Latest Posts

The case of the 'missing' island

Thursday, February 26, 2015 1:17 PM,
Geospatial data Bloggers

Composite of four maps

Modern maps purport to give users a comprehensive view of the world, a view free of empty spaces, bereft of ‘here be dragons’. While true, this may not be the whole story, where in a world fully explored lost locations may still exist. Sandy Island, for example, was a substantial landmass 24 kilometres long and 5 kilometres wide, situated 700 hundred miles off Queensland coast, Australia. However, the island was confirmed to be non-existent by the Australian Navy ship, and may have never existed, even though it was first sighted by a whaling ship in 1876 (Bonnett 2014:12). In response, Google Earth in 2012 had to correct their map and stitch over this pseudo landmass with a generic sea water image because they not only use satellite data, but also a composite of other resources, including ‘out-of-date’ maps, to produce their on-line maps.

It seems to be the other way around with a New Zealand example, where an island missing from modern maps of New Zealand is visible on ‘out of date’ maps. If you inspect Google maps or NZ Topo sheets (coordinates Lat -34.750588, Long 173.156842) you will see an empty space north of the Simmonds Islands. If you inspect Google Earth’s satellite imagery instead you will see a tiny island, 50 meters long by 40 meters wide in the same spot, a kilometre or so out from Henderson Bay in the Northland area of the North Island.

This rocky outcrop of an island with no name, has a hidden history. It appears on New Zealand Mapping Service (NZMS) series 1 topographical map at 1 inch to 1 mile (1:63,360) scale, sheet N3-4 published between 1954 and 1977. Later on, the island ‘disappears’ from NZMS 260 series at 1:50,000 scale, sheet N03 published between 1984 and 1999. And it is still missing from the current topographic series NZTopo50 (sheet AU26) maintained by Land Information New Zealand and used by emergency services and hikers alike. Production of NZMS 260 involved greater utilization of aerial photography and photogrammetric surveys, which improved spatial quality, completeness and appearance of this metric map series. It is possibly due to the use of this type of source material that cloud cover, not unusual for the Northland area, obscured the island from view, hence it wasn’t drawn on the new series. The good news is it was a simple omission, and the island will soon be back on the map.

The island then has quite a colourful history, being on and then off the map, which leaves open the fascinating question of what else has been left out? An exciting prospect for a map enthusiast like myself.

The above map series are housed in the Map Room, Level M, General Library building, City Campus. They are also available in a digital format from the GeoDataHub.

Benjamin Jones

Bonnett, A., 2014. Off the Map: Lost Spaces, Invisible Cities, Forgotten Islands, Feral Places, and What They Tell Us About the World. Aurum Press, London.

Julius Rudel

Monday, February 23, 2015 9:55 AM,

In June 2014 the conductor Julius Rudel passed away. Although not as familiar a name as people such as Simon Rattle, Arturo Toscanini or Georg Solti- in fact the Music Library only has one recording with Rudel conducting, and when I mentioned him to my colleagues the response was: who?- Rudel was a fascinating person and a mainstay of the New York music scene. Born in Austria in 1921 Rudel and his family fled Austria for the United States in 1938 during the Austrian Anschluss by Hitler. On arrival to New York Rudel enrolled at Mannes College of Music with the plan to become a composer, however, after a couple of years he decided the world had enough composers and decided to switch to conducting.

In 1944 Rudel began working as a rehearsal pianist at the newly formed (est. 1943- with its first season in February 1944) New York City Opera. He worked his way through all the off stage jobs: organising props, auditions, working in stage management, conducting and casting assignments. His first conducting assignment came in 1944 conducting Johann Strass II’s The Gypsy Baron. Rudel eventually became a full time conductor and then in 1957 became the general director and chief conductor of the company. During his tenure as director of the company he was committed to premiering new works (especially American works) and new singers, as is evidenced by his casting of a relatively unknown 25 year-old Plácido Domingo in the lead role for the production of Ginestera’s Don Rodrigo, the inaugural production at the NYCO’s new home in Lincoln Center on February 22 1966 (an excerpt of which may be heard here). Rudel was also instrumental in giving Domingo his first opportunities to conduct opera in the 1970s. For Domingo these two events were extremely important to the course of his career. In the first instance the roles that he had with NYCO gave him exposure in New York, and importantly allowing him to gain contact with the American music scene. His performances with the NYCO led to roles in New York Metropolitan Opera productions, and in 1968 an official debut with the company. It should also be mentioned that our lone holding of Rudel conducting also features Domingo performing excerpts of Austrian/Germanic opera (Vienna, City of my Dreams).

Returning to Rudel, under his tenure the NYCO became known for its cutting edge productions and by the mid-1960s was regarded as one of the leading opera companies in the United States despite being one of the smallest with only two short seasons per year. Rudel’s tenure as director ended in 1979, the longest directorial tenure in the life of the company, which collapsed in 2013- Rudel is reported to have been shocked that he actually outlived the company.

In addition to his tenure at NYCO Rudel conducted with a number of other opera companies (including the New York Metropolitan Opera) and orchestras. He was the inaugural artistic director of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and also organised a number of music festivals across the United States. Although the Music and Dance Library has very little of his work, there are a number of recordings available on Youtube- both audio and video where you can listen to and watch his work such as this excerpt of the San Francisco Opera Company performing Saint-Saëns Samson et Delila, or Rudel conducting his protégé (who later became director of the NYCO) Beverly Sills in Bellini’s aria A te o cara, and finally conducting a concert performance of Verdi’s Otello.

