Latest Posts

Visiting Professor donates latest publication

Friday, February 12, 2016 2:34 PM,
Science Information Services

Professor Xinyuan Wu is currently in Auckland as the guest of Professor John Butcher, and will be lecturing at Massey (Palmerston North) next week. Professor Wu visited the library to donate a copy of his new book, Structure-preserving algorithms for oscillatory differential equations, Vol. 2 (co-published by Science Press Beijing and Springer).

Professor Xinyuan Wu (Nanjing Univ.) with Rachel Chidlow (Library Manager - Science & Engineering) and Emeritus Professor John Butcher (Maths). Photo: Liz Hardley.

Publishing on numerical analysis, differential equations, operations research, mathematical programming, etc, Professor Wu has been the Chair of Nanjing's International Conferences on Numerical Analysis of Differential Equations (with Professor Butcher as Honorary Chair in 2014), and also chaired the 2015 Mini Workshop on Numerical Analysis of ODEs (jointly organised by the University of Auckland and Nanjing University), as well as the 2014 and 2015 symposia on Structure-Preserving Algorithms for Differential Equations.

Also present were: Dr Helmut Podhaisky (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg), another of Professor Butcher's guests; Dr. Shixiao Wang (Maths, The University of Auckland); and the Maths Subject Librarian.

Professor Wu's book will be available to borrow in the General Library soon. Volume 1 is currently available as an eBook through the Library Catalogue.

MyAucklandUni is live!

Thursday, February 11, 2016 2:54 PM,
IC Bloggers


MyAucklandUni is the new student portal that shows students their important information all in one place. Gives students access to:

  • Class timetable
  • Exam timetable
  • Library links
  • Transcripts
  • Student Email
  • Canvas courses, etc.

Even better news, you can access it through your mobile devices, tablets, laptops & desktops.

Check it out for yourself at by signing in with your username & password!

David Bowie 1947-2016

Friday, February 05, 2016 4:13 PM,

On January 10 2016 music icon David Bowie passed away after a battle with cancer. For the Music and Dance Library display this month we commemorate Bowie’s life and music.

The image on the sign is from David Bowie’s second Rolling Stone cover on February 12 1976. This was a period of great change for Bowie; he had left his glitter-glam alien personas behind and was channelling older jazz/pop singers such as Frank Sinatra and Hollywood icons such as James Dean in suits, fedoras, leather jackets and dark jeans with a distinctly dark rock ‘n’ roll edge these personas would become known as the Thin White Duke and the Man Who fell to Earth.

Bowie has had a profound impact on musicians and artists across all genres and media since he hit the scene in the 1960s. His body of work, his approaches to his various endeavours and the approaches to art have inspired so many people: Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert are two current singers who are most obviously influenced and inspired by Bowie’s glam-rock period, but artists such as Madonna and Marilyn Manson have been inspired by his theatricality and his constantly evolving stage personae. Bands such as Pulp, the Pixies Nirvana, and Joy Division were influenced all by Bowie’s sounds and the way that Bowie recorded. He was also a strong influence on his peers: Iggy Pop and Lou Reed have both stated that Bowie had a resounding impact on their approaches to music and performance, and Bowie made time to listen to the work of his peers and encouraging them in their writing and performance.


We decided to do this display a little differently. Instead of just having Bowie material we took some inspiration from the lists of Bowie’s favourite books and albums and included some of those in our display (hard copies of the lists are also attached to the display if you want to come in and have a look). These lists are incredibly wide ranging- Bowie was a voracious reader and listener and his interests appear to have spanned all genres. We selected some of these items (and some similar items where we didn’t have the exact book or CD) that we have in the library for the display to show the span of Bowie’s interests in classical, jazz, avant garde, and rock genres. The items in the display that are ‘Bowie recommended’ are tagged with the black star symbol from his last album.


The items on display are just a small sample of material about Bowie and his recommendations, if you’re interested in more check out the library catalogue and come down and visit us.

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library

Newmarket book request service now permanent

Thursday, January 28, 2016 3:50 PM,
Engineering Library

Good news - the Newmarket intercampus book delivery service initiated last year has now become permanent.


You can request books from the Engineering Library (or other libraries) and have them sent directly to you at the Newmarket campus.


Books are delivered to the Newmarket campus twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays. Books will be available for pick up after 12pm on Mondays and Thursdays from the departmental cubby-holes located adjacent to reception in Building 902, Level 3.


You can return books to the blue delivery crate situated by reception. You can return any University of Auckland Library books here, even if you did not request them via this service.

Location of pickup and returns crate

For more information on this service, please see the Newmarket Requests page or email any enquiries to

Online Payment for library fines/fees now available!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 11:52 AM,
IC Bloggers


Current students can now pay library fines & fees online through  My Library Account button

on the University Library website.


Lucy Lippard and the Numbers Shows

Friday, January 15, 2016 11:23 AM,

“In the numbers shows the objective was to present the breadth of Conceptual artists working outside the mainstream, to show at once the simplicity of the notion that art can be primarily about ideas rather than about materials, while also presenting for the first time the truly extraordinary breadth of creative ambitions that came along with that notion.” (Morris, 2012,11)

The first of the numbers shows 557,087 curated by Lucy R. Lippard for the Seattle Art Museum pavilion ran from 5 September to 5 October 1969. In a letter of invitation to each of the artists included in the show Lippard wrote “Enclosed please find one 4-inch by 6-inch file card. Please enter on this card – one side only – the following information; a) your name, b) birthdate, c) place of residence, d) title, size, material, date of piece, e) small photo or drawing of/about the pieces, f) any other information you wish to include. The card you return to me will be photographed and used, same size, as your actual contribution to the catalogue." (Butler, 2012, 158)

The resulting catalogue, consisting of 96 index cards designed “to be arranged and read randomly” (Lippard, 2009) has been described as “a significant prototypical example of non-hierarchical publication design.” (Morris, 2012, 15) It’s quite plausible that this format, mimicking library catalogue cards, could be attributed to Lippard’s experience working at the Museum of Modern Art library for several years after graduating college.

