Seventy five years of the New Zealand Listener

Thursday, October 30th, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Blog post researched and written by Gina Rocco, Library Assistant – Periodicals

In June 1939, the first ever issue of the New Zealand Listener was sent free to all households with a radio licence.  As the official journal of the state-owned New Zealand Broadcasting Service, its original brief was to publicise radio programmes and publish content related to broadcasting.  The first editor liberally interpreted ‘broadcasting’ to encompass all human affairs, including the arts in particular.  It followed that the Listener became an important contributor to New Zealand literary life, with many major writers among its reviewers and short form fiction contributors.

Seventy five years later the Listener continues to be a top seller, and is New Zealand’s only major weekly magazine combining current affairs, arts criticism, and entertainment.

Looking through our holdings, I encountered a constantly evolving format in both dimension and design. The original focus as a visual accompaniment to the auditory world of radio has gone full circle, with radio’s place in the magazine having been gradually usurped by television, and now also internet-related content.  Radio New Zealand’s weekly programming highlights are currently allocated a mere one page per issue.

Here’s a taste of some randomly discovered content that caught my imagination:

1944: The Pahiatua Polish Children

The ragdolls on the cover of this June 1944 issue are promoting nationwide toy making contributions for the 734 Polish refugee children about to arrive at the Pahiatua camp that would be their temporary home for up to four and a half years.  The associated article provides details for readers to write in and buy a toy pattern at a cost of one penny, the pattern choices being:  duck, owl, rabbit, elephant or a Humpty Dumpty.  The article provides an insight into soft toys of the day, describing considerations such as: the type of cloth to use (animal skin not recommended); type of stuffing (options given are wood-wool, scoured-wool, rags, flock or sawdust); procuring fencing or fruit-case wire to provide stiffening; and cutting cardboard ovals for the soles of the feet.  The last section describes how to make a paper mache doll, including finishing it with enamel paint so that “it will be washable and everlasting”.

IMAGE 1 S14-444j Toymaking for the Polish children. Listener v.11no.262  (1944June30)

v.11:no.262 (1944: June 30)

1957: The Aunt Daisy Story

A serial biography beginning in August 1957 marked twenty one years of Aunt Daisy, regular Listener columnist and “First Lady of Radio”.  The Aunt Daisy Story instalments had titles such as:  A Victorian Childhood, New Plymouth Ho!, and The Fairly Gay Nineties.  The first issue containing the series (1957:Aug.2) included a pull-out photograph of Aunt Daisy (unfortunately this insert is missing from Hocken’s copy).

Advertisers all jumped on the bandwagon, hastening to associate their varied products with Aunt Daisy’s trustworthy image.

IMAGE 2 Aunt daisy ad collage

v.37:no938 (1957:Aug.2), v.37:no.941 (1957:Aug.23) & v.37:no.942 (1957:Aug.30)

1961: Television – It’s wonderful!

In contrast to the relatively low key one-page inclusion of programme listings when television made its New Zealand debut in Auckland less than a year previously, this issue excitedly announces its arrival to Wellington and Christchurch, claiming that “about half New Zealand’s population will soon be able to watch television”

IMAGE 3 S14-444i Television it's wonderful! Listener v.44no.1132 (1961May19)

v.44:no.1132 (1961:May19)

The article provides advice concerning the placement and size of the television set – quite the contrast to the popular super-sized television screens of today!

The best size of screen occupies 12 to 15 degrees of the viewer’s field of vision and does not require him to move his eyes or turn his head to see different parts of the picture… A viewer should seat himself at a distance from the set equal to five times the screen’s height.

1960: Twiss Family Puppetshow

The page below shows the format of the single page per issue dedicated to television that was typical of the early 1960s. The Monday to Sunday listings take up very little space, as television was broadcast only two hours per evening on a single channel.

The television page always included a story on current programmes or personalities.  The article below describes Puppet Playhouse, a local programme featuring 23 year old puppeteer Greer Twiss (better known now for his career as a sculptor).  Puppet Playhouse was a family affair:  Greer made the Marionettes, his mother the costumes and his father the props and set.

