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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.

2015 Carnegie Medal nominations

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 11:38 AM,
Sylvia Ashton-Warner Library

Nominations have been announced for next year's prestigious Carnegie Medal.  This is awarded annually by CILIP (The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) in the United Kingdom, to the writer of an outstanding book for children. 

The award is named in honour of the Scottish-born philanthropist who used his wealth to establish 2800 libraries across the English speaking world (including in New Zealand, one of which was in Onehunga.)

This article in the Telegraph lists the 91 nominations, and has links to reviews it has written about some of the nominated books. These include:

Brilliant Half bad
Picture me gone When mr dog bites


The New Zealand Supreme Court: The First 10 Years

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 8:08 AM,
Davis Law

Supreme court conference display

On Friday 14 November 2014, the Faculty of Law are hosting a conference celebrating the first 10 years of the New Zealand Supreme Court.

The conference will consider the issues, trends and characteristics that have emerged since the Supreme Court was created ten years ago, and the extent to which the Supreme Court has achieved its founding objectives.

To mark the event, the Davis Law Library has created a display about the conference in the glass cabinet.

You can find out more about the conference by visiting the Davis Law Library or by clicking here.

Small stories from two decades: Michele Leggott

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 1:33 PM,
Arts Information Services

Michele Leggott, Credit: Tim Page 

It is twenty years since one small incident changed the way I read and think about the world……
- Professor Michele Leggott

Professor Michele Leggott of English, Drama and Writing Studies, will read a series of interconnected stories as part of the Devonport Arts Festival this week.

As the event page notes, Small stories from two decades “traces the progression of her blindness from that critical threshold twenty years ago and finds that poetry is a language to hold onto when other languages start to disappear”.

Professor Leggott was Poet Laureate from 2007-09 and received the 2013 Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement.

Her most recent collection of poetry, Heartland (2014) was a finalist in this year’s NZ Post Book Awards. Poet Paula Green described the collection as “testimony to the powers of a poem to move and catch you in ways that can be as plain as day and as mysterious as night”.

The Library holds copies of Heartland and many other works by Professor Leggott.

Northland, Michele Leggott

Special Collections holds limited edition poetry collections by Professor Leggott, including Northland (2010), one of just 75 copies published by Pania Press, and the artist’s book Journey to Portugal (2006), designed by Gretchen Albrecht and published by the recently closed Holloway Press.

Journey to Portugal, Michele Leggott and Gretchen Albrecht

To read more of Professor Leggott’s writing, visit her author page on the New Zealand electronic poetry centre (nzepc).

Event details

Date and time: Wednesday 12 November 2014, 6-7pm.

Location: Kerr Street Art Space, Kerr Street, Takarunga Mt Victoria, Devonport.

Free admission.

Musica Espanola

Friday, November 07, 2014 5:15 PM,

Although guitar and castanets are perceived as the entirety of Spanish music (and there is a lot of both of those instruments in Spanish composed and influenced music), there are a number of very well-known composers of all genres who do not necessarily use either guitar of castanets. November marks the month that two celebrated Spanish art music composers Joaquín Rodrigo and Manuel de Falla were born: one day (November 22 and 23 respectively) and 25 years apart.

Manuel de Falla was the first of these two to be born on November 23 1876 in Cádiz. He studied music at the Madrid conservatory in the late 1800s, winning the piano prize in 1899. While studying in Madrid Falla became interested in Andalusian music, especially flamenco, which would influence many of his works. In 1907 Falla moved to Paris, which further expanded his sonic palette and associated with the French impressionist school, especially Maurice Ravel, Paul Dukas and Claude Debussy, and also Igor Stravinsky and the choreographer Serge Diaghilev who in 1919 would commission Falla to write music for the ballet Le Tricorne (The Three Cornered Hat).

Falla returned to Spain on the outbreak of World War One. During the war Falla would compose some of his most well-known works including Noches en los Jardines de España (Nights in the Garden of Spain), El Amor Brujo (The Bewitched Love) and El Corrigidor y la Molinera (The magistrate and the miller’s wife) which was later revised to become the ballet Le Tricorne. During the 1920s and 1930s Falla moved away from the influence of Andalusian music than had marked his early works and began experimenting with the neo-classicist style which was popular among many art music composers at the time, especially Stravinsky whom Falla had met while in Paris.

