Latest Posts

Douglas Lilburn Centenary

Monday, November 23, 2015 11:44 AM,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library

New Resource: Hei Hauhake Whakaaro

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


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

Beautiful Box Sets

Friday, November 13, 2015 2:36 PM,

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

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

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


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



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



Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library

World Scientific Database

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

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

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

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

You can access World Scientific through our connect page.

Notations, annotations, and doodles - a digitisation dilemma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robin Lush collection of Elam produced letter-press printing

Wednesday, November 04, 2015 10:33 AM,


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

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

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

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


W. Hamill

Fine Arts Library


ORCiD - new auto-update feature

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about the

Mundane events, big issues: exploring everyday life in Auckland

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

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

Mundane Events: Big Issues exploring everyday life in Auckland

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

Staff workshops: Talis Reading Lists

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

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

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

From the collections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jo Birks, Special Collections

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

Davis Law Library Closure for Renovations

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

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

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

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

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

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

UNESCO World Day for Audio-visual Heritage

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

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

Information Commons Extended Weekend Hours!

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

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

Monday, 19 October 2015 - Sunday, 15 November 2015

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

New database: China Proceedings of Conferences full-text database

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

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

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

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

You can access the database here.

Database Trial: Global Health

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

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

Artist collaborations with the stage

Tuesday, October 06, 2015 3:42 PM,


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

S. Foote

Fine Arts Library


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Benjamin Jones, and Igor Drecki,
Cartographic and Geospatial Resources

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

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

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

We would like to hear what you think about them.

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

Kate Edger Information Commons Team 

Music and Sport

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 9:06 AM,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library

Newmarket Intercampus Delivery Service

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

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

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

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

Location of pickup and returns crate

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

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

Bee Aware Month!

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

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

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

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

Flight of the Honey Bee Vanishing Honybees
Bees Bee Hive

Twilight of Empire display

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

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

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

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

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Friday, September 04, 2015 2:50 PM,


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

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

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

Aleisha Ward
Music and Dance Library

Celebrating Tongan Language Week

Friday, September 04, 2015 12:52 PM,
Sylvia Ashton-Warner Library

Amelia To'ofohe welcomes staff and students to the Pacific Collection

Thanks to all those who joined us at the Sylvia Ashton-Warner Library yesterday to celebrate Tongan Language Week and Pasifika library resources.  For those who couldn't make it, we were welcomed into the Pacific Island Collection where librarians, academics and students spoke with passion about Tongan language books and their importance to the Tongan community through school and family partnerships.  We were also treated to Pauline reading a story aloud to us and a wonderful dance by Eseta.
We have a growing range of Pasifika childrens' books in the library, including a new series by Carolyn Collis. The main display will be up until Tuesday, so come in and have a look in the next couple of days, or come in any time and browse the collection.

A selection of Tongan language resources

Explorations of Western Otago and the search for Professor Brown

Wednesday, September 02, 2015 9:38 AM,
Geospatial data Bloggers

Empty space on a map is a rare sight today. Every space is mapped, and every place marked.  Maps in this modern era tend toward a more mundane character, with very little left to the imagination, or the possibility of further exploration. Finding a map with the word exploration, and plenty of empty space, therefore, has the ability to capture the imagination. On closer inspection of a map in our digital collection, a ‘+’ marks the last known location of J. Mainwaring Brown, Professor of English Literature and Political Economy from Otago University (Harding 1888).

Enlarged segment showing the last known location of Professor Mainwaring Brown.
Enlarged segment showing the last known location of Professor J. Mainwaring Brown.

The map itself documents the exploration of a group of Europeans into the Otago area, an ill-fated journey necessitating a rescue party in search of the missing Professor.  Clues to what occurred are further characterised by the maps symbology, a line in black line shows the search party’s journey,  with their various basecamps noted, all in reference to the approximate location of the bushline, rivers, and surrounding hills.  Over those hills and just out of sight of those early explorers, empty space dominates the map drafted in 1894, where what was known is slowly branching and diverting into the unknown to those in search of the Professor.  The empty space slowly being filled with successive journeys into the valley as shown by the later map from 1896.

Enlarged segment showing the last known location of Professor Mainwaring Brown.
A map of explorations of Western Otago dated to 1894 (Left), with the 1896 map showing the later additions (Right).

The mystery of what happened to Professor Brown is clarified by two newspaper articles that appeared in the Clutha Leader and the Otago Witness, and now digitally available via ‘Papers Past’, an online repository of New Zealand and some Pacific Newspapers.  The articles detail the time line and circumstances of how the man went missing, the response, the struggle with the weather and difficult terrain. Unfortunately, and to the dismay of all involved, the dear Professor was never found, believed to have been swept into a stream of sufficient force to carry him to the Mica Burn. These expeditions did, however, result in the finding of landmarks unknown to the Europeans explorers. Mount and Lake Mainwaring were named after the lost Professor (Hall-Jones 1979).

Digital images of the above maps can be obtained by contacting Igor Drecki.

Benjamin Jones,
Cartographic and Geospatial Resources


Harding, R. C. (1888, December 29). Obituary. Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review. Retrieved from

Hall-Jones, J. (1979). Fiordland Place-names. Dunedin, New Zealand: John McIndoe Ltd.

September display - The Taniwha

Wednesday, September 02, 2015 2:43 PM,
Engineering Library

This month, the Engineering Library display features the University of Auckland's very own human-powered submarine: the Taniwha.

Built by students and staff from across the university, Team Taniwha's goal is to advance human mobility under water. The submarine recently competed in the 13th International Submarine Races in the USA, successfully completed 10 out of 11 runs, and won in the non-prop class.