Channel 2 has just acquired a new announcer called Mr Throgmorton.  Viewers will excuse his somewhat wooden features when they see him, because Mr T. is a puppet who introduces the new Wednesday feature, Puppet Playhouse.

IMAGE 4 S14-445c Television Guide (Greer Twiss, Puppet Playhouse) v.43no.1101 (1960Oct.7) p.26v.43:no.1101 (1960:Oct7)

1973: Happen Inn People

This Jan 1973 cover shows the move to full colour and the larger magazine format that persisted until 1989.

Happen Inn was a Saturday evening pop music show hosted by Peter Sinclair.

IMAGE 5 S14-445a Happen Inn People. Listener v.72no.1733 (1973Jan.29)

v.72:no.1733 (1973:Jan29)

Turning the cover reveals a two-page spread of monochrome photographs by Robin Morrison documenting the exploits of the “Happen Inn People” during their summer break.

IMAGE 6 S14-445b Happen Inn on holiday.pp.2-3.Pages 2&3 v.72:no.1733 (1973:Jan29)

******

Unfortunately, Hocken’s holdings of the Listener’s first three years are extremely sparse (only one fragile issue from late 1939), and we also have many gaps in later years. We will gratefully receive donations of early issues – please contact the Periodicals team for details of collection gaps.

References:

‘First issue of NZ Listener published’, URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/first-issue-of-the-em-new-zealand-listener-em-published, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 30-Jun-2014

http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-PolFirs-t1-g1-g1-t5.html

“New Zealand Listener.” In The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature, 1998-01-01. http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100232827.

Jolly rollicking fun: a boy’s birthday party in 1892

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Post prepared by David Murray, Arrangement and Description Archivist

What were children’s birthday parties like in 1890s New Zealand? A sweet little account of one from Gore, Southland, has turned up in one of Hocken’s latest acquisitions: further papers of the historian James Herries Beattie (1881-1972). Among these papers is a notebook of verse and prose that Herries presented to his mother when he was eleven years old.

Herries wrote about his eleventh birthday, and tells of the games, the food, the gifts, and those who  were there. The original version of the story is shown in the image below, together with a transcription of a ‘Revised Edition’ Herries made at the age of fourteen as part of an expanded series of four notebooks he titled ‘A Reading Book for spare moments’.

Beattie_MS4237_008

My Birthday Party.

Monday. June 6th 1892.

I am eleven years old now. I was going to have a party on Saturday but it rained so that it had to be put off till Monday afternoon. I got leave to get away from school at 2 o’clock. A little while after this the children that were invited rolled up so that games were started. The first thing was swinging & after all had had their turn we went for the games. We had for these: Ninepence, Rounders, Twopenny catches, Red Rover, Tig, Hiding-go-Seek, and hats or as this game is variously called, egg cap, Fools cap or rotten eggs etc. There were also lots of games with balls which I do not know the names of. After all these games we went into the house where mother had spread a glorious feed. Then we seated ourselves & had a splendid tea (at least I did) for some short bread & nice cakes were near me & somehow or other they managed to disappear which looks suspicious to me but there might have been a mysterious invisible juggler etc present who could account for them but I would not be to[o] sure if I were you because there was a voracious little boy sitting at the table. After tea was over we adjourned to the lawn or green behind the house where we played the games before tea & started to play again. We had a good game of “Red Rover” as this game is called about here although it goes under different names elsewhere. Then we had “I Spy”, which is just a sort of “Hide-&-go-seek” game. After this game as it was fairly dark (the sun had set awhile before) the girls started to take the boys hats & run away with them. This last item was the means of another nice little game which was the boys began to kiss the girls. This soon put an end to their hat-taking nonsense. There was some fun on that lawn that night for the next half-hour. Everyone seemed to be running about and there was some confusion because in the very indistinct light there were some collisions between various parties. The boys were chasing the girls bent on getting a kiss while the girls snatched the boys hats whenever a chance presented itself. After some real jolly rollicking fun everybody did proceed inside where some more games were played suitable for the house. When it was getting late the guests departed having as far as I know enjoyed themselves. The presents I got from the family were; a saddle & bridle from father, all the eatables from mother, a bible from Bessie, a pocket-knife from Jessie and two handkerchiefs from Oswald. I also received some presents from the children who were invited & as they had all been told especially not to bring presents I considered it real handsome of them. I got an ornamental inkstand from Dick, Lily, & Isabella Smaill, a ball from Hettie Lewis & a set of school instruments (rulers, pencils etc) from Herb Lewis, a Birthday card from Tom & George Brown, and also a very pretty card from Mary Nichol. I will now tell you who came;