After the Spanish Civil War and the victory of Francisco Franco, Falla moved to Argentina and would remain there for the rest of his life teaching and composing. Because of Falla’s position in Spanish music and cultural life, Franco tried to entice Falla back with the promise of a sizeable pension, however Falla refused, preferring to remain in Argentina. Falla died on November 14 1946, just before his seventieth birthday. His remains were repatriated to Spain in 1947 and he is entombed in the cathedral at Cádiz.

Joaquín Rodrigo was born November 22 1901 in Sagunto, Valencia, and lost his sight at age three after contracting diphtheria. Rodrigo began studying music at an early age, and although is renowned for his guitar compositions (in particular Concierto de Aranjuaz and Fantasía para un Gentilhombre) never mastered the instrument himself. When Rodrigo was in his twenties he moved to Paris to study with Paul Dukas at the Ecole Normale.  Although Rodrigo returned to Spain briefly after studying with Dukas he returned to France during the Spanish Civil War and split his time between there and Germany for the duration, returning to Spain after the war ended in 1939.

Soon after Rodrigo premiered what is arguably his most famous work, , in 1940 he was recognised as one of Spain’s leading composers. In addition to his composition work Rodrigo was active as an academic and music critic writing for a number of newspapers and magazines. In 1947 he was appointed to the Manuel de Falla Chair of Music at Complutense University in Madrid, which was created specifically for Rodrigo. From this period Rodrigo began to tour extensively performing, lecturing and attending concerts and festivals of his music.
Rodrigo described his music as being fundamentally neo-classical and conservative, but it is equally clear that his music, like Falla’s was influenced by the music’s of Spain, especially in his use of traditional forms and sounds. Also like Falla, Rodrigo became one of Spain’s best-known and popular art music composers, and works from both composers have become central repertoire for musicians.

This month’s library display celebrates their birthdays with a display of Spanish music material from our collection. Although our collection primarily focuses on Spanish art music we also have a small, but significant number of items that cover other genres of Spanish music, particularly in our CDs collection. In our display as well as the art music scores and books we have books on flamenco and popular music and CDs of all of the above genres and a variety of other folk music from Spain. Our database Naxos Music Library also has a good collection of Spanish music- especially art music and folk music.

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library



IC Commons Extended Weekend Hours & Exam Time Tables

Thursday, October 30, 2014 4:59 PM,
IC Bloggers


IC Commons (City Campus) Weekend Extended Opening Hours:

KEIC Extended Weekend Hours

To find examination room allocations please click on the link below:



Tuesday, October 28, 2014 3:07 PM,
Audiovisual Library


New Arrivals

Gloria (2013)     Director: Sebastián Lelio      Call Number: DVD-V LD14-0557

Watch trailer
film's poster image
Image: Courtesy of Lions Gate

Gloria’s charm is its titular character. Gloria (Paulina Garcia), a late 50s divorcee hangs out at Santiago dance clubs populated by middle-class middle aged men and women looking for company. In one of her visits, she meets Rodolfo, another divorcee who lives with his ex-wife and two adult daughters that are financially and emotionally dependant on him.
The nuanced and poignant performances from both actors have won the hearts of  festival goers all over the world and Paulina García won the Silver Bear for best actress at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival.

“Gloria doesn't need a guy; she just wants one. This is what desire looks like when it's freed from desperation” (Zacharek, 2014).

"Were this an American film, the situation of a middle-aged woman refusing to give in to loneliness would likely be fashioned into a comedy starring Meryl Streep or Maggie Smith, but Lelio refuses to adopt the industry’s ageist slant, presenting a woman (magnificently played by Paulina Garcia) of undisguised sexuality seeking to be the center of life for the man she loves” (Variety, 2013).