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library

Updates to Papers Past

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 10:08 AM,
Arts, Māori and Pacific

The latest update to Papers Past includes content from three South Island newspapers made available online through the National Library’s collaborative digitisation programme.

The programme involves local libraries and historical societies working in partnership with the National Library to add newspapers to the database.

Christchurch City Libraries assisted with digitising editions of the Press (1929-1935) and the Star (1915-1917), and the Westport Genealogy and History Group and Lyall Adamson helped with the Westport Times (1868-1874, 1879-1884, 1886).

This new content offers rich opportunities for research, and there’s a bit of fun to be had in delving through the pages.

Browsing an edition of the Press from 80 years ago today, you’ll learn all about the hen’s party organised for bride-to-be Miss Elisabeth Morris by her bridesmaid Miss Helen Thomson, including a full list of those who attended, and an in-depth description of the “frocks” worn by Miss Morris, her mother, and Miss Thomson!

Wedding Dress, 1930s, maker unknown. Gift of Particles of Time Ltd, 1984. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (PC003241)
Perhaps Miss Morris' wedding dress looked like this one?
Wedding Dress, 1930s, maker unknown. Gift of Particles of Time Ltd, 1984. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (PC003241).

Don’t worry if you’re not looking to discover the most fashionable fabric of 1935 (crepe, by the way), there’s a wealth of content to explore for those interested in New Zealand’s social, political, economic and cultural history.

About Papers Past

Papers Past is the National Library’s digitised collection of early New Zealand newspapers and periodicals, covering the years 1839 to 1945 and includes publications from all regions of New Zealand, totalling 93 in all.

All publications are fully searchable and can also be browsed according to date, region and title.

Congratulations to DOG

Friday, February 13, 2015 4:39 PM,


In the last Music Library display blog I mentioned DOG, the quartet made up of staff from the jazz course in the School of Music and that their debut self titled album was garnering a lot of positive critical attention. That attention has definitely paid off as they have been nominated for the 2015 Jazz Tui (Best Jazz Album). Congratulations to Ron, Kevin, Roger, and Olivier on this achievement!

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library

Focus on Cardiac Intervention Therapies

Thursday, February 12, 2015 3:52 PM,
Philson Library

Cardiovascular interventional medicine is an area that has rapidly expanded in recent years from relatively straightforward balloon angioplasty to complex multiple procedures, often carried out in urgent situations. The new books at the Philson library this week include three resources that focus on cardiac diagnostic and interventional techniques.

Book cover image


The cardiac catheter book : diagnostic and interventional techniques is divided into general diagnostics, diagnostics for specific diseases and interventional techniques, giving tips and expert solutions to everyday clinical problems.
Urgent interventional therapies focuses on the urgent interventional procedures performed in the most serious and critical cases of cardiovascular and peripheral artery diseases, where immediate specialist care is required.
The third edition of Catheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias has also arrived.  This text is organised by type of arrhythmia and provides information on anatomy, diagnoses, mapping/ablation and troubleshooting.
If you would like to know more about the resources available at the Philson library, or to suggest areas of study you would like us to focus on here, please get in touch:

Summer Shakespeare 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015 2:20 PM,
Arts, Māori and Pacific

A Midsummer Night's Dream Summer Shakespeare 2015 poster

The annual Summer Shakespeare production begins on Friday 13 February at the University of Auckland’s City Campus.

This year Michael Hurst directs A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of William Shakespeare’s comedies which tells a “strange, transporting legend of an ancient Athens populated with desperate lovers, warring fairies and hapless actors” (to quote the event page).

To learn more about the production, its cast (which includes actors from Marvellous, a group of motivated senior citizens aged 65+, all with varying acting experience), and how to purchase tickets, visit Summer Shakespeare.

Take a look at the Summer Shakespeare Facebook page for behind the scenes photos and to learn more about the actors and crew involved.

Shakespeare library resources

The General Library’s Special Collections holds a number of Shakespeare’s publications, including a ten volume set of plays (including A Midsummer Night’s Dream) published in 1768.

To view digitised historic editions of Shakespeare’s work, visit Early English Books Online.

Early English Books Online screengrab

You can scroll through the pages of A Midsummer Night’s Dream published in a collection of Shakespeare’s plays from 1623.

Other databases to explore include: 

The Audiovisual Library holds film versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Theatre in Video contains a 1981 BBC production of the play with a scrolling transcript to keep up with the Shakespearean dialogue!

The DynaMed Mobile App - Updated!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 1:30 PM,
Tamaki Library

The DynaMed Mobile app has been updated, and the main features include:
  • Access to content offline
  • Bookmark Favourites
  • Email topics
  • Write and save notes about particular topics
How to download and authenticate the app:
  1. From Google Play or the iTunes Store, download the DynaMed Mobile app to your devic
  2. From a web browser connect to the DynaMed database
    1. Click the ‘Mobile’ link (top of page) and enter your email address
    2. An authentication message will be emailed to you
  3. From your device, open the DynaMed Mobile authentication email
    1. Tap the link in the email to authenticate the app

Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Library Laptops

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 8:59 AM,
Tamaki Library

If you would like to choose your own study space, there are 20 laptops available for loan at the Tāmaki Campus Library. You can borrow a laptop for 2 hours – simply bring your Student ID card to the Information Desk and we’ll take care of the rest.
Check here to see the library opening hours:

Remembering Aldus Manutius

Thursday, February 05, 2015 2:24 PM,
Special Collections


Detail from 1554 Aldine edition of Demosthenes
The Aldine press device and a wood-cut from Demosthenes, (1554), Orationum, Venetiis : Paulo Manutio.