From the cards many but not all artworks were realised in the exhibition and outcomes often differed from the artists’ visions. Lippard notes “…the catalogue cards describing the artists’ projects often bore little resemblance to anything that was actually in the show. This was usually for one of two reasons: the artist changed her or his mind, or the piece was so out of scale or proportion to the time and money available….” (Lippard, 2009)

In some cases the difficulty in realising works was due to the brevity of the instructions provided by the artist or room within the description for interpretation. Lippard recalls Carl Andre’s piece, with his instruction for ‘timber’ logs, which was presented in the exhibition with raw logs rather than finished lumber, the outcome being so different from what he envisioned that Lippard notes, “He always insisted that it was my piece, not his.” (Lippard, 2009)

The exhibition title, not Lippard’s first use of numerical titling was, however, the first in a series that drew on the approximate population of the city where the exhibition was to take place, 557,087 for Seattle followed by 955,000 for Vancouver. Lippard recounts, “I was of course looking for something neutral – non-associative, non-relational, according to the gospel of the era… Numbers were, as we know, an important factor in conceptual art.” (Lippard, 2009)

At the time the reception to the exhibition was mixed. The Artforum review from 1969 criticized the exhibition for requiring “a hell of a lot of reading.” (Plagens, 1969, 65) The review goes on to say: “557,087, the show which Lucy Lippard has organized for the Seattle Art Museum, will be recalled generically as the first sizable (i.e. public institution) exhibition of “concept art”, but it is in fact an amalgam of non-chromatic work running a gamut from late, funky Minimal to a point at which art is replaced, literally, by literature.”

In 2012, ‘From Conceptualism to Feminism: Lucy Lippard's Numbers Shows, 1969-74’ was published, re-visiting the exhibition as part of the Afterall Exhibition Histories series which closely examines significant exhibitions that have shaped the course of art history.

The original catalogue from the 1969 exhibition 557,087 is currently on display at the Fine Arts Library.

S. Foote
Fine Arts Library

Lippard, Lucy R., Seattle Art Museum, and Vancouver Art Gallery. 557,087 : An Exhibition Organised... for the Contemporary Art Council of the Seattle Art Museum Pavilion from 5 Sept to 5 Oct 1969 ; Version Titled 955,000 to Vancouver Art Gallery 1970. Seattle: Museum, 1969. (709.04 L76)
Butler, Cornelia H. From Conceptualism to Feminism : Lucy Lippard's Numbers Shows, 1969-74. Exhibition Histories. London: Afterall Books, 2012. (709.04 L76fr)
Morris, Catherine, and Brooklyn Museum. Materializing Six Years : Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art. 2012. (709.04 L76m)
Lippard, Lucy R. “Landmark Exhibitions Issue: Curating by Numbers”. Tate Papers. 12 (2009). Web. 26 Nov. 2015 (
Plagens, Peter. “557,087.” ArtForum vol. 8, No. 3 (November 1969): 65.

Happy New Year & Welcome to Summer School!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 11:44 AM,
IC Bloggers


Welcome back to all returning & new students!

**Quick recap to 2015's most used features at the Information Commons:

- New autoloader machines & EPOS machines
- New BookPC system (city campus only)
- Free Microsoft Office Software download online for students
- Lecture recordings on Cecil (Canvas)
- UoA-WiFi Connection
- File storage (H:\ drive)

**Check out the new updates for 2016 below:

- New laptops for hire at the IC Helpdesk (smaller & lighter to carry around)
- Can now pay library fines & fees online via "My Library Account" on the University Library website.
- Cecil is now called Canvas.


Christmas Closure

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 12:07 PM,
IC Bloggers

The IC Helpdesk closes for Christmas break at 3pm, Wednesday 23 December, 2015.

We will reopen for Summer School at 7am on Tuesday, 5 January, 2016.


We wish you a very Merry Christmas & look forward to seeing you in the new year

Pohutukawa:  New Zealand's Summer Christmas Tree

Law Library reopens after renovations

Monday, December 21, 2015 2:21 PM,
Davis Law

Renovations have been completed ahead of schedule, and the Davis Law Library reopened on Monday 14 December.
The Law Library will be open until Wednesday 23 December.

Any queries can be made by calling 09 373 7519 or emailing

IC Laptops away on Holiday!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 2:34 PM,
IC Bloggers


IC Laptops are away on holiday for maintenance this Summer break. However, they will be back and ready for Summer School in 2016.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year! Happy Holidays everyone!

laptop xmas tree



LINZ Topographic Data

Wednesday, December 09, 2015 3:45 PM,
Geospatial data Bloggers

In addition to the collection of current topographic paper maps and their digital images (produced from September 2009), the University Library maintains a repository of complementary topographic databases produced by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). This resource goes back to 2011 and covers all geographical areas and scales currently maintained by LINZ (see LINZ Topographic Maps), plus a provisional NZTopo500 dataset covering mainland New Zealand at 1:500,000 scale.

LINZ topographic databases are updated and released at various temporal intervals, from several times a year for NZTopo50 to once in a couple of years for say NZOITopo25. They contain geospatial information in the form of attributed point (e.g. airports or spot heights), line (e.g. roads or rivers) and area (e.g. forests and lakes) features separated into individual layers based on their classification. A complementary relief shading layer is also available for most datasets, except ANTTopo50 and NZTopo500.

Our repository provides access to topographic databases on annual (if available) basis. Usually the last release in a particular year is made available although for some, less frequently released datasets, we supply them all. The databases are provided in a shapefile format, with only the relief shading layer available as a georeferenced TIF. Both file formats are fully supported by leading GIS software.

LINZ topographic databases are widely used in geospatial analysis, data management, defence operations and mapping. They contribute to understanding our country and its geography, and underpin economic and social development. Their application is limitless, from optimal route planning and proximity analysis to sophisticated spatial queries and 3D terrain visualisations.

Topographic databases can be used for experimental and somehow artistic rendering of real places. A topographic map of Mayor Island (Tuhua) below demonstrates a conventional approach to representing topographic information.

NZTopo50, sheet BC37 Mayor Island (Tuhua), Edition 2.00, 2013.

NZTopo50, sheet BC37 Mayor Island (Tuhua), Edition 2.00, 2013.

By carefully selecting a subset of topographic features and applying different symbology, a more artistic representation can be achieved. Based on contours, coastline and lake outlines extracted from the database, an illuminated contours technique coupled with hypsometric tinting was used to represent elevation in this oblique rendering of Mayor Island (Tuhua) (below). An addition of a reef, coastal rocks, beaches and geographical names complemented this rather alternative take on the island’s geography. Interestingly, most of the elevation details are still preserved; contours are still clearly visible, relief shading is expressed by contour illumination, while the addition of hypsometric tinting, in place of a vegetation layer on the topographic map, enhances the interpretation of height differences around the island.