Girls

Gerty & Maud Coutts

Annie & – Graham

Lily & Isabella Smaill

Brenda & Mabel Low

Bessie & Mary McKenzie (my cousins)

Mary Nichol

Hettie Lewis

Annie Coutts

Boys

Dick Smaill

Herbert Lewis

Alick Graham

Tom Brown

George Brown

Bessie, Jessie

Herries. Oswald Beattie

 

The reason why there is more girls than boys is that my 2 sisters know more girls than I do boys.

*     *     *     *     *

Beattie’s other childhood writings included verse, history, notes on New Zealand birds, short accounts of activities, and a longer story titled ‘The Boys of Kaikatoto School’. Other material recently acquired by Hocken dates from the 1940s to 1970s, and includes a ledger containing details of book publications and other accounts, reading notes, diary notes, and other papers. There is also the complete manuscript for an unpublished historical novel titled ‘Morry: A Son of the Backblocks’. These papers have been added to our existing collection of Beattie’s papers under the reference number MS-4237.

 

 

Johnny Tahu Cooper, QSM, (1929-2014)

Monday, September 15th, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Blog post prepared by Amanda Mills, Liaison Librarian – Music and AV

Johnny Cooper (the ‘Maori Cowboy’) was a local rock’n’roll hero.

Cooper grew up on a Te Reinga farm in the 1930s, becoming a fan of Gene Autry during his childhood. While living with his aunt and uncle, he listened to their 78rpm disc collection, his favourites being Autry, Tex Morton, and Wilf Carter. Cooper learnt to play the ukulele along with the records, soon performing to shearing gangs.

After gaining a scholarship and attending Te Aute College for two years, he went to Wellington and found work as a gravedigger. Not long after, he formed a country and western band with Will Lloyd-Jones on slap bass, Ron James on piano accordion, Don Aldridge on steel guitar, and later, Jim Gatfield on guitar. They called themselves Johnny Cooper and the Range Riders.

 

Johnny Cooper Rock and Sing

Rock and Sing With Johnny Cooper and his Range Riders. His Masters Voice, 1956. Hocken Sound Recordings. HRec-M 697

The band entered talent competitions, coming first in the talent quest at Wellington’s Paramount Theatre, winning £20, and an audition with HMV. In 1954 Cooper went to Korea to entertain the New Zealand troops, and on returning, HMV asked the band to record with the label. This resulted in their first hit, a duet with Margaret Francis of a cover of One by One, backed with Cooper’s own song Look What You’ve Done – a song that found another life 40 years later when it featured in ‘Once Were Warriors’. HMV then approached Cooper about recording a new genre: rock’n’roll. HMV were keen for Cooper to cover Bill Haley and the Comet’s smash Rock Around the Clock, though Cooper was sceptical, and didn’t really like the genre. However, he recorded it (and the b-side Blackberry Boogie), and it became a hit. Interestingly, Cooper’s version was released locally before Bill Haley’s version.

In 1956, HMV released its first New Zealand rock album, ‘Rock and Sing with Johnny Cooper’, a 10” compilation that placed his country recordings with Rock Around the Clock, and Blackberry Boogie. Cooper also released a second rock’n’roll cover by Haley – See You Later Alligator in 1956 (this time on 45prm as well as 78rpm disc).

Cooper’s third single made him a significant name in local music history. Pie Cart Rock’n’Roll (1957) was (as the story goes) about the Whanganui pie cart, where Cooper and the band would get their ‘pea, pie, and pud’ meals. Pie Cart Rock’n’roll was considered the first locally written rock’n’roll song. However, this is thought to be incorrect – Sandy Tansley’s 1957 song Resuscitation Rock (according to researcher John Baker) was released a few weeks before Pie Cart Rock’n’roll in September 1957.

