Showing posts from May, 2023

Readers and readings: traces of use in the Auckland Libraries First Folio

At the start of Mr. William Shakespeares comedies, histories & tragedies , otherwise known as the ‘First Folio’, there’s a note from Shakespeare’s former colleagues to the book’s potential consumers. “To the great Variety of Readers”, it begins, before outlining the reasons people might want to buy – and read – this unprecedented collection of plays. Image: Detail from Mr. William Shakespeares comedies, histories & tragedies . Isaac Iaggard and Ed. Blount, 1623. Kura image 15. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections .  The First Folio was published in 1623; its surviving copies are now four hundred years old. As a consequence, they have indeed encountered a “great Variety of Readers”, and the copy of the First Folio held in the Sir George Grey Special Collections at Auckland Libraries is no exception.  Traces left by this copy’s early owners and readers testify not just to the multiple hands through which the book has passed, but also to the great variety of readings the book h

Fifty years of the Auckland Folk Festival, 1974 – 2023

The Auckland Folk Festival celebrated its 50th year on Anniversary weekend, January 2023. A huge line-up was planned with numerous New Zealand and international acts, decorations and bunting throughout the venue at the Kumeu Showgrounds, a 50th Anniversary display under a marquee and 250 nostalgia-inducing photos on show in the hall. The Festival committee had everything in place after a couple of years of planning – and a cancelled festival due to Covid in 2022. Ticket sales were tracking well and the festival looked like it was going to be bigger and better than anything held before… and then the rain came… with more than a month’s rain in 2 days. With the ground flooded, restrictions on people camping and most of the marquees out of action due to the danger of water and electrical equipment mixing, the committee went into overdrive to resurrect a limited festival using only the Kumeu hall, the barn and later in the weekend a marquee when the water levels weren’t as high. Although th

Auckland Library Heritage Trust John Stacpoole Scholarship

Applications for the Auckland Library Heritage Trust John Stacpoole Scholarship are now open for 2023/2024. Image: 'Nuclear Free Pacific - Year of Decision'. Produced by Tin Drum Posters, Auckland. Artwork 'Colonial Landscape' by Sally Griffin. 1988. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections Eph-Post00036 . The Auckland Library Heritage Trust is a charitable trust that supports Auckland Libraries and Auckland Council to preserve, care for, add to, and promote Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections for the benefit of the people of Auckland. This scholarship is offered by the Auckland Library Heritage Trust to assist with research and the promotion of material held in Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections.  Image: John A Lee, Scrapbook. 1960s/1970s. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections . Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections is one of New Zealand's key research destinations. It was originally established when Sir George Grey, a 19th-century Governor of New Zea

Deforestation, drainage and development on the Hauraki Plains

As the explorers from HMS Endeavour rowed down the Waihou River in 1769, Captain James Cook imagined that Hauraki’s vast forests of tall, straight-trunked kahikatea could provide all the masts and spars England’s growing navy and mercantile marine would ever need. However, unbeknownst to Cook and his botanist, Joseph Banks, kahikatea would never be suitable for strong masts and spars. Because unlike kauri, the other tall and straight New Zealand hardwood which grows on drier ground, kahikatea grows in swampy wetlands. This means kahikatea wood is softer, and although initially hard when cut, soon dries out and becomes brittle. Image: Auckland Weekly News. Kahikatea bush at sunset, 1901. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections. By the nineteenth century, Pākehā colonists realised this new ‘white pine’ was not the super-hard wonder wood early captains dreamt about, but found it was still useful for many building purposes. Then in 1882 New Zealand successfully exported its first cargo of