South-facing oblique view of Mayor Island (Tuhua) rendered using illuminated contours technique and hypsometric tinting

South-facing oblique view of Mayor Island (Tuhua) rendered using illuminated contours technique and hypsometric tinting (created by Benjamin Jones)

The topographic dataset and a tutorial (written for ESRI ArcGIS 10.2) on how to create the Mayor Island (Tuhua) oblique map are available for download.

For access to LINZ topographic databases, please refer to the GeoDataHub; alternatively, access can be gained from: or by contacting Igor Drecki.

Please note, for the current official topographic databases, we strongly encourage you to consult LINZ Data Service.

Benjamin Jones and Igor Drecki
Cartographic and Geospatial Resources

Techno-Press journals online

Tuesday, December 01, 2015 1:57 PM,
Engineering Library

The Library has recently acquired an online subscription to all Techno-Press published journals. Techno-Press publishes international engineering journals and conference proceedings. Several of these journals feature research papers from staff at the University of Auckland.


The subscription includes the following journals:

  • Structural Engineering and Mechanics (SEM)
  • Wind and Structures (WAS)
  • Steel and Composite Structures (SCS)
  • Computers and Concrete (CAC)
  • Smart Structures and Systems (SSS)
  • Multiscale and Multiphysics Mechanics (MMM)
  • Geomechanics and Engineering (GAE)
  • Membrane Water Treatment (MWT)
  • Earthquakes and Structures (EAS)
  • Ocean Systems Engineering (OSE)
  • Advances in Materials Research (AMR)
  • Advances in Environmental Research (AER)
  • Coupled Systems Mechanics (CSM)
  • Advances in Nano Research (ANR)
  • Advances in Biomechanics and Applications (ABA)
  • Advances in Robotics Research (ARR)
  • Advances in Concrete Construction (ACC)
  • Advances in Aircraft & Spacecraft Science (AAS)
  • Advances in Energy Research (ERI)
  • Biomaterial and Biomedical Engineering (BME)
  • Structural Monitoring and Maintenance (SMM)
  • Advances in Computational Design (ACD)

You can access the journals through the Library Catalogue.

Douglas Lilburn Centenary

Monday, November 23, 2015 11:44 AM,

November 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Douglas Lilburn. Born on November 2 1915 in Whanganui Lilburn is possibly New Zealand’s most recognised composer. Lilburn’s own writing’s and his biography by Philip Norman downplays the musical aspect of his childhood (in the latter possibly on Lilburn’s wishes as his was a somewhat complicated childhood). However, New Zealand Music Archive curator Michael Brown has made the point that there was a lot of music around him as a child. In any case Lilburn’s formal musical training began at school and he began composing at about age 16, with his first composition being the rather ambitious Sonata in C Minor Op. 1 for piano. Lilburn studied journalism and music at University College Canterbury (now the University of Canterbury), though he did not complete a B. Mus. (and was in fact one exercise away from completing it), but instead completed a Diploma of Music. Interestingly he did not have it conferred on him as receiving degrees and diplomas was expensive at that time and “it had not occurred to me that I might teach in a university and so need them” (Norman 2006, 65).

In the meantime Lilburn continued to work on his composition skills entering a composition competition sponsored by Australian composer Percy Grainger for the “best work presenting ‘typical New Zealand cultural and emotional characteristics’” (Norman 2006, 67). Lilburn’s entry to the competition the tone poem ‘Forest’ was written, entered, and then he forgot about it until a reporter from the New Zealand Radio Record and Electric Home Journal visited him at his home to inform him that he had won the competition. Part of the prize was to have the work premiered by the Wellington Symphony Orchestra and broadcast over radio station 2YA.  On 25 May 1937 Lilburn’s work ‘Forest’ had its premiere and Lilburn became an overnight sensation at just 20 years old.

This event was a turning point for Lilburn and he became aware that if he wanted to be a composer he needed to have more specialised training overseas. For most New Zealanders in the 1930s this meant England, which meant the Royal Schools of Music- in particular the Royal College of Music and composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Shortly after the premiere of ‘Forest,’ Lilburn sailed for England where he was accepted as a student of Vaughan Williams at the Royal College of Music. He would spend the next three years in London absorbing everything that it had to offer.

On return to New Zealand he spent the next few years building his reputation and in late 1945 he was asked by musical raconteur Owen Jenson to be the composer in residence at the Cambridge Summer Music School and to give an introductory talk to the students. This talk entitled ‘A Search for tradition which was something of a manifesto to New Zealand musicians and composers. The speech was shaped by two important essays on New Zealand cultural identity by Monte Holcraft and it was Lilburn’s aim to get the New Zealand music community to think about composing with a New Zealand voice rather than imitating the styles and fashions from Europe or North America. The 1946 speech was built on in two speeches that he gave in the late 1960s where he re-evaluated his 1946 speech and challenged local composers to seek out new directions and new sonic environments that affirmed and expanded on the concepts of ‘New Zealand’ music.

New Zealand composers from the 1940s onwards have been influenced to varying degrees by these speeches and Lilburn himself. In the afterward of ‘A Search for Tradition and A Search for a Language’ composer Jack Body said of these speeches  “I interpret his words as a call to New Zealand composer, indeed for all our creative artists, for creative honesty as a basis for achieving an authenticity of artistic expression… the creative struggles that Lilburn faced are perennial, and his words of advice, encouragement, and also of warning still ring true for the composers and other artists working in this country in the twenty-first century.”

As one of our best known composers the Music and Dance Library has a wide range of Lilburn’s works in both scores and CDs. We also have writings by and about Lilburn from copies of his talks and early writings to his biography and other people’s investigations on Lilburn’s work. The photos here show a small selection of Lilburn and Lilburn-related works in the library. Of course Lilburn is by no means the be all and end all of New Zealand composition. If you’re interested in New Zealand music come down and have a look at our collection.

Lilburn, Douglas. A Search for Tradition & A Search for a Language. Wellington: Lilburn Residence Trust in association with Victoria University Press, 2011.
Lilburn, Douglas. Memories of Early Years and other Writings. Edited by Robert Hoskins. Wellington: Steele Roberts 2014.
Norman, Philip. Douglas Lilburn: His Life and Music. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2006.