Cooper and the band kept their audiences broad by appearing in variety shows. In the late 1950s he began the ‘Give it a Go’ talent quest, with musicians such as Mike Nock, John Rowles, and Midge Marsden appearing. The talent shows ended in 1968, and Cooper released his last single, Break the World in Two / Cold Cold Heart on Impact. He continued to perform in the 1970s as The Johnny Cooper Sound, and in the 1980s as part of the Original Ruamahanga River Band. He retired in the 1990s.

Johnny Cooper was 85 when he passed away last week at his home in Naenae.

Winifred Betts – botany pioneer

Monday, September 8th, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Post prepared by Dr Ali Clarke, Library Assistant (Reference)

This year the University of Otago Department of Botany is celebrating its 90th anniversary. In honour of the occasion, I’ve been looking back at the beginnings of botany, as revealed in the university’s archives here at the Hocken. Although the “department” is generally dated from 1924, when John Holloway began as lecturer, botany was taught as early as the 1870s. In the university’s early decades, when student numbers were small, there were very few teaching staff and they had a wide brief. The first professor of “natural science” – F.W. Hutton – taught geology as well as biology. The 1877 University Calendar offered a general introductory course called “Principles of Biology,” as well as papers in zoology and botany. This pattern was to continue for several decades. The 1877 botany course covered “the structure, functions, and distributions of the orders of cryptograms, and the principal orders of phanerogams,” as well as “the use of the microscope.”

Geology and biology were separated into two positions after Hutton left in 1880. Thomas Parker held the chair in biology from 1880 to 1897 and William Benham from 1898 to 1937. Both were brilliant scientists, but their chief research interests were in zoology rather than botany. As the university grew, the workload of teaching all aspects of biology to science, medical, dental and home science students became increasingly burdensome. Professor Benham managed to get an assistant – Winifred Farnie – to help with biology teaching from 1916 to 1918. In 1918 he suggested that it was time for the university to appoint a lecturer in botany, but the Council decided to delay for a year. The 1919 calendar notes that instruction in botany “is not provided at present” – presumably Benham had decided he was over-stretched and could no longer offer the course. He repeated his request for a botany lecturer to the council that year, and this time approval was granted. Benham already had somebody in mind for the post – his former student Winifred Betts.

OU Review 1917

Otago University Graduates of 1917, including Winifred Betts and Winifred Farnie

Rather than simply appointing Betts, the council decided to advertise the post of botany lecturer. Were they, perhaps, reluctant to appoint a woman? As it turned out, they received three applications, all from women, and selected Betts as Otago’s first botany lecturer. For Benham, this was a long overdue development. In 1919, writing in honour of the university’s jubilee, he commented: “It is a curious fact that in each of the four colleges in New Zealand it has been expected that one man shall undertake to teach efficiently those two subjects [zoology and botany], which in England, even in fourth-rate educational institutions, have for many years been entrusted to two distinct individuals.” He was happy to report that Otago had now “set the example to the other University Colleges by appointing a lecturer in botany”.

Winnie Betts was just 25 years old when she commenced her new position at the beginning of 1920. Born in Moteuka, she was educated at Nelson College for Girls, receiving a University National Scholarship in 1911. She then came to Otago, graduating BSc in 1916 and MSc in 1917. She was clearly one of the more capable students of her era, and by 1915 Benham had selected her as a demonstrator in biology. On completing her MSc she received a National Research Scholarship – one was awarded at each university each year. This provided her with an income of £100 a year along with lab expenses so she could carry out independent research. In 1919, at a lecture to an admittedly partisan audience in Nelson, distinguished botanist Leonard Cockayne described Betts as “the most brilliant woman scientist in New Zealand.”

S14-586a

Winifred Betts

 

In December 1920 Winnie Betts married another brilliant Otago graduate, the mathematician Alexander Aitken. Aitken, whose studies were interrupted by war service (he was badly wounded at the Somme), was by then teaching at Otago Boys’ High School. This was an era when most women left paid employment when they married, so it is intriguing that Winnie Aitken continued working as botany lecturer for some years. She joined a handful of women