Pocket-sized books and the italic typeface are two enduring printing innovations introduced by the Italian Renaissance printer-publisher Aldus Manutius, who died 500 years ago. 
Born ca. 1450 near Rome, Aldus Manutius or Aldo Manuzio was a humanist scholar. He worked as a tutor before moving in about 1489 to Venice where he set up the Aldine press with backing from established printer Andrea Torresani (1451-1529) among others.  Aldus, who produced his first book in 1495, is perhaps most widely renowned for publishing the first printed editions in Greek of the works of many classical Greek writers, such as Thucydides and Herodotus.1
For his books in Greek, Latin, Hebrew and the vernacular Italian, Aldus commissioned several typefaces, including Bembo and the first italic typeface from the type designer Francesco Griffo.  The italic type was used in the small-format `octavo’ books Aldus introduced in 1501, which he called `libri portatiles’ or portable books. He also collaborated with leading scholars of the day, including Desiderius Erasmus and Thomas Linacre.  Following Aldus’ death on 6 February 1515, the Aldine press was carried on by Torresani (by then his father-in-law) and later his son Paulo Manutius (1512-1574) and grandson Aldus Manutius (1547-1597).1
The above images are from the 1554 Aldine edition of Demosthenes' Orationum, which was printed by Aldus’ son Paulo.2 This three-volume work in Special Collections is bound in ca. 19th century half-vellum. Each volume carries the armorial bookplate for William Henry Dutton (1827-1896), a lawyer and book collector of Hewcroft, Newcastle, England, whose library was sold in London by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge in 1903.3 One volume has the signature of an earlier Greek owner.  
Special Collections also holds a fine facsimile edition of Aldus’ most famous work, the 1499 Hypnerotomachia poliphili,4 which is hailed for its typographical design and its many exquisite woodcut illustrations.  
This year, numerous exhibitions and symposia will explore the legacy of Aldus Manutius 500 years after his death, including the 2015 conference of the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand.
Jo Birks, Special Collections
1 M. Davies, (1995), Aldus Manutius : printer and publisher of Renaissance Venice, Malibu, Calif.: J. Paul Getty Museum; M. Lowry, (1979), The world of Aldus Manutius : business and scholarship in Renaissance Venice, Oxford : Blackwell.
2 Demosthenes, (1554), Orationum, Venetiis : Paulo Manutio. Glass Case 885.6 A
3 (1903), Catalogue of the interesting library of books and manuscripts of the late William Henry Dutton, Esq. (of Hewcroft, Newcastle, Staffordshire) : comprising incunabula and other early printed and modern books illustrating the history of printing ... , London : Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge.
4 F. Collona, (1963), Hypnerotomachia Poliphili [facsimile], London : Eugrammia Press. Glass Case 093 C71

BIOSIS Database

Wednesday, February 04, 2015 10:35 AM,
Philson Library

BIOSIS contains unique life science data not indexed by Scopus or MEDLINE, and has in-depth coverage of many areas relevant to Medical and Health Research, eg:
-              pre-clinical and experimental medicine
-              pharmaceutical botany/pharmacognosy
-              proteomics
-              nanotechnology
-              gene therapy
-              psychiatry
-              biotechnology, biochemistry + lots more
It combines the old Biological Abstracts and BIOSIS Previews databases; in addition to journal articles, it also covers proceedings, books/book chapters, meeting abstracts, technical letters, notes, and life science patents.
BIOSIS may be worth a look in addition to your usual sources.

Maps: The good, the bad and the ugly

Sunday, February 01, 2015 1:28 PM,
Geospatial data Bloggers

The 2015 academic year has officially started at the University, with Summer school in full swing. Another exciting note - 2015 is also officially the International Map Year, so it is only fitting then to start the first blog of the year on Map design, namely ‘good’ map design. Quite often, defining a good map is elusive, a topic few can pin down. Conversely and frustratingly, bad maps are easily spotted and identified, often apparent by erroneous and numerous labels, confusing contents, and shocking colours. It is the frequency of bad maps that generates the discussion of good map design as a needed service. In this regard, there are few better than Kenneth Field and colleagues who contribute and maintain a blog on good map design. The prolific blog updates are framed by a very approachable narrative, summarising and outlying why and how a map gains the cartographic tick of approval. Cartographic guidelines to map design are commonly overlooked when presenting geospatial material, those design elements which could easily clarify and add weight to technical, academic, or professional undertakings.
But don’t just take my word for it, by following this link you will see an insightful discussion around 365 maps that exemplify the design, science and art behind the map making process. Examples range from historic to modern, thematic to topographic, paper to digital, monochrome to colour, geo-graphics to geo-visualisation, and of course the list goes on. Overall, it cannot be overstated all the examples in some way makes the ‘user’, novice beginner or savvy map maker, rethink of what represents a good map. At the very least these examples will provide inspiration for your own map making endeavours in 2015.
For further details on and the link to the website please click here.
Otherwise, a quick way to get an overview is to visit the accompanying MapCarte Pinterest Board at
Benjamin Jones

Music at Auschwitz

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 2:50 PM,

On January 27 1945 Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland was liberated by Allied forces.  This day is now commemorated around the world as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Music has played a large role in the remembrance of the Holocaust with notable compositions including Steve Reich’s Different Trains, and Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony no. 3: Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. However, music also played a significant role on both sides of the conflict. Most people know of the Nazi’s use of music in their propaganda, but they also used music as a way of promoting their political/cultural/racial agenda. The broadest application was the ban on music written by Jewish composers, or any music performed by Jewish performers, but music was also banned because it was written, performed, or influenced by so called ‘degenerate’ cultures: African/African-American, and Roma Gypsy cultures in particular. For example, jazz was considered especially degenerate because of its ties to African-American, Jewish and Gypsy cultures both composers and performers.