Variety staff. Review: ‘Gloria’. 10 Feb. 2013.
Zacharek, Stephanie Michael. "Gloria Offers an Answer for the Age of the Ageless". 22 Jan. 2014.

Vulcan Demirkan-Martin
Audiovisual Library


Tuesday, October 28, 2014 11:04 AM,
Sylvia Ashton-Warner Library

Dinosaurs are an endlessly popular and engaging topic, with lots of opportunities for fun and learning. We have around 200 junior non-fiction dinosaur titles in our collection at the Sylvia Ashton-Warner library, most of them shelved in the 567.9 section.  Come in and have a look at them or browse through a list of search results in the catalogue.
The most recent addition is this suitably large format book full of information:
Deadly dinosaurs
Deadly Dinosaurs by Rupert Matthews and Steve Parker.  The book has an introductory section giving an overview of prehistoric life, a section about dinosaurs in general and then the infamous T.Rex gets a section all to himself! There are quizzes, activities, fun facts, cartoons, illustrations and photographs throughout.  This book will appeal to a wide age group.
If you’re going to be in Wellington over the summer check out their fabulous exhibition: Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family. It opened a month ago and received rave reviews from my nephew!  It is on until 27 February. Te Papa are running early childhood and primary school trips to those lucky enough to live in the region, with accompanying  teacher resources available on their website.

Labour Day celebrations

Friday, October 24, 2014 9:40 AM,
Special Collections

Auckland Labour Day Celebrations, Certificate of Merit. Boilermakers’ Union records

Auckland Labour Day Celebrations, Certificate of Merit. Boilermakers’ Union records. 2
On Monday many New Zealanders will celebrate Labour Day with a day free from work. Like most public holidays its origins are largely forgotten and it is viewed as just another day off. However, Labour Day used to be marked with public processions to celebrate the establishment of an eight-hour working day and people, like Samuel Parnell, who had made it possible.1
The image above is a Certificate of Merit awarded to the Auckland Boilermaker’s Union for ‘Most complete trades’ union working display’ during the 1921 celebrations. The item was found while processing the Auckland Boilermaker’s Union records here in Special Collections and provides a record of one of the many events which made up Labour Day festivities that year.2
The aim of the Labour Day Committee in 1921 was to put on the best Labour Day Auckland had seen, stating ‘The main idea is to give the women and children a really good day-outing’.3 Advertisements in the papers promised a procession of unionists and local businesses led by a bullock team along Queen Street.4 The procession finished at the Domain with a public picnic, sporting events, Highland dancing, tug of war and a baby show.5
The event was to be one of the last of its kind held in celebration of Labour Day. As more local businesses began to use the day as an opportunity to advertise, less and less union content was included. Eventually, the day became viewed as a day for the ‘bosses’ and the large public picnics and sports events began to die away.6 Archives such as the certificate remind us of the day’s origins and of the people who fought for our right to a day off.
Leah Johnston, Special Collections
1 Roth, H. Parnell, Samuel Duncan, from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 7-Jan-14.
2 Auckland Labour Day Celebrations, Certificate of Merit. Boilermaker’s Union records. MSS & Archives 2014/13, item 5/1. Special Collections, University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services.
3 Labour Day. (1921, July 30). Auckland Star, p11.
4 Labour Day. (1921, October 22). New Zealand Herald, p8.
5 Advertisements Column 1. (1921, October 22). Auckland Star, p16.
6 Ministry for Culture and Heritage. (2014). Labour Day. New Zealand History, updated 5-Aug-14.

NEW YAK - School Days

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 12:08 PM,
Sylvia Ashton-Warner Library

This week we have picked out some diverse new junior and young adult school stories. There is humour, there is terror, there is inspiration, there is good, there is bad, and there is very bad…