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library

New Resource: Hei Hauhake Whakaaro

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 2:03 PM,
Tamaki Library


Hei Hauhake Whakaaro has been developed within Te Kupenga Hauora Māori (the Department of Māori Health, at the University of Auckland) as a Kaupapa Māori literature resource.
Kaupapa Māori research is sometimes described as being ‘by Māori, for Māori’, and whilst the literature available on this type of research approach is growing, at times students and researchers can find it difficult to know where to start looking for information.  Hei Hauhake Whakaaro seeks to address this issue and will be especially useful for students and researchers who are new to Kaupapa Māori theory and research.
Hei Hauhake Whakaaro has been designed with many audience groups in mind and is accessible to both University of Auckland staff and students, and the general public.  Although the resource will mostly be used within Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, it is open to everyone. Research Assistant from Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, Philip McKibbin says ‘This has been a high priority for us. We wanted to ensure that, as well as being useful for our students and researchers, Māori researchers across Aotearoa and indigenous researchers internationally would benefit from it.’
Hei Hauhake Whakaaro can be accessed here:

Beautiful Box Sets

Friday, November 13, 2015 2:36 PM,

This month the display at the Music and Dance Library features box sets of music. As I’ve written before, box sets are created for a number of reasons- artistic, economic and educational. One thing they generally have in common is beautiful design, packaging, and presentation. Some of the ways that labels come up with to present the material are also quite innovative and fun.

Classical music box sets tend to keep things simple and focus on beautiful design of the boxes. As you can see on the middle shelf of our display- the packaging on each of the sets is simple, but the design on the packaging is elegant.

Other music genres (jazz, popular, folk, world, etc) tend to be more adventurous in their presentation, as you can see from the top and bottom shelves in the display. I really like how inventive the ideas behind the presentation can be. As you can see in the top right hand corner of the display there’s a box sets on girl groups which is presented as a vintage hat box and the liner notes booklet inside is made to look like a diary. In the middle of the bottom shelf is a set on Indian classical music titled the Gramophone Era and it is presented as a set of vinyl records with the CDs clipped into the middle of the discs.


The photos below are from a Charley Patton box set that didn’t make it into the display. This set goes in a similar direction in presenting the CDs as records, but this takes it a step further using the old style 78’s album as its presentation device. This is really quite fabulous because it reflects the period that Patton was performing during. The 78s album was a result of the fact that in the days before Long Player (LP) 33 1/3 RPM records much less music could be fit on a 78 RPM disc. Because of these limits collections or long works (such as symphonies) had to be pressed onto multiple discs and they were usually sold in boxes or as albums. In the Patton set the label has incorporated a book/extensive liner notes into the album format and as with ‘The Gramophone Era’ have presented the CDs as records.



Other box sets have used the idea of nostalgia for the ‘original’ product in other ways. The Beatles Mono collection (seen below) uses the covers from the original 45 RPM pressings as the cover design for the CD slips. A collection such as this is designed to appeal to the consumer’s sense of nostalgia- either for their own teenage years, or the wish that they have been there at the time.



Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library

World Scientific Database

Monday, November 09, 2015 2:06 PM,
Science Information Services

The Library now has access to World Scientific, a database comprising of full-text journals and e-books from World Scientific Publishing and related publishers.

World Scientific has good coverage of physics, computing, maths, statistics, economics, and earth and environmental sciences, as well as some engineering titles.

Please note that only e-books and journals the University has purchased directly will be available on World Scientific, but you can contact the relevant subject librarians if you would like to recommend a purchase that is not yet available electronically.

You can access World Scientific through our connect page.

Notations, annotations, and doodles - a digitisation dilemma

Tuesday, November 03, 2015 3:38 PM,
Geospatial data Bloggers

As with many other types of documents, maps are not immune to users leaving their mark on them. Some make pencil notations, some leave red pen equations, and others draw scribbles and doodles. These markings could be a geographical name, an important descriptive note, an added graphic detail, a code relating to a cataloguing system, or simply an idea put to paper as someone worked with the map.

When it comes to map digitisation undertaken by the University of Auckland, we are often left with the dilemma of what to do with these additions. Should we remove them using the digital tools we have at our disposal or should leave them in? How do they fit with the overall character of the original map? And, more philosophically, is it better to serve a map as it was intended by the cartographer, or should we preserve a particular map exactly as it was captured?

In practice, a map is scanned with all markings present. It is then digitally processed, adhering to national digitisation and industry standards and guidelines, to produce a high quality ‘master’ file from which derivative products are created for variety of uses – from geospatial analysis and visualisation to printing and on-screen viewing. It is during the latter step that the opportunity arises for the markings to be removed.

However, it is easy to appreciate how these extra annotations not only add value to the information embedded in the map itself, but also increase its historic character. The ‘what to leave and what to remove?’ dilemma often becomes a difficult challenge! A case to ponder is the map below:

Unprocessed Map of Wellington and Environs drawn by A. L. Haylock, 1915, with additional names annotated in 1918.

Map of Wellington and Environs from 1915 is an impressive map of the greater Wellington area, measuring 85cm wide by 183cm high. Sprawled around the coast and port areas are various neatly scribed geographical names – for example “Raurimu (Ngati-Awa Village)”, “Huka’s Hill”, and “Te Kopahou Ridge”. Other marks reference military infrastructure (e.g. “Earthwork gun emplacement” or “Clifford’s Redoubt App[roximate] Site”) or historical information (e.g. “Maori Garden in 40s”).  These notations were added in 1918, based on names supplied by
Elsdon Best and S. Percy Smith.

Going back to our original question regarding the treatment of annotations on maps, the above example convincingly argues for their retention. However, making this decision is not a simple matter of following ‘the rule of thumb’; rather, it requires a case by case investigation. For our digitisation programme, the primary goal is to digitise a body of New Zealand maps that can be used as an authoritative source of information for study, teaching, and research. To achieve this our digital representations are required to reflect, as closely as possible, the original form of the map as drafted by the cartographer. In most cases, additional annotations and notes, however useful, are deemed to be secondary to the presentation of the original map.

For more information on the University of Auckland map digitisation programme, please contact Curator of Cartographic and Geospatial Resources,
Igor Drecki.

Benjamin Jones with Igor Drecki and Shannon L. McColley
Cartographic and Geospatial Resources

Robin Lush collection of Elam produced letter-press printing

Wednesday, November 04, 2015 10:33 AM,


In 1961 Robert Ellis purchased an old Albion printing press from Dennis Knight Turner. The press was stored in the newly constructed Elam building until 1963 when it was formally installed. A lack of technical expertise prompted the School to seek the assistance of the printer Robin Lush, in a part-time capacity, in 1964.