For the Jewish, Gypsy and homosexual musicians who were interred in Auschwitz and the other concentration camps music could be both a personal salvation and a death sentence, depending on the whims of the camp commanders and guards. There are tales of prisoners who were allowed, even encouraged to play music for the entertainment of the camp commanders, but equally there are tales of music leading to their deaths.

At Auschwitz there were a men’s orchestra and a women’s orchestra. These orchestras were considered to confer prestige on their SS sponsors and were considered a way of furthering their own careers. For the people incarcerated in the concentration camps being invited to join the orchestra as a reprieve from the absolute horror: members of the orchestras received more food, better clothing, warmer accommodation because they had to look healthy for their performances, which included performing at the camp gates for the prisoners arriving and leaving the camp on work details, for camp executions, as well as the (slightly) more normal activities of performing in concert for the inmates, the officers and their families. These duties and the privilege of being in these orchestras made the musicians both tool and target. Musicians were a tool of torture for the Nazis to impose on the other prisoners, and a target for those who were enduring intolerable conditions and forced labour. This was one of the many ways the camp commanders and the SS encouraged hostility and antagonism between prisoner groups.


Informal music making by prisoners who were not part of this orchestra system were neither tolerated nor discriminated against by the camp commanders. However, as noted above it was very much down to the whim of the guards and the commanders what was tolerated and what was not. Informal music making among the ‘ordinary’ prisoners usually consisted of singing, since they very rarely were allowed any instruments of their own. Prisoners frequently sang on their way to and from their work details and while they worked, trying to reconnect with their identities, or creating songs (usually new lyrics to existing songs) to record experiences, events, and camp life and even their own deaths. However, even this music making could be turned against them with forced mass singing sessions as a torture device.
Music in Auschwitz and the other concentrations camps was a complicated activity inured in politics and whim, and the vast range of human emotions. It was not an activity that would be done lightly as we might sing along to a song on the radio or our digital music player; it was an activity that had potentially lethal ramifications. At the same time however, it was an activity that allowed prisoners to retain at least a scrap of their humanity in an inhumane situation.


Currid, Brian. A National Acoustics: Music and Mass Publicity in Weimar and Nazi Germany. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 2006. (Music Library 780.943 C97)
Gilbert, Shirli. Music in the Holocaust: Confronting Life in the Nazi Ghettos and Camps. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 2005. (Music Library780.943 G46)
Kater, Michael H. Composers of the Nazi Era: Eight Portraits. New York: Oxford University Press. 2000. (Music Library 780.943 K19)
Newman, Richard and Kitty Kirtley. Alma Rose: Vienna to Auschwitz. Portland OR: Amadeus Press. 2000. (Music Library 780.9436 R79)

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library

Auckland Anniversary Day

Friday, January 23, 2015 9:10 AM,
Special Collections

Enjoying the Auckland Regatta, an illustration from the programme for the 1890 anniversary celebrations

Yesterday I explained to my teenage son that he starts back at school next Tuesday because Monday is a public holiday.  “Why,” he asked.
 “Because it is Auckland Anniversary Day”, I explained.
 “Why,” he asked. 
So we looked it up and I was surprised to find that the holiday actually marks the day that Governor William Hobson landed in the Bay of Islands on 29 January 1840, not the founding of the European settlement of Auckland. Officially, Auckland was established on 18 September 1840 when Hobson’s deputy, Captain William Symonds, hoisted the Union Jack at Fort Britomart.  
The holiday was established in January 1842 when Governor Hobson directed that “Saturday, the 29th instant, being the Second Anniversary of the establishment of the colony…be held a general holiday, on which the Public Offices will be closed.”1  
This association of the holiday with the foundation of the colony is apparent in the introduction to the programme for the Auckland 50th jubilee celebrations in January 1890. The illustrated, 48-page programme, held in Special Collections, outlines a whole week of celebrations “on a scale of grandeur hitherto unknown in this part of the British Dominions” to mark the “proclamation of the Queen’s sovereignty over the islands of New Zealand”.  Events included a procession of Friendly and Trade Societies from the Ponsonby Reservoir, along Karangahape Rd and down Symonds Street to the grounds of Government House,  a horticultural show, athletics and swimming carnivals, rowing races, Maori canoe races, horse racing and of course a Jubilee Regatta.

Katherine Pawley, Special Collections


1. New Zealand government gazette. 26 January 1842, Vol. 2 , 4th edition, page 16.

'Auckland's first Anniversary Day Regatta', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 29-Oct-2014.

Auckland jubilee celebrations 1890: guide book and official programme for use of visitors and others (1890). Auckland, NZ. H. Brett. NZGC 042 7.

New Year New Music

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 12:23 PM,

Welcome to 2015- isn’t bright and shiny and new? As a way of celebrating the new year our display in the library this month centres on recently published and recorded music from New Zealand. There is a wide range of music on display from art music through to pop music, and a number of items (both CDs and scores) on display are by current or former staff and students at the University of Auckland.

