During 1-7 May 2010, the Archives and Records Association of New Zealand (ARANZ) is marking its annual Records and Archives Week (RAW) with events on the theme of ‘archives and records of industry’. One aim is to raise awareness of the need to preserve for the future the documentary evidence of yesterday’s industry. Special Collections holds materials that chronicle facets of New Zealand’s enterprise and manufacturing history. Among these are the records and papers of the Sharland family and their business, Sharland & Co.
J.C. Sharland (1819-1887) was a pioneer in New Zealand’s pharmaceutical industry, being the country’s first manufacturing chemist. He settled in New Plymouth in 1847 and established a business as a chemist, druggist and general merchant. The business failed in the 1860s due to war in Taranaki, prompting a move to Auckland and the subsequent establishment of Sharland & Co. The enterprise flourished and, with the help of his sons, William and Frederick, expanded into several premises, including their Apothecaries Hall in Shortland St. A substantial family home was built at 21 Princes St in 1876. It is one of the merchant houses, now owned by the Auckland City Council, opposite the University of Auckland.
Sharland’s company manufactured and sold a vast range of merchandise that included medicines, pills and remedies, cleaning, baking and beauty products, and even ‘Ballroom Powder Parisian’ for dances and balls. Among the journals, ledgers, and account books is a volume of formulae and recipes for some of their goods and preparations.
Yvonne Sutherland, Special Collections
Easdale Nola, 1980. Five Gentlemen’s residences in Princes Street, Auckland : the occupants and their enterprises 1875-1900 : an assemblage. Auckland City Council.
Sharland, J.C., 1819-1887. Family Papers. MSS & Archives Vault 114. Special Collections, University of Auckland Library.
Sharland & Co. Records, 1882-1977. MSS & Archives 97/4. Special Collections, University of Auckland Library.