Robin Lush (b.1929) had trained as a printer with Robert Lowry in the 1940s, and had worked at the Pilgrim Press in Airedale Street. In addition to his full-time work as a professional printer, two nights a week, for two hours, he came to Elam and offered technical advice and instruction to students wanting to use the letter press machinery.

In 1972 Robin became a full time member of staff as print technician – a position he held until his retirement in 1994. The facilities grew to include a mechanical SWO Wharfdale cylinder press. During this time he was instrumental in establishing the Elam Fine Arts Print Research Unit (EFAPRU) with John B. Turner, which operated successfully from its proposal in 1986 through to its disestablishment in 1994.

The items on display represents a sample of the works produced on Elam’s presses from 1964-1990. There are collaborations between poets and artists, fliers, catalogues and invitations, and artists’ own work.


W. Hamill

Fine Arts Library


ORCiD - new auto-update feature

Tuesday, November 03, 2015 4:33 PM,
Research Support Services

ORCiD has launched an auto-update feature together with Crossref and DataCite.
This means that Crossref and DataCite will be able to automatically update an author's ORCiD profile.

To work an
author needs to include their 
ORCiD when submitting their paper to be published.

The author will also need to authorise 
Crossref and DataCite to update the author's ORCiD record so the author does not need to do this themselves manually.

Authors can set up an 
ORCiD that can be used to identify all of their published works by disambiguating one author from another.

Read more about the

Mundane events, big issues: exploring everyday life in Auckland

Tuesday, November 03, 2015 3:06 PM,
Arts, Māori and Pacific

Comprised of 31 ‘mini-ethnographies’ written and submitted by the first year students of ANTHRO 100 and selected by co-editors Sarah Haggar and Professor Cris Shore, Mundane events, big issues: exploring everyday life in Auckland offers a rare and revealing glimpse of the often invisible, but never insignificant, daily minutiae of the lives of Aucklanders. As Shore’s introductory chapter puts it “like goldfish swimming in a glass bowl, our culture is like the element we breathe and move in and it is typically invisible to us”.

Mundane Events: Big Issues exploring everyday life in Auckland

Personal, perceptive and diverse, the essays span a gamut of topics, including food, sex, clothing, work and leisure, to religion, consumption, gender relations, student etiquette, and the social organisation of space.
For those interested in ethnographic writing and anthropological analysis, Mundane events, big issues: exploring everyday life in Auckland is an excellent introduction, without compromising depth or nuance and offers valuable exposure for undergraduate student work. Find it now in the University of Auckland Catalogue where it is available both as an e-book and in the General Library New Zealand and Pacific collection.

Staff workshops: Talis Reading Lists

Friday, October 30, 2015 9:48 AM,
Tamaki Library

Talis reading lists enable teaching staff to create and manage online course reading lists which comply with copyright and are easily accessible to students.

Tāmaki Library is currently running a series of workshops over the coming weeks to help Staff prepare for Semester 1, 2016.  To book your space at a Tāmaki Library workshop, please click below or copy and paste URL into your browser:

From the collections

Friday, October 30, 2015 8:29 AM,
Special Collections

Extra-illustrations from Paxton's botanical dictionary. GC 580.3 P34.

An 1849 botanical dictionary in Special Collections provides a fascinating insight into the pursuits of a keen Victorian gardener who has personalised it with sketches, notes and pressed specimens.1

That gardener was one Richard Suter of Castle Hill, Maidenhead, based on an ownership inscription in the dictionary which matches the handwriting of most of the annotations.2 Richard Suter (1798-1883) was a London architect and surveyor whose work includes St Peter's Almshouses in Wandsworth. Suter and his first wife Ruth Anne Burn (c1804-1854) were the parents of Andrew Burn Suter, the second Anglican Bishop of Nelson, New Zealand from 1867-1891.3

This annotated copy of A pocket botanical dictionary : comprising the names, history, and culture of all plants known in Britain ... is one of only a few held in New Zealand libraries. A popular guide which reached multiple editions, the dictionary was compiled by Sir Joseph Paxton with assistance from botanist John Lindley (1799-1865).4 Paxton, perhaps best known as the architect of London’s Crystal Palace, was also a renowned gardener, author, publisher and MP.5

Catering to the strong Victorian interest in botany, the dictionary listed scientific and general information about plants in Britain, including recent introductions from distant lands. Paxton (1803-1865) told readers that with the dictionary in hand, `… the possessor or cultivator of plants may perambulate his own garden, visit those of his friends or public establishments, and attend floricultural exhibitions, in the full assurance that if any particular object engage his attention, he may at once derive every fact of interest…’6

It seems Richard Suter did plenty of perambulating. In notes dating primarily from the 1860s-1870s, he recorded plant sightings in and around Maidenhead, London and further afield, including a cuckoo flower `on the sloping ascent South Side of Poplar Station Nov. 27 65’. Suter also detailed who supplied cuttings, `geranium from Mr Shadwell of Slough Oct 24. 67’, from which countries plants originated, how they fared in his garden and tips such as `Mr John Higgs recipe for poisoning field mice.’

Suter’s annotations, drawings, watercolours and pressed specimens are on specially-inserted blank leaves and relate to the printed entries on the facing pages. These markings wonderfully bring to life some of the dry botanical listings, reveal a little of Suter’s life and times and ensure that this copy of the dictionary has research value beyond its text.

Jo Birks, Special Collections

1J. Paxton and J. Lindley, (1849), A pocket botanical dictionary : comprising the names, history, and culture of all plants known in Britain : with a full explanation of technical terms, London : Bradbury and Evans. Glass Case 580.3 P34.
2The handwriting also matches Richard Suter’s letters at the Alexander Turnbull Library and architectural plans at the London Metropolitan Archives.
3J.S. Curl, (2006), A dictionary of architecture and landscape architecture (2 ed.), online edition, Oxford University Press; Katherine W. Orr. 'Suter, Andrew Burn', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 26-Feb-2014; The Blain biographical directory of Anglican clergy, retrieved from
4Richard Drayton, ‘Lindley, John (1799–1865)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2009. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16674
5John Kenworthy-Browne, ‘Paxton, Sir Joseph (1803–1865)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/21634
6Paxton and Lindley, (1849),

Davis Law Library Closure for Renovations

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 9:39 AM,
Davis Law

The Davis Law library will be closed for re-carpeting from Tuesday 17 November 2015.
The Library will reopen Tuesday 5 January 2016.
In order to complete this project with the least disruption to services and to complete the work with a fast turnaround, the project team have deemed this closure necessary.