Some items of particular interest by the current and former members of this university include:
Lilburn duos for piano and violin
Performed by pianist Michael Housten and violinist Justine Cormak, this is a very interesting CD of Douglas Lilburn’s violin/piano works. Of the four items on this CD only one- the Sonata for violin and piano (1950) had been published. While the other works were performed during Lilburn’s lifetime (the Sonata in C was premiered by celebrated violinist Maurice Clare in 1943), and occasionally after, they remained in manuscript form until Cormack and Houstoun convinced Jack Body of Wai-te-ata Press to publish the Sonata in C and the Allegro Concertante (Body was already working on publishing the Sonata in E flat).


DOG is a quartet formed by the main jazz lecturers here at Music: Roger Manins, Ron Samson, Kevin Field and Olivier Holland. The group regularly performs and records together under a number of guises but this is the debut album of this particular configuration. The group is known for their adventurous approach to post-bop jazz, and for the musical with that they display in performance and through their compositions. The self-titled album is all original compositions written by the quartet members, and has been garnering a great deal of critical acclaim hinting to a possible nomination for a New Zealand Music Award.

Henry Wong Doe: Landscape Preludes
The Landscape Preludes are a set of twelve solo piano works commissioned by pianist Stephen De Pledge in 2003 and debuted in 2008. However, this is the first time that they have appeared collectively on an album. Recorded with the assistance from the Wallace Arts Trust this album represents a recent initiative for the Trust- expanding their support and promotion of contemporary New Zealand art to recording and performing contemporary New Zealand art music. This is the first album that was recorded with the assistance of the Trust and has received significant critical acclaim since its release.

The Piano Tuner’s Performance Appraisal
Written by graduate Robbie Ellis for the Estrella Quartet (the members were students here at the time of the commission), this is a work for two pianos/four players/eight hands. Although the work does not appear on Estrella’s debut album Tui (also on display this month) the group premiered the piece in 2012 in a concert here at the University of Auckland. The work is described as novelty serialism and includes non-musical performative gestures as well- such as the performers switching places and pianos and making spoken exclamations.

These and other items (CDs and scores) are all available for borrowing, and we have plenty more new music (both local and from overseas) available to peruse and borrow. So why not celebrate the new year by listening to some new music- maybe something/someone you haven’t listened to before.

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library


Focus on Addiction

Thursday, January 15, 2015 9:46 AM,
Philson Library

Addiction and the effects of dangerous consumptions on communities and society is a hot topic worldwide. The latest new books at the Philson Library include three books that focus on various aspects of addiction.
Book cover for Models of Addiction
Models of addiction by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) focusses on the most recent models and theories of drug addiction in individuals and populations, and forms part of its Insights series.
Book cover for Governance of Addictions 
Governance of addictions : European public policiesby Ysa et al. analyses multidisciplinary research to understand how governments have formulated and implemented addiction policy in 27 European Union member states.
Book cover for Drug use, impaired driving and traffic accidents 
Drug use, impaired driving and traffic accidentsalso by the EMCDDA, is a report bringing together current research and study findings to provide a comprehensive European picture on illicit drugs and medicines in connection with driving.

Braille Music Notation

Monday, January 12, 2015 4:34 PM,

While writing the blog for our November display (Música Española) I discovered that one of the composers that I highlighted Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999), who was blind from age three, composed his works in braille music notation. Now most of you will be thinking: yes, that seems obvious, what’s so special about a blind composer using braille? Well, for one thing, when Rodrigo began composing the braille music system was relatively new still. For another thing many blind composers have traditionally preferred to play (or in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, record) their compositions for assistants to transcribe. There is also the issue of transcribing braille into conventional notation for publication. For Rodrigo to use braille is also interesting because braille music notation is more used as an aid and an extension for visually impaired musicians, rather than at the core of musical education as it is for sighted musicians.

The system of braille music notation was also created by Louis Braille, who was an accomplished musician, and is the only truly international braille code. As with the other braille codes it relies on the six dot cell system (two vertical lines of three dots)

  to create symbols that conveyed a variety of musical meaning from pitch, clefs, harmony, and rhythm to time, tempo, phrasing, articulation and dynamics. Because of the need to use ones fingers to read braille, blind musicians (except singers and only playing one hand on a keyboard instrument) memorise the notation before being able to play it on their instrument. In the twenty-first century blind musicians will tend to use braille as a supplement to learning pieces aurally through recordings, using braille notation primarily for sight reading purposes (reading through a work once and performing it immediately without any recourse to practice) or for preparing a new work.

Returning to Rodrigo, the process of composing in braille notation is relatively complex. Rodrigo would begin as all composers do sitting at their preferred composing instrument and working out themes and lines that would build into what becomes the composition. Then he would transcribe the work (thus far stored in his memory) into braille using a braille writing machine. These machines during Rodrigo’s day looked something like a typewriter with only six keys- something like this:

Which, by pressing the keys in various combinations, would emboss the Braille symbols onto paper.