Dog days of school Dog days of school by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Brian Biggs (Junior Picture Book)
Charlie doesn’t like school!  He thinks his dog Norman has it good, and wishes he was a dog too.  This is a story about being careful what you wish for!  While at first happy when he wakes up as a dog, a week of drinking out of the toilet bowl, being chased, groomed and punished for digging up the garden has him wishing to be a boy again.  Meanwhile Norman has had some difficulties at school… A fun story with a happy ending!
Wonder Wonder by R.J. Palacio
(Junior Fiction)
Sometimes people just stare at ten-year old August Pulman.  Sometimes other kids run away screaming.  That's because August Pulman looks different, and he’s had so many operations he’s never been to school – until now. And that means it’s his turn to be terrified! August is an endearing character and our journey with him through his first year at school, interestingly told through the voices of different characters, is both heart-warming and funny.
Dark Lord Dark Lord, the teenage years by Jamie Thomson
(Junior Fiction)
This is a crazy adventure-fantasy story punctuated by imaginative illustrations. The main character is the Dark Lord, who suddenly finds himself on earth in the body of a 13 year old boy. He is mistakenly called Dirk Lloyd - strangely no one believes he is the incarnation of evil from another planet!  Not so strange is that he dislikes being told what to do by the teachers at the school he is enrolled in…  A very funny and clever book.
Brutal youth

Brutal youth: A novel by Anthony Breznican
(Young Adult)
Peter Davidek is a freshman at St. Michaels – a school that “has become a crumbling dumping ground for expelled delingquents and a haven for the stridently religious” (inside cover).  He makes friends with volatile Noah and lonely Lorelie, and together they face their first year in an environment filled with bullying, intimidation and corruption.  Could going bad be the only way to survive?...

Crash and burn

Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan
(Young Adult)
In 2008 Steven Crashinsky, who has ADD, stops classmate David Burnett, who is bi-polar and armed with explosives and assault weapons, from taking their high school hostage.  This novel is based on the events of that morning and on the years leading up to it, told from Steven’s point of view.  It is a gripping and troubling story which provides insight into the dark side of the “modern American teenage male” (inside cover).

Extended Opening Hours at the Davis

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 10:51 AM,
Davis Law

The Davis is open on Labour Day

Exams are just around the corner and extended opening hours at the Davis Law Library begin this weekend.

From October 25th until November 16th, the opening hours will be:

Monday - Friday 8:00am - 10:00pm
Saturday - Sunday 10:00am - 9:00pm

In addition, the Davis Law Library will be open on Labour Day (Monday 27 October).
The hours for Labour Day are:

Monday 27 October 10:00am - 9:00pm


NEW YAK - Feast your eyes!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 12:38 PM,
Sylvia Ashton-Warner Library

This week we've picked out  a few Junior titles, all of which have fantastic illustrations accompanying the text.  Come in and have a look at them on the new book display.

Deep in the Sahara Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane, illustrated by Hoda Hadadi (Junior Picture Book)
This is a beautifully written and illustrated story about growing up, set “deep in the Sahara, sky yellow with heat” (page 2). In Muslim West Africa Lalla wants to wear a malafa for all sorts of reasons, but what is the one reason that will convince her mother she is not too young?  The book includes both a useful author’s note about this custom and a glossary.

Hedgehugs by Steve Wilson, illustrated by Lucy Tapper
(Junior Picture Book)
This is a seriously sweet book, full of the most gorgeous illustrations!  Horace and Hattie are the best of friends and have lots of fun together.  One thing they can't do together though is hug –  they’re too spikey!  And life just isn’t quite right when you can’t hug your friends.  Then one day they make a discovery that might just lead to a hedgehug… Toooo cute!


Graphs, graphs, graphs! by Kelly Boswell (Junior Non-Fiction)
One of the bright and colourful titles in the Displaying Information series, this book demonstrates the useful ways in which graphs can help us sort information.  It provides fun examples of pictographs, bar graphs, line graphs and pie graphs and includes a glossary.  Great for the classroom.  The library also has Diagrams, diagrams, diagrams! and Maps, maps, maps!

Adaptation Adaptation by Melanie Waldron (Junior Non-Fiction)
One of the engaging titles in the Essential Life Science series, this book is a great introduction to the topic of adaptation.  Each chapter poses a question, eg, How do living things adapt to heat?; What are predator and prey adaptations? It includes experiments for kids to try, a glossary and lovely photographs. See also Plants and Variation and Classification.