There will be strictly no access to the library print materials or collections over this time, including no filling of interloans requests.
There will be no entry into the library or access to study or reading spaces by students, academic staff or visitors.
The book shelves, with the books on them, will be shrink wrapped to protect items from getting contaminated by dust and dirt.

We recommend that anyone intending to study over this period prepare in advance for print materials they consider essential for their research.
Print books that are required should be issued before Tuesday 17 November.

The Davis Law Library staff will be on site until Friday 4 December and will then be unavailable while the library staff area is renovated.
Up to and including Friday 4 December any queries can be made by calling 09 373 7519 or emailing
If the project proceeds in a timely manner then there is a possibility the Library may reopen before the January date.
Further notifications will be emailed if the project is completed to advise of reopening.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

UNESCO World Day for Audio-visual Heritage

Friday, October 23, 2015 4:55 PM,
Special Collections

The 27th of October will mark the tenth World Day for Audio-visual Heritage. The day was established at the 2005 UNESCO General Conference as a way to acknowledge the importance of audio-visual archives and to raise awareness of the need to preserve them. 1The slogan for this year’s World Day for Audio-visual Heritage is ‘Archives at Risk: Protecting the World’s Identities’. 2
Here at Special Collections we hold a wide range of AV material, including poetry readings from the Alan Brunton and Sally Rodwell papers (MSS & Archives 2009/4), oral history interviews of   University of Auckland women alumni by Toby Harfield (MSS & Archives 2008/16), sound recordings of Auckland University Students’ Association carnival performances (MSS & Archives E-9) and American Samoa Community College video recordings from the Samoan Studies Institute (MSS & Archives 2009/5).
As the slogan ‘Archives at Risk: Protecting the World’s Identities’ implies, audio-visual archives are particularly vulnerable to deterioration, damage and obsolescence. It is estimated that most of these archives have a 50 year life span which is generally much shorter than that of paper records. 3 In order to ensure they are preserved for future use preservation work is a necessity. This includes storing them in acid free containers which help prevent environmental damage from light, dust and moisture. The containers are then kept in a stable, cool and dry climate to further slow the rate of deterioration. Once the material is organised and safely stored, transfer to digital media offers the best means of ensuring continued preservation and easier access for researchers.
Leah Johnston, Special Collections
1. UNESCO World Day for Audio-visual Heritage background
2. UNESCO World Day for Audio-visual Heritage 2015 website
3. Digitising Our Shared History.

Information Commons Extended Weekend Hours!

Monday, October 19, 2015 9:42 AM,
IC Bloggers

Kate Edger Information Commons has extended opening hours on weekends during the study break and exam period:

Monday, 19 October 2015 - Sunday, 15 November 2015

Monday-Friday 7:00 AM - 12:00 midnight
Saturday-Sunday 8:00 AM - 12:00 midnight
Click on the two below to view exam timetables & exam room allocations:
- Exam Timetables
- Exam Room Allocation

New database: China Proceedings of Conferences full-text database

Thursday, October 15, 2015 1:41 PM,
Engineering Library

The Library now has access to the China Proceedings of Conferences full-text database.

This database of conference papers covers over 90% of all academic conferences in China, with topics including science, engineering, social sciences and business.

The University of Auckland has access to Series C (Industrial Technology and Engineering) and Series F (Literature, History and Philosophy).

You can access the database here.

Database Trial: Global Health

Thursday, October 15, 2015 10:22 AM,
Tamaki Library

The Global Health database trial has been extended to 15 November 2015. Database trials assist the Library in selecting resources that meet the research and study needs of staff and students - your feedback is valuable.
Global Health is an international public health database that indexes content from journals, reports, books, conference proceedings, patents, theses, and other grey literature. The database covers literature from 1973 to the present, and covers a wide range of subjects, including: alternative medicine, behavioural science, epidemiology & public health, geriatrics, immunology, infectious diseases, microbiology, nutrition, occupational & environmental medicine, physiology, toxicology, and women’s health. To access the trial version of the Global Health database, please click here.
To maximise evaluation of this resource, you may wish to compare result sets against the MEDLINE (via Ovid) database.
Feedback about the Global Health database can be directed to the Tāmaki Subject Librarians: Derryl Hayman or Tracy Maniapoto.

Artist collaborations with the stage

Tuesday, October 06, 2015 3:42 PM,


“There’s a really nice formula…that came out of my conversations with the workshop people in the theatre and they refer to the theatre as the ‘black box’ and of course we in the contemporary art world refer to the gallery as the ‘white cube’. And so I’ve been dancing this week between the black box and the white cube.” (Reynolds, 2015)

In 2008, John Reynolds collaborated with the Court Theatre in Christchurch, designing the stage sets for the Dylan Thomas play Under Milk Wood. Simultaneously, the exhibition ‘John Reynolds: LLAREGGUB’ was installed at Christchurch Art Gallery, borrowing the title from the fictional Welsh village of Dylan’s play.

Within the exhibition Reynolds (2015) incorporated elements of the theatre, reworking “textual fragments from Dylan Thomas’ play” whilst creating “visual hotspots as a way of mimicking the way the theatre creates highlights with spots.” Reynolds (2015) describes the resulting exhibition as “a play within a play.”


In 1988, Limbs commissioned Douglas Wright to create the contemporary dance company’s first full-length piece, Now is the Hour performed against a backdrop designed by Gretchen Albrecht and with a score arranged by From Scratch musician Don McLashen, which drew on Mozart, Nina Hagen and an electronic remixing of the New Lynn Brass Band. (New Zealand Herald, 1988). The piece received strong praise from critics, described by the Sunday Times as “a dance work of momentous importance exemplifying the coming of age of contemporary dance in New Zealand.” (1988)

The commissioned painting composed of three panels, measured three and a half metres high and over seven metres wide. Combining Albrecht’s hemisphere composition with gestural marks and a rich colour palette, the banner incorporated a collage of surface materials that would respond to the changes of light during the performance.