From there Rodrigo would use the braille notation to dictate each instrument, note, and line to a sighted copyist who would render the music into notation that could be used for commercial publishing. After that had been completed Rodrigo’s wife, pianist Victoria Kamhi would then play the copy of the score back to Rodrigo and together they would make corrections and any other necessary changes before the work copied again to be made ready for use by sighted musicians and for publishing. Images of the original braille manuscript and the original copyist’s manuscript can be found on the Joaquin Rodrigo website.
As noted above visually impaired musicians tend to use braille musical notation as a supplement to their learning process because the process of reading it requires them to stop and read (unless they are singing or playing a keyboard instrument one handed). Even though we have had a number of students at the School of Music who were visually impaired to the point of being unable to use conventionally notated music, many of them have preferred to utilise recordings. Although the Blind Foundation does have a reasonable collection of braille scores in its library and such scores are also interlibrary loanable through a number of libraries around the world, when visually impaired students do need notated music electronic resources, scanning technology and the variety of transcription software available has meant that they do not require braille scores as they would have done in the past.

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library

Free Microsoft Office 365 for UoA Students!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2015 11:46 AM,
IC Bloggers


MS Office 365

Tamaki Library Manager

Friday, January 09, 2015 9:36 AM,
Tamaki Library

Introducing Megan Clark | Library Manager Medical and Health Sciences (Tāmaki & Grafton)


Megan has been the Library Manager for Medical and Health Sciences at the Philson Library, Grafton, for the past 9 years.  In August 2014, Megan also took over management of the Tāmaki Innovation Campus library and currently works from both locations: Tāmaki in the mornings, and Philson in the afternoons.  In addition to her management responsibilities, Megan is also the Subject Librarian for MBChB and collaborated towards a research article about the Evidence-based information-seeking skills of junior doctors entering the workforce (2011) and Trends in health science librarianship (2012).  Megan’s contact details are available through the Libraries and Learning Services Staff page and the University Directory.

New Staff

Monday, January 05, 2015 10:17 AM,
Tamaki Library

Introducing Tracy Maniapoto | Subject Librarian (Tāmaki & Grafton)

Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Ati Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Kahungunu

A fan of Twitter as a personal learning network and soy cappuccino, Tracy joined the University of Auckland as a Subject Librarian in October 2014.  Her primary role is to support students and staff within MAPAS, Health Sciences & Te Kupenga Hauora Māori.  Tracy is based at both the Tāmaki and Philson libraries and her contact details are available through the Libraries and Learning Services Staff page and the University Directory.

Business Information Centre - Xmas hours

Monday, December 22, 2014 12:34 PM,
B&E Information Services

Christmas decorations

The Business Librarians will be away for the Christmas break from Wednesday 24th December.

There will be no Business Librarians in the Business Information Centre (BIC) from this date until Monday January 5th

Remember, you can contact us throughout the holiday period via email

Happy Christmas from the Business Librarians.

Updated historical newspaper collections

Friday, December 19, 2014 9:45 AM,
Arts Information Services

Credit: James D. Richardson, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-7047

Credit: James D. Richardson, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-7047.

The Library recently updated its collection of historical newspaper databases.

New content includes:

Picture Post Historical Archive   Sunday Times Digital Archive

Daily Mail Historical Archive

Each provides user friendly search options, with the ability to limit searches by publication date, search for keywords in specific fields, and browse by issue.

Looking to search across a wide range of titles?

This new content plus a vast range of historical newspapers can be accessed via Gale NewsVault, a platform providing a single point of access to search across multiple titles.

You can read titles cover-to-cover in full screen and save, print, highlight, bookmark, grab, pan, zoom and crop content and images.

With news, commentary, entertainment, photo-journalism, reviews, and much more – there’s a wealth of interesting content with high research value waiting for you to explore.

NEW YAK - For the Holidays!

Thursday, December 18, 2014 12:13 PM,
Sylvia Ashton-Warner Library

A couple of the new books in the library this week are particularly timely holiday titles - as well as being excellent New Zealand books which would be good in the classroom.   A great way for younger kids to fill in the hours of summer in fine or wet weather!
Nauture Journal
A New Zealand Nature Journal by Sandra Morris (Junior Non-Fiction)
Sandra Morris is an award winning author and illustrator who also runs the Sandra Morris Illustration Agency. This is her biography on the agency website.  This is a gorgeous book which teaches kids how to keep a journal and is full of fun and practicle ideas on what sorts of observations and discoveries can be recorded in it.  It encourages young and old alike to be aware of, explore and record the natural world around them.  Find a food chain in your garden, keep a moon log, a cloud log, identify the bird and animal sounds, collect shells, seeds, wildflowers, leaves - and more!
Doodle Bug
Doodle Bug by Bruce Potter (Sophisticated Picture Book)
Bruce Potter is another award winning New Zealand author/illustrator, who regularly visits schools. Find out more on his website (a video of him singing Doodle Bug features!).  This is an awesome book in which Doodle Bug encourages the author to start drawing and then dives into a doodle.  From that point on the reader has to find Doodle Bug in each of the remaining doodles.  Good luck!  The author's note at the end about the writing of the book is a nice touch, and includes the following:

"There is nothing more important in being a creative thinker than using our own imaginations and doodling is the key to unlocking them.  What better way for children to develop their imaginations than to let them doodle all over their school books." 

New Anthropology resources

Monday, December 15, 2014 2:37 PM,
Arts Information Services

The Library now has access to a new database, Early Experiences in Australasia, and new content for an existing database, Ethnographic Video Online.

Early Experiences in Australasia

Early Experiences in Australasia screenshot

Early Experiences in Australasia: Primary Sources and Personal Narratives 1788 to 1901 is a collection of primary source material relating primarily to Australia, from the arrival of the first settlers through to Australian Federation at the close of the 19th Century.

