant we are on our main harbour crossing. Currently, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport are looking at alternative harbour crossings. Some of the suggestions mentioned in the media, including a proposal for a tunnel under the harbour are not exactly new ideas. Auckland’s traffic woes and the debate about how efficiently to move people across the Waitematā Harbour is an age-old issue which can be seen in various documents held in the Archives. Image: St Mary’s Bay looking towards Auckland Harbour Bridge, 1981 (Auckland Council Archives, Auckland City Council photographic department, ACC 497/1bl) For instance, the idea of a harbour bridge was raised at a meeting of the Birkenhead Borough Council on 16 April 191

The Camp gazette

 The Camp Gazette has been digitised and made available through Kura Heritage Collections Online .  Image: Camp Gazette, vol. 1, no. 1, 24 November 1913, p.1, Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections CG_19131124 . During the General Strike of 1913 farmers from around the region were recruited as mounted ‘special constables’ and public servants were granted leave to serve as ‘foot specials’. In Auckland the New Zealand Farmers’ Union actively sought out volunteers from rural districts. These men came to be known as Massey’s Cossacks after the then Prime Minister, William Ferguson Massey. 1913 remains the most violent strike in Aotearoa's history, although most of the violence occurred in Wellington.  In Tāmaki Makaurau the Special Constables set up camp, initially in Ōtāhuhu, then moved to the main camp at the Domain. On 27 November the Domain Camp closed, and the mounted specials moved to a new camp at the polo grounds in Remuera (where the Dilworth Junior Campus is located today).

Recreational music in 1840s Auckland

When Sarah Mathew, wife of the surveyor Felton Mathew, arrived on the shores of the Waitematā Harbour in 1840, it was to assist her husband in selecting a site for the capital of Aotearoa. Later that year, the couple moved into a tent above the beach of the area we now call Britomart. In a box beside the tent was what Sarah refers to in her diary as “my devoted piano”. Once their house was finished, the piano moved in with her. Image: Page 22 from Sarah Mathew’s ‘Journal of voyage to New Zealand, March 2nd 1840 – February 21st 1844’ including her reference to “my devoted piano”. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections, NZMS 79. Middle-class English gentlewomen of the nineteenth-century were expected to learn the piano and this was adhered to even in the context of their unusual lives in early Auckland. Live music continued to play a large part in the lives of these men and women and the piano was indispensable as an entertainment in the home. More than that, playing the piano well was

Aprons in the archives

Aprons do not appear very often in photos from the past, except as part of formal uniforms. People tended to dress in their best clothes when they had their photograph taken, meaning that it is harder to find a record of the garments people wore for everyday work. Aprons, especially, could be quickly and easily removed to reveal nicer clothing underneath, even for an informal photograph. Image: Unknown photographer. Woman and child, 1900-1910s. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 1639-10782. Though worn infrequently today, aprons have a long history. They were common garments in the times when fabric was expensive and clothing was time-consuming to make, mend, and wash. They were mainly intended to be worn either at home or at work, to protect clothes from becoming dirty and damaged. While that same general purpose remained unchanged, apron styles went in and out of fashion over the decades. Browsing through our image databases reveals how aprons have been worn by women, men and ch