In an earlier commission, Albecht designed the stage set for the opera Tristan and Iseult, based on the medieval love story, composed by Gillian Whitehead and performed as part of the Auckland Festival 1978. Following their presentation in the opera, the set composed as a suite of six banners, toured New Zealand being displayed at the CSA, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Dunedin Public Art Gallery.


Perhaps better known for his involvement with theatrical stage design is Colin McCahon who first became involved in local theatre in his late teens. Contributing to both set design and publicity material, McCahon worked on a variety of performances including ‘The Glass Menagerie’ by Tennessee Williams (1956), four plays for the James K. Baxter Festival in Wellington (1973) and Swan Lake performed by Rowena Jackson and Bryan Ashbridge at His Majesty’s Theatre as part of the Auckland Festival 1954.

In his essay ‘McCahon and the modern’, Tony Green describes the relationship between McCahon’s stage design and his painting practice: “The distance from set design to large-scale painting arranged in gallery installations is not great. The beholder comes in off the street to find that there is a scene set, so to speak; something that hides the bare space, turning it instead into an imaginary elsewhere.” (1988)


Currently on display in the Fine Arts Library is a selection of material from the collection, including the Artist Files and INZART, which illustrates these three artistic collaborations with the stage.

S. Foote

Fine Arts Library


Reynolds, John as quoted in ‘Art Core’ RDU interview hosted by Christchurch Art Gallery. Web. 22 Sept. 2015.

1988, 6 March. Sunday Times. p. 9. As quoted in Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. (2015) Retrieved from

Friends get together for hours of colour and dance. 1988, March 3. New Zealand Herald, p.2:6.

Tony Green, (1988) ‘McCahon and the modern’. In McCahon, Colin., Johnston, Alexa, Gifkins, Michael, Auckland City Art Gallery, and Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council of New Zealand. Colin McCahon : Gates and Journeys : An Auckland City Art Gallery Centenary Exhibition. Auckland, N.Z.: Gallery. p37

Adding depth to the University of Auckland's aerial photography collection

Monday, October 05, 2015 1:49 PM,
Geospatial data Bloggers

One of the DigitalNZ blogs titled “How to make an animated GIF from a stereograph” gives instructions on how to recreate a three dimensional effect by employing an animated GIF file format using two images taken as closely as possible to each other, and then quickly flicking between them. This inspired us to apply the above technique for a pair of aerial photographs from our collection.

The University of Auckland Library’s Map Room houses two distinct collections of aerial photographs. The first, inherited from the former Departments of Geography and Geology, contains photographs of areas where academics and students undertook their research. It is an eclectic collection that covers many areas, particularly of the upper North Island. The second collection, inherited from LINZ’s Auckland office, contains a comprehensive set of aerial photographs covering Northland and Auckland regions.

Traditionally, to obtain a 3D effect, a pair of overlapping aerial photographs can be viewed by using a stereoscope (the Map Room has an old mirror stereoscope permanently loaned to the Library by LINZ). By placing a photograph directly below each mirror and adjusting the lenses, a stereoscopic (three-dimensional) effect can be achieved (please note stereoscopic vision might not be possible for some people).

A large mirror stereoscope held in the Map Room.
A large mirror stereoscope held in the Map Room.

Our challenge involved replicating the stereoscopic effect in a digital format and showcasing the potential of using aerial photographs from our collections in a different way. This might be particularly useful, since many users already digitise aerial images for study and research. Furthermore, this technique might provide an alternative to experience a 3D effect for people having problems with stereoscopic vision using the traditional method above.

By following DigitalNZ tutorial, we created an animated GIF file containing two interchanging images that flick at a high frame rate, giving the effect of an old movie reel. In our example, we used a pair of aerial photographs from 1950, showing Auckland CBD and the University of Auckland. The topography of the area around the University is quite apparent, however caution needs to be exercised, as the terrain, including buildings, is vastly exaggerated. We believe, an animated GIF provides a useful tool for viewing and interpreting geographical information embedded in historic aerial photographs.

An animated GIF, created by merging two 1950 aerial images of Auckland CBD, displays a stereoscopic effect.
An animated GIF, created by merging two 1950 aerial images of Auckland CBD, displays a stereoscopic effect.

For more information about the aerial photography collections housed in the University of Auckland Library, please contact Igor Drecki.

Benjamin Jones, and Igor Drecki,
Cartographic and Geospatial Resources

Tell Us What You Think About Scanners in the Kate Edger Information Commons

Friday, October 02, 2015 2:46 PM,
IC Bloggers

At the moment there are flatbed scanners attached to the Express PCs in the Kate Edger Information Commons.

We would like to hear what you think about them.

Over the next two weeks, watch out for displays on Level 0 and Level 2 of KEIC asking for feedback about the scanners. The displays will be next to the scanners, and we'd love to hear your opinion.

Kate Edger Information Commons Team 

Music and Sport

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 9:06 AM,

As you’re most likely aware the Rugby World Cup is on at the moment and the library display this month centres on music and sport. Music and sport go together like…well, choose any of your two favourite things! National anthems, sports songs, and chants; pop songs to signify nationalities or teams, and victories. There are songs by fans and for fans, by sportspeople and for sportspeople, and let’s not forget the parodies and satire. There’s sport related music of all genres, even classical music. Appropriately enough (and what got us started on the idea for this display) composer Arthur Honegger wrote ‘Rugby: Movement Symphonique’ in 1928 with the aim to express “the attacks and counters of the game, the rhythm and colour of a match at Colombes Stadium.”

Music is an integral part of big sporting events both formally through event theme songs, national anthems and team chants (such as the haka), and informally through half-time shows/playlists and whatever the crowd starts up with. Instead of talking about the material in the display and discussing the relationship between sport and music we have decided to share some of our internet gleanings of Rugby World Cup related music.

First up we had to start with our own Sol3 Mio. In this video they are singing their rendition of Ed Sheeran’s ‘I See Fire’ from their new album ‘On Another Note’ (coming out Oct. 9), which has become our de facto anthem for the world cup.

Keeping it Kiwi for a moment longer there is also the haka flash mob led by Jonah Lomu in London just before the start of the tournament. Although done as a publicity stunt for Mastercard, it’s a fine example of kapa haka by the Ngati Ranana London Maori Club half way around the world.

Speaking of flash mob’s, Welsh fans threw down the gauntlet in Victoria Station before the Wales v England match belting out their national anthem for commuters led by former Welsh number 8 Scott Quinnell.