The collection includes first-person accounts in letters and diaries, as well as cartoons, maps, poems, advertisements and other ephemera.

Ethnographic Video Online

Ethnographic Video Online screenshot

All three volumes of Ethnographic Video Online are now available, extending the video collection's coverage.

Designed as a resource for the study of human culture and behaviour, Ethnographic Video Online has an international scope and features classic works from the pioneers of ethnographic film as well as contemporary works.

Study guides, filmmaker biographies, interviews and release notes feature alongside many titles, and all films have searchable transcripts which scroll through in time with videos.

Christmas Time

Monday, December 15, 2014 9:21 AM,

With Christmas approaching rapidly this month’s display naturally showcases our Christmas related music. However, instead of the usual display of carols (because most of our carol books are in high demand at this time of year) we have decided to showcase mostly non-carol Christmas music. As our collection is predominantly classical music we have a wide range of sacred and secular Christmas music ranging from the medieval period to the current day. Unsurprisingly the majority of Christmas music from before the nineteenth century is predominantly religious rather than secular, though there is a small but important repertoire of secular music that most likely has its origins in pagan celebrations of mid-winter.

Many composers wrote concertos, sonatas and other instrumental music, as well as hymns, oratorios and masses in celebration of Christmas. Some composers also wrote works as Christmas gifts for musicians and/or friends such as Herbert Murrill’s Sarabande: A Christmas Greeting for Pau (Pablo) Casals. Works written for fellow musicians and friends give us an interesting way of tracking the networks that developed during their lifetimes (particularly for the pre-digital era), or in Murrill’s case posthumously since the work was not published until 1953, and it is unknown when exactly he wrote the work for Casals.

Additionally there are a number of operas/operettas, musicals and ballets that use Christmas as a central theme, for example Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Herbert’s Babes in Toyland, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Christmas Eve, and Hindemith’s The Long Christmas Dinner. These productions all use Christmas as the main event around which to tell a story, which might be related to the holiday season, or it might be a more universal story, such as Hindemith’s The Long Christmas Dinner, which uses the event of Christmas dinner to tell the story of a family over three generations.

 At the other end of the spectrum we have popular Christmas music. Although we have very little popular Christmas music in our collection we have included the sheet music to Bing Crosby’s rendition of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, and Phil Spector’s album A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector (also known as A Christmas Gift from Philles Records). These two popular music offerings in our display also happen to be the most carol-y of our display. Written by Irving Berlin in 1940 White Christmas is what you might term a modern carol thanks to its popularity from the 1942 film Holiday Inn (starring Bing Crosby), and also the nostalgia created by the hardships of World War Two. These two events firmly fixed the song in the minds of the public, and it has endured as a favourite Christmas song into the twenty-first century with over 500 versions of the song having been recorded to date.

Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift for You from 1963 is actually entirely carols and modern Christmas songs (including White Christmas, with its original first verse), many of which were already Christmas classics at the time of recording. The point of difference here with an ordinary carol album is that he applied his Wall of Sound technique arrangements, which makes it sound unlike any other carol album of the era. The album suffered from a severe case of band timing unfortunately, as it was released on the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. However, the 1972 rerelease fared much better, and the album grew in popularity and critical acclaim with a number of modern music acts basing their renditions of carols on some of the performances and arrangements on this album.

To wrap this final blog post for the year up my gift to you is the improbable, but amazing, duo of Bing Crosby and David Bowie. Merry Christmas everyone!

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library


Friday, December 12, 2014 11:29 AM,
Audiovisual Library

Under the Skin (2013)       Director: Jonathan Glazer    Call Number: DVD-V LD14-0651

Watch trailer
poster image
Image: Courtesy of Lions Gate

Under the Skin is in stark opposition to Interstellar; non-pretentious, and thought-provoking (with influences from Nicholas Roeg and David Lynch)  on a tiny budget.  Shelved for 10 years during which Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth) deliberated on how to adapt Michel Faber's surrealist science fiction 2000 novel, this minimalist sci-fi film has been praised for its imagery and Scarlett Johansson’s performance.

Johansson plays Laura, an extra-terrestrial seductress who emerges in Glasgow and lures males into her van to lead them into their bizarre death/castration.  In fact, Johansson literally drove the streets of Glasgow (with a special security team), and her encounters with unwary non-actors were later incorporated into the film. Human experiences — the taste of chocolate cake, the beat of music, the warmth of sensual caress— begin to tempt and distract Laura, and she decides to give up on her mission.

Howell, Peter. Review: ‘Under the Skin and Ida — strange women on alien turf, seeking empathy: review’. 8 May. 2014.

Vulcan Demirkan-Martin
Audiovisual Library

Data on NZ supermarket products

Thursday, December 11, 2014 12:59 PM,
B&E Information Services

Market Information Digest

Nielsen's Market Information Digest is the place to find data on products sold in supermarkets around New Zealand. 

The database provides figures on market sales, market share, brand performance and product manufacturers' sales.  It also includes store numbers, categories broken down into private label and home brand, as well as top growth and declining categories.

Market Information Digest in now available online for quick and easy access to retail and product data.

Being mortal

Thursday, December 11, 2014 9:29 AM,
Philson Library

Book cover for Being Mortal

Gawande, a practising surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families of the terminally ill in his latest book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.

