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Friday, September 19, 2014

Suffrage Day: The Woman's Place

Emily Gibson poem verse

Today marks 121 years since New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world to grant women the vote.1 For some women however, this was just the start of a lifetime spent fighting for wider social reform throughout New Zealand.

One of these women was Emily Patricia Gibson, who emigrated from Ireland to New Zealand in 1891. Soon after her arrival Gibson joined the Auckland branch of the Women’s Franchise League. She was one of a group of women to vote for the first time at Army Hall in Auckland between “two rows of jeering men”. Gibson recalled “we were brave because we were together, but not one of us was not trembling and trying to hold back tears”.2

Soon after taking part in this historic event, Gibson moved on to become a founding member of both the Auckland Women’s Liberal League (later the Auckland Women’s Political League and Auckland Women’s Branch N.Z. Labour Party) and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). After the decline of the Liberal Party she became a member of the New Zealand Labour Party at its formation in 1916, and was described as the “thread linking Auckland Labour Women’s branch with the early suffragette movement”.3

The image above is taken from a scrapbook Gibson created that is held in Special Collections. It is the last verse of a poem she wrote titled The Woman’s Place in reply to the assertion that the woman’s place was in the home.4 The poem is one of a variety of newspaper clippings, photographic prints, letters, articles and notes that have been pasted into the scrapbook. Alongside copies of clippings relating to political organisations, leaders and activists of social reform are articles and poems written by Gibson for publications such as the Maoriland Worker, the New Zealand Worker and the New Zealand Herald. The scrapbook reflects Gibson’s passion for peace and social justice, but also provides a snapshot of early social reform movements in New Zealand and elsewhere in the world.

Leah Johnston, Special Collections

Sources

1 Ministry for Culture and Heritage. (2014). 'New Zealand women and the vote'. New Zealand History, updated 17-Jul-14. Retrieved from http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/womens-suffrage

2 Hutching, M. (2012). 'Gibson, Emily Patricia', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 30-Oct-2012. Retrieved from http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/biographies/3g7/gibson-emily-patricia

3 Purdue, C. (1975). Women in the Labour cause – The history of the Auckland Women’s Branch N.Z. Labour Party, 1925-1975. Abelard Press : Takapuna, New Zealand, p. 7.

4 The Woman’s Place. Emily Gibson scrapbook. MSS & Archives 2014/9. Special Collections, University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Early Coxhead album

Photograph of Government House, Wellington (ca 1880-1889)

This photograph of Government House in Wellington is one of many in a photographic album titled Old N.Z. Views produced by Dunedin photographer Frank Coxhead.1 Taken from Lambton Quay, the image shows the original Government House situated where the Beehive is now positioned and the Parliamentary Library visible in the background.2 The grandeur of the stately building is contrasted against the modest parade of shops that run along Lambton Quay, showing a few Wellington residents going about their day.

The album in which the photograph is located recently came to light whilst processing collections of older archival material held here in Special Collections. It was created by prominent Dunedin photographer, Frank Coxhead, and contains 52 albumen prints of natural and urban New Zealand landscapes circa 1880-1889. During the 1870s Coxhead worked alongside his elder brother, Harry Coxhead, from their gallery in Moray Place, Dunedin. By 1885 the brothers closed their business and Coxhead continued operating under his own name in premises near the Octagon.3 His photography focussed predominantly on landscapes and he travelled extensively both in New Zealand, and abroad, to capture a wide variety of scenery.

Although not much is known about this particular album’s origins, or how it came to be part of Special Collections, it is typical of albums compiled by Coxhead. These albums were often put together for customers based on their personal selection at Coxhead’s Octagon gallery “from a collection of views” said to be “the best in the Southern Hemisphere”.4 The chosen photographs were then mounted in albums either provided by Coxhead or supplied by the customer. As a result, no two of these albums are alike.5 Those that have been preserved can be found in a number of libraries throughout New Zealand and each provides a unique snapshot of 19th century New Zealand.

Leah Johnston, Special Collections

References

1 Photograph of Government House, Wellington. (ca 1880-1889). Old N.Z. Views, MSS & Archives 2014/11. Special Collections, University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services.