Finally there is the official Rugby World Cup anthem ‘The World in Union’ for years this has been sung by operatic and pop singing greats: Kiri Te Kanawa, Bryn Terfel, and Shirley Bassey to name a few. This year the organisers went with up and coming singer Paloma Faith, which seems to have been a misstep on their part- there’s even a petition have her replaced! You can see Paloma Faith’s version here and compare it to Kiri Te Kanawa’s and Bryn Terfel/ Shirley Bassey’s versions from previous tournaments (my favourite is the Terfel/Bassey duet).

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library

Newmarket Intercampus Delivery Service

Monday, September 21, 2015 2:29 PM,
Engineering Library

Are you a student or staff at the Newmarket campus and need a book from the Engineering Library?

We have just launched a pilot intercampus delivery service to the Newmarket campus so you no longer need to travel to the city campus to borrow or return a book.

  • Books are delivered to the Newmarket campus twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays. Books will be available for pickup after 12pm on Mondays and Thursdays from the departmental cubby-holes located adjacent to reception in Building 902, Level 3.
  • Return books to the blue delivery crate situated by the departmental cubby-holes adjacent to reception in Building 902, Level 3 by 11am on Mondays and Thursdays to ensure they are returned to the City Campus that same day. You can return any University of Auckland Library books here, even if you did not request them via this service.

Location of pickup and returns crate

The service launched last week and within hours we had several requests. Our first requester received their books gift wrapped and a chocolate fish!

For more information on this service, please see the Newmarket Requests page or email any enquiries to

Bee Aware Month!

Friday, September 18, 2015 11:45 AM,
Sylvia Ashton-Warner Library

Spring is here!  And with it Bee Aware Month.  This is a great time to talk about bees in the classroom – you could even participate in the Feed the Bees School Photo Competition.

The National Beekeepers Association of New Zealand  website has more information about Bee Aware Month – which in 2015 is on the theme ‘Feed the Bees.’ They also have resources about bees, beekeeping, and what you can do yourself to help New Zealand bees.

And of course, we have some fabulous book on bees in the library!

Flight of the Honey Bee Vanishing Honybees
Bees Bee Hive

Twilight of Empire display

Thursday, September 10, 2015 2:24 PM,
Special Collections

Photo, WPHC 10/XV/325/009. Western Pacific archives. 1875-1978. MSS & Archives 2003/1, Special Collections, University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services
Detail from `Preparation for a feast at Santa Anna', ca1939-49.1

Items from the Western Pacific Archives are on display outside Special Collections in the General Library until early October.
The Western Pacific Archives (WPA) contains the records of the British colonial administration in the Western Pacific from 1877-1978. This covers the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, Pitcairn, and Kiribati and Tuvalu, and was transferred from the UK in 2002.
Its historical and research significance was reflected in the UNESCO Memory of the World Regional Register for Asia/Pacific award which was presented to Special Collections in 2014. This award was in recognition of the great importance of the archive to the whole region, and justifies its return to the location where most research is likely to be undertaken.
Spanning more than 760 linear metres (about 2,800 archive boxes), the WPA was transferred to the University Library in 2002, following negotiations with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and with the consent of all interested governments in the region.

Since the transfer in 2002, the WPA has attracted local and international researchers who have ranged across such diverse topics as the history of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony, the interface between native medical practitioners and the colonial administration, German migrants in Tonga, the history of coastwatchers, children of servicemen in World War Two, and numerous family history projects.
For more information on the collection, see this Special Collections webpage.
Stephen Innes, Special Collections
1 WPHC 10/XV/325/009. Western Pacific archives. 1875-1978. MSS & Archives 2003/1, Special Collections, University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Friday, September 04, 2015 2:50 PM,


William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is possibly one of his most popular plays. The story of mortal lovers crossed in a fairy’s quarrel and deception has inspired the imaginations of artists of all types, as well as those of ‘mere mortals’. Possibly one of the best known of reinterpretations of Shakespeare’s play is the incidental music (Ein Sommernachtstraum) written by Felix Mendelssohn, which is frequently used for ballets based on the play, but other well-known composers, including Henry Purcell, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Benjamin Britten, have also composed works based on the play: a set of masques entitled The Fairy Queen, Three Shakespeare Songs, and an opera respectively. However, while these musical presentations are enduring works in the music community it is the balletic presentations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that are the best known.

Beginning with Marius Pepita’s 1876 production using Mendelssohn’s Ein Sommernachtstraum (Midsummer Night’s Dream written between 1826 and 1842) there have been a few very well-known choreographers who have taken on the challenge of adapting Shakespeare’s play to ballet form. Most edit the story to a greater or lesser degree to compact the storyline, and most focus on the storyline of the fairies and the four mortal lovers. George Balanchine was the next well known choreographer to mount a production for the New York City Ballet in 1962 with celebrated dancers Melissa Hayden, Edward Villella, and Arthur Mitchell originating the roles of Titania, Oberon, and Puck. Soon after this Sir Frederick Ashton created a one act ballet entitled The Dream. Premiering at Covent Garden in 1964 the roles of Titania, Oberon and Puck were premiered by Antoinette Sibley, Anthony Dowell and Keith Martin. Both used Mendelssohn’s Ein Sommernachtstraum, but other productions of ballets based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream have used entirely new music- such as the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 1995 Ashley Killar production which commissioned Peter Scholes to write a score. This is perhaps one of the more unusual scorings for A Midsummer Night’s Dream as he used the New Zealand String Quartet and the saxophone quartet Saxcess augmented by piano and percussion rather than the traditional orchestra.

This month the Royal New Zealand Ballet is staging a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream choreographed by Liam Scarlett. Using Mendelsohhn’s Ein Sommernachtstraum as the main music (with additional music by Mendelssohn), and with design by Tracy Grant Lord and Kendall Smith the production has been receiving raves reviews. To celebrate this production our display this month features books and scores relating to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Prominent at the bottom of the display is the gorgeous book In Classic Style: The Splendour of American Ballet Theatre. This books features sumptuous photographs of American Ballet Theatre productions including Fredrick Aston’s The Dream. Sharing this space are two small books about Ashton’s and Balanchine’s choreographies. The middle shelf features the music of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a score and CD of Mendelssohn’s Ein Sommernachtstraum and a score of Benjamin Britten’s opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The top level features another book with photographs of The Dream- this one Pas de Deux: The Royal Ballet in Pictures- and books about presenting Shakespeare musically.

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library