Gawande also discusses concepts from the book in an interview with Kim Hill, Radio New Zealand National:

Food for the Community

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 12:12 PM,
Tamaki Library

Food bank donations from Tamaki Innovation Campus

The Tāmaki Innovation Campus has a tradition of collecting food for those in the local Glen Innes community.  The food bank, run by the Glen Innes Citizens Advice Bureau, does a great job of distributing food to families all year round.  This photo was taken outside the Tāmaki Library on Friday - thank you to those who contributed so generously!

Company research guide

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 1:42 PM,
B&E Information Services

Compaines sujbect guide

Need help finding company related information? Our new Companies guide can help you.

Developed by the Business Librarians, the guide contains resources about companies' background, financial data, company history, ownership, rankings and much more.

To find a full listing of Business guides by subject click here.

The joy of reading

Monday, December 08, 2014 9:19 AM,
Special Collections

Two girls reading in classroom.

Do your plans for the summer holidays include reading a good book or two?  I know mine do; but do you remember learning to read?  Perhaps one of the reading books currently on display outside Special Collections will jog your memory.

The books document some of the ways in which New Zealand children have been taught to read over the last 100 years.  Nearly all the books are illustrated and it is these colourful images, more than the text, which you may remember.  

Given the time of year we have included a copy of Christmas shopping from the New Zealand Education Department’s Ready to Read series of readers in the display.  Published in 1966 the book tells how Mark and his sister are taken Christmas shopping by Mother; they visit Father Christmas, buy a hose for Father and slippers for Grandma.  As you will see Mark looks suitably impressed.

The books are part of an extensive collection of school text books amassed over a period of 20 years by writer and publisher Hugh Price (1929-2009) and described in his 1992 publication School text books published in New Zealand to 1960.  In 2001, Price generously donated his collection to the Alexander Turnbull Library and the University of Auckland.  The books donated to the University are held in Special Collections as The Hugh Price Collection and are available for use in the Special Collections reading room.

Katherine Pawley, Special Collections


Price, H. (1992). School text books published in New Zealand to 1960. Wellington, NZ: Dunmore Press and Gondwanaland Press.

Roberts, M., & School Publications Branch, New Zealand. (1966). Christmas shopping. London: Methuen. (Price 25/193 1966).

Photo of girls reading – New Zealand Educational Institute Collection. Retrieved from

Researching over the summer?

Thursday, December 04, 2014 11:15 AM,
B&E Information Services


Feeling abandoned and alone? Never fear, the Business librarians are here over the summer to assist you with your tricky research topics, help devise search strategies and suggest the best databases for your research.

If you are a researcher, a post graduate or a summer intern get in touch with your subject librarian.


Alain Badiou: In search of the lost Real

Friday, November 21, 2014 2:38 PM,
Arts Information Services

Credit: Siren-Com, Wikimedia Commons
Credit: Siren-Com, Wikimedia Commons

Alain Badiou, one of the world’s most prominent living philosophers, visits the University of Auckland next week to present a public lecture.

Hosted by the Auckland Critical Theory Collective, School of Social Sciences and the Europe Institute, the talk is titled À la recherche du réel perdu / In search of the lost Real.

As noted on the Faculty of Arts event page, Badiou is credited with a contemporary renaissance in the idea of communism, and with radical innovations in ontology, mathematics, metaphysics, and the relationship between truth and thought.

He currently holds the René Descartes Chair at the European Graduate School and continues to teach a popular seminar at Collège International de Philosophie.

Badiou has authored several novels and plays alongside more than a dozen philosophical works.

Badiou’s work

The Library has books by Badiou and critical works about him .

A number of Badiou's works are held in both the original French and translated English editions, as with his 1988 magnum opus L'être et l'événement which is also available as Being and event.

And for the Badiou enthusiasts, visit Badiou’s page in the open access archive and indexing database PhilPapers, or take a look at the International Journal of Badiou Studies, a multi-lingual journal dedicated to Badiou’s philosophy and thought.

Event details

Date and time: Tuesday 25 November 2014, 6pm.

Location: Fisher and Paykel Appliances Auditorium, Owen G. Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Road, University of Auckland.

Alumni Success

Friday, November 21, 2014 10:44 AM,

Congratulations to our alumni who had great success at the New Zealand Music Awards last night:

Sol3 Mio (Pene Pati, Amitai Pati and Moses Mackay) took home the Tui's for FOUR Highest Selling Album and Best Pacific Music Album for their self-titled album Sol3 Mio

 Tama Waipara took home Best Roots Album for his album Fill Up The Silence

And last but not least, Tattletale Saints (Vanessa McGowan and Cy Winstanley) took home the Best Folk Album for How Red Is the Blood

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library

University of Auckland. Read all about it!

Thursday, November 20, 2014 3:57 PM,
B&E Information Services

NZ Herald

Find out about the students, staff and researchers at the University of Auckland, as they have featured in The New Zealand Herald.

MarketLine Advantage database - new features

Thursday, November 13, 2014 12:50 PM,
B&E Information Services

MarketLine Advantage

MarketLine Advantage has added specialised databases and tools to their resource:
  • Financial Deals Tracker - a database of global mergers and acquisitions (M&A)    private equity deals, venture finance deals, private placements, IPOs, and partnerships.

  • Company Prospector - screen companies and build lists of potential business partners, clients, and investment targets in industries and countries of interest.

  • Company Report Generator - generate fresh custom company reports featuring analytical text and charts which draw on MarketLine's company datasets. Example sections include company overview, history, SWOT analysis, M&A, partnerships and agreements, news and product information.  
The information generated from these databases will be included in your search results.