2 Martin, J. (2012). History of Parliament’s buildings and grounds. Parliamentary Library :  Wellington, New Zealand. 

3 Knight, H. (1998). Coxhead, Frank Arnold (1851-c1919). In J. Thomson, J. (Ed.), Southern people : a dictionary of Otago Southland biography (pp. 107). Dunedin, N.Z. : Longacre Press in association with the Dunedin City Council 1998.

4 Otago Daily Times, Page 3 Advertisements Column 3, 23 November 1888

5 Knight, H. (1996). Coxhead Brothers Photography. The University of Otago Printing Department : Dunedin, New Zealand.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Lest we forget

Minutes of 1915 meeting of Auckland University College Students' Association

To coincide with the launch of the Special Collections First World War centenary website, we have prepared a display of original archival material which explores the creation of the Auckland University College Roll of Honour. 

The Roll, which is the centrepiece of the website, comprises three ring-bound volumes of loose-leaf pages, one for each of the 720 Collegians who enlisted for military service.  The details on the handwritten pages were meticulously compiled by members of the Auckland University College Students’ Association with assistance from the College Council from information supplied by the College, family and friends, and from newspaper reports and official sources.  The extract from the Student Association minutes, seen above, records the decision in early 1915 to compile “a complete list of members … serving with the Expeditionary force”.

Earlier this year, the three precious volumes which make up the Roll of Honour were digitised and can now be viewed as a searchable flip-book on the website.  In addition to the Roll, the website investigates the wartime experiences of some Collegians, the history of the Roll and life at the College in 1914.

The display, which includes two volumes of the Roll, can be found outside the Special Collections reading room on Level G of the General Library until the end of September.

Katherine Pawley, Special Collections.

References

AUCSA minute book 1909-1917, Auckland University Students' Association records.  MSS & Archives E-9, item1/1/2, Special Collections, University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Remembering Dame Dorothy Winstone

Photograph of the 1941 Auckland University College Student Executive.
Former University Councillor and alumni Dame Dorothy Winstone passed away last week aged 95.  Her long association with the University of Auckland is well documented in her personal papers held by Special Collections. 
Dorothy Fowler, as she was then, first attended Auckland University College as an undergraduate in the late 1930s. In 1941 she was the Vice-President of the Student’s Association and can be seen third from the left in the front row of the photograph above. Other items in the collection dating from her time as a student include:  student magazines, menus, invitations and a folder of essays completed as part of her BA and Dip Ed degrees.  The 29 neatly handwritten essays reflect the dedication and attention to detail Dame Dorothy applied to all she undertook in life.  For example, for one third year history paper marked by Professor James Rutherford she received 9/10 and the commendation; “A thoroughly excellent answer, well informed, and most intelligently arranged and argued”.  
Katherine Pawley, Special Collections.
Dame Dorothy Winstone papers. MSS & Archives 2003/5, items 1/5/2 and 1/4/1. Special Collections. University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Back to the grindstone

Newspaper notice regarding start of academic year 1914
This 100 year old notice regarding the start of the academic year comes from the University’s earliest clipping book.
By 1914 Auckland University College had been open for thirty years but had yet to secure a permanent site or buildings. Instead, the College occupied a collection of rather ramshackle buildings the largest of which was fondly referred to by students as the ‘shedifice’.  The academic staff of 17 included three new professors: Frederick P. Worley (Chemistry), Gwilym Owen (Physics), John C. Johnson (Botany and Biology) and a new Geology lecturer: John A. Bartrum.
Rather than two semesters the university year was divided into three terms, with annual examinations held at the end of the third term. Many of the 283 undergraduate students listed in the Calendar also had day-time jobs so lectures were held well into the evening and on Saturday morning. An undergraduate who attended at least three quarters of the lectures for, and passed the annual examination in a subject was said to have ‘kept terms’; in order to complete each year of their degree an undergraduate was required to ‘keep terms’ in at least three subjects.
The first day of term 1914 was a cloudy day with a south easterly breeze. The New Zealand Herald reported that it had been a dry February in Auckland; that England was soundly beating South Africa at cricket and the ex-Viceroy of India, Lord Minto, had died.   While there were reports of on-going unrest in the Balkans there was little to indicate that by August, Britain and her Dominions would be at war.
Katherine Pawley, Special Collections.
References
Auckland University College. (1914). Auckland University College Calendar for the year 1914.
New Zealand Herald, 2 March 1914, p.7. Retrieved from Papers Past .
University of Auckland clipping books. MSS &Archives E-3, Volume 1: 1885-1923. Special Collections. University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Bring your own socks