For more information about Team Taniwha, please visit their website or follow them on Facebook.

The Taniwha will be on display in the Engineering Library until the end of September.

Paper Boat: Moments in the life of a book

Tuesday, September 01, 2015 1:42 PM,

Directed by Elam post-graduate student Alex Mitcalfe Wilson, Paper Boat, a 30 minute documentary, presents the process of the production of a book from the perspective of a writer, Gregory Kan; University Press editor Anna Hodge; Index Design co-founder Amy Yalland; printers and binders Rob Girdwood and Kevin Devane; retailer Jenna Todd from Mt Eden’s Time Out Books and librarian Carla Gullichsen.

“Paper Boat presents a visual narrative built from the unique personal histories and fascinations of these people, whose work as writers, editors, and book professionals continues to change the way in which New Zealanders read, think, and dream.” – Directors Statement (The Lumiere Reader)

Also featured in the film is a discussion with Yalland into the process of risograph printing at Index Press. Examples of her work and other examples of risograph printing from New Zealand, including Pie Paper, which Mitcalfe Wilson is also a contributor to, are currently on display in the Fine Arts Library.

The documentary is viewable online at The Lumiere Reader.


Fine Arts Library

Corporate governance information

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 11:11 AM,
B&E Information Services

Companies subject guide

Looking for corporate governance related research materials? Have a look at the Governance tab in the Companies guide
The guide covers different aspects of corporate governance, including: 

  • Corporate governance centres and organisations
  • Laws, regulations and guidelines
  • Corporate governance rankings
  • Databases to help you find corporate governance related journal articles. 

    For more information on the topic, contact Lucy Dong 

ORCID - we have a winner!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 9:26 AM,
Tamaki Library

Congratulations to Rochelle Newport, Professional Teaching Fellow, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori.  Great to see you’ve created an ORCID iD and connected it to the University of Auckland.

ORCID: Assisting researchers to maximise discoverability

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 1:23 PM,
Tamaki Library

ORCID® (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is an open source, not-for-profit community initiative.  A growing international community of researchers, publishers, funders and academic societies are integrating ORCID into their workflows.

  • When you create an ORCID you get a 16-digit identifier (iD) which is used to distinguish you from other researchers,
  • You also get an ORCID Record on which you can record details of your research outputs, funding and activities, education and employment,
  • You control privacy levels for your Record

Once you're registered for ORCID, you can configure the identifier as a data source in Research Outputs.  Contact your Subject Librarian if you need help.

Want to win the ORCID mug featured above?

Use our Quick Guide to set up an ORCID account, then connect your ORCID iD to the University of Auckland.  Visit the Information Desk at the Tāmaki Library (yes, in person!) and show us that your ORCID iD has been connected to your Staff profile.  We only have one ORCID mug to giveaway - first in will win! 

Australian Open Access Support Group expands to become Australasian Open Access Support Group

Monday, August 24, 2015 10:46 AM,
Research Support Services

The Australian Open Access Support Group (AOASG) has now become the Australasian OA support group, with the joining of all the New Zealand Libraries under its umbrella organisation, Council of New Zealand University Librarians (CONZUL).

More information please see the blog post below:

Science & Engineering RefWorks Session

Thursday, August 20, 2015 11:17 AM,
Science Information Services

By popular request, the Science and Engineering Library staff are running another session of RefWorks with Science and Engineering databases.

Time: 11 - 12pm, Thursday 27 August

Location: Computer Training Room, Level 2, Engineering Library

RefWorks is a web-based database program for storing and managing bibliographic references. It allows you to import references from the Library catalogue or databases into your RefWorks library. References in RefWorks libraries can be edited, sorted and searched, and incorporated automatically into papers for publication. Endnote libraries can be imported into RefWorks.

Please note, this introductory one-hour course is limited to 29 students only so please book early.

Book online here as soon as possible.

Libraries & Learning Services Survey - 3 to 21 August

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 12:17 PM,
B&E Information Services

How are we doing and where can we make improvements? Fill in a short survey about Libraries and Learning Services before Friday 21 August and enter the draw for one of two Samsung Galaxy tablets

Based on an Urban Legend

Monday, August 17, 2015 3:01 PM,
Audiovisual Library

New Arrivals

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014)
Director: David Zellner
Call Number: DVD-V LD15-0376

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
Image courtesy of

Watch trailer

Based on the urban legends surrounding the death of Takako Konishi, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter is the story of a young Japanese woman who travels to America in pursuit of treasure. Kumiko is twenty-nine and lives in solitude in Tokyo. Between the pressure of her dead-end job and the constant pressure to find a man and get married, Kumiko finds solace in her pet rabbit Bonzo and a VHS copy of the 1996 film Fargo. Convinced that the film is based on a true story, Kumiko leaves everything behind to go to Minnesota in search of the money buried by Steve Buscemi's character at the end of Fargo.

"If Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter takes its time, it's time worth taking. The cinematography is lovely: great swirls of midnight snow, frosted trees in glinting sun, the bustling modernity of Tokyo, a big library, subway stations exquisite in their orderliness."

Rea, Steven. Review: "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter: Stranger in a strange land". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 3 April, 2015.

Darryl Maher
Audiovisual Library

Foreign direct investment in NZ - report

Monday, August 17, 2015 1:54 PM,
B&E Information Services

KPMG has released a new report, Foreign Direct Investment in New Zealand: Trends and Insights, presenting analysis of recent foreign direct investment in New Zealand.  

Discover this timely resource and other major reports, country investment policies, and FDI indices in the Foreign direct investment subject guide.