Cover of Country work and life in New Zealand published 1913.
As we reach the end of 2013 and with the release of the findings of this year’s census, perhaps it is time to reflect on life in New Zealand 100 years ago.
1913 was the year of the Great Strike, the Auckland Industrial, Agricultural and Mining Exhibition in the Domain, and the formation of the Social Democratic Party which would in time become the New Zealand Labour Party.   If this was not enough excitement, a Blériot monoplane was seen in the skies over Auckland. Christened Britannia, the plane was a gift to New Zealand from The Imperial Air Fleet Committee who hoped it would form the core of a fledgling air force. 
This year’s census results reveal New Zealand has a population of 4,242,048; in contrast in December 1913 there were just 1,147,104 inhabitants, 14,219 of whom had arrived from overseas during the past twelve months. Perhaps some of these ‘new chums’ consulted this useful pamphlet, Country work and life in New Zealand by Arthur Carr, published in Dunedin in 1913,  before embarking for our bush-clad shores.
In the preface Carr notes he had “devoted the past nine years to acquiring reliable information … that will be of value to anyone who contemplates emigrating to this Dominion”.   The illustrated pamphlet includes a handy map, information on how to get to New Zealand, advice on when and where to arrive and detailed descriptions of the types of rural work available in New Zealand for the “working classes of other lands”. 
With regards to what to bring, Carr advises “not to buy anything new, with the exception of socks” complaining that “Where the importing firms get all the rubbish in this line, which they pass on to the country storekeeper, I do not know”.
Katherine Pawley, Special Collections.
References
Carr, A. I. (1913). Country work and life in New Zealand. Dunedin : T.J. Orr, 1913. NZ Pamphlets: 83-160.
Statistics New ZealandThe New Zealand Official Year-Book 1914.
Statistics New Zealand. (2013). 2013 Census QuickStats about national highlights.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Just the time for a play

Musgrove's set drawings for The lady's not for burning.

Sydney Musgrove, known as 'Mus' to friends and colleagues, was professor of English at the University of Auckland from 1947-1979. During this time he directed a number of student productions and played an important part in starting the tradition of Outdoor Summer Shakespeare in 1963. This was matched by his active presence in amateur theatre outside of the University as well as his work as a literary scholar and poet.
 
Musgrove kept various ephemera from some 28 productions he was involved in which were donated to the Library in 2005 by his wife Marjorie and reveal a rich history of amateur theatre performances in Auckland.  As an intern in Special Collections I was lucky enough to undertake the task of arranging and describing this exceptional collection. This internship comprised part of my course work for Art History 734: 'Art writing and curatorial practice' taught by Ian Wedde and has culminated in the display showing in the foyer of the General Library until 5 December and an online exhibition currently in the final stages of construction.
 
These sketches by Musgrove for the set of The Combined Dramatic Societies of Auckland’s 1951 production of The lady's not for burning are a taste of what can be seen in the display.  The set for the production was designed to create a pleasant and airy room, dispelling the notion that medieval buildings were primarily dark and gloomy.  This production was an important one for Auckland's amateur societies who banded together to prove their potential for developing a professional theatre company.
 
Chelsea Renshaw
 
References:
Set drawings for The lady's not for burning, Sydney Musgrove papers on Auckland theatre activities. MSS & Archives 2013/7, item 1/7/1. Special Collections. University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services.

Jackson, M. (2004). A Theatrical Scholar: Sydney Musgrove. In D. Holman and C. C. Catley (Eds.), Fairburn and Friends. (pp258-264). Devonport, N.Z.: Cape Catley.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Waerete Norman : faith and action

Photograph of Waerete Norman, Maori Studies Department. Photo: Digitool: Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland

Special Collections in the General Library provides a repository for the papers of past and, sometimes, present academic staff of the University. This material is valuable in that it sheds light on individuals who have been part of the University’s story and provides resources for future researchers.
One such collection is that of Waerete Norman [1942-1999], also known as Violet Beatrice Subritzky. The abundance and variety of material in her collection attests not only to her career as tutor and lecturer in Māori Studies at the University but also to activities in the wider community.  The papers document  Norman’s involvement in the Māori Women’s Welfare League, the Auckland District Māori Council, the Rātana Church, Māori incorporations of the 1980s and 1990s, Treaty of Waitangi claims, and local body and national politics, including the establishment of Mana Motuhake.  
Norman’s work and interests occasioned opportunities for gathering copious research materials over the years and this is evident in various parts of the collection as scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, photocopying receipts, index cards, maps, and folders containing a wide range of subject matter.
Sadly, Norman died in 1999 while working on her doctoral thesis about Māori women. Her papers were subsequently donated to the Library, which is pleased to house this rich resource and to make it available to researchers within the University and the wider community.
In an obituary for Norman in University of Auckland News, Nin Tomas stated, "Her ability in te reo and knowledge of tikanga were unsurpassed in Māori Studies", and further on, "She was mother, guide, teacher, helper, taniwha". 
The holding of her papers at the University of Auckland Library ensures that the things she strove for and achieved are not forgotten.   
Yvonne Sutherland, Special Collections
References
Waerete Norman papers. MSS & Archives 2012/14. Special Collections, University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services.
Tomas, N. (2000). Obituary / Waerete Beatrice Norman (1942-1999). University of Auckland news, (April 2000), 18-19.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New online exhibition

Special Collections Bookplates banner

Special Collections has launched its first online exhibition, Special Collections Bookplates, which puts the spotlight on the provenance evidence to be found in some of its rare books. A small display of bookplates is also on in the General Library foyer until September 25.

Bookplates are designed and printed labels pasted into books by individuals and institutions as a mark of ownership. Known also as ex libris (from the books), they have been used since around the time of the first printing presses in the 15th Century.
 
The online exhibition features a small selection of the labels and stamps former owners left in the books in Special Collections, which have been donated, bequeathed or purchased over the past 130 years. From a simple label printed in letterpress that just states the owner’s name to an elaborately engraved bookplate that proudly presents their coat of arms, each one helps tell a story about a particular period in a book’s history.
 
The items span more than 350 years from the early 18th Century to the mid-20th Century and represent a fascinating crop of former book owners, including Narcissus Luttrell (1657-1732), an English diarist and Member of the House of Commons, Andre Morellet (1727-1819), a French essayist and philosopher, and the Pacific ethnologist and Polynesian Society member, James Edge Partington (1854-1930).
 
Special Collections will mount further virtual exhibitions as one way of showcasing and raising awareness of its rich printed and manuscript collections.
 
Jo Birks, Assistant Librarian, Special Collections

Friday, August 16, 2013

National Poetry Day

Draft cover for No ordinary sun from Bob Lowry papers, MSS & Archives A-194.
Special Collections holds such a treasure trove of published and unpublished material by eminent New Zealand poets it is difficult to choose what to highlight for this year’s National Poetry Day.
When I think of New Zealand poetry, however, two poems by Hone Tuwhare spring to mind, ‘No ordinary sun’ and ‘Rain’.   I learnt both off by heart at secondary school and have not forgotten either.   No ordinary sun is also the title of Hone Tuwhare’s first collection of poems, published in 1964 by Blackwood and Janet Paul and printed by Wakefield Press, Auckland.    
This draft of a possible cover for the book is from the papers of renowned New Zealand printer Bob Lowry. On accepting Blackwood and Paul’s offer to publish his poems, Tuwhare specifically requested that the book be printed by Lowry. (Hunt, 1998, p.70). Lowry eagerly took on the project; but lacked enough type for the lower case ‘e’ to set the whole book at once.  He therefore set and printed just the first half of the book, planning to reset the type and print the second half later. Unfortunately Lowry died in December 1963, leaving the publishers with 700 half copies of the book (Hunt, 1998, p.71).   After Lowry’s death the printing was completed by his apprentice Robin Lush with the assistance of Ron Holloway.
The first edition of No ordinary sun held by Special Collections includes a note acknowledging Lowry’s part in the design and composition of the book.
Katherine Pawley, Special Collections.
References
Draft cover for No ordinary sun, MSS & Archives A-194: Bob Lowry Papers, Item 202. Special Collections. University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services.
Hunt, J. (1998). Hone Tuwhare: a biography. Auckland : Godwit.
Tuwhare, H. (1964). No ordinary sun. Auckland : Blackwood and Janet Paul.  NZGC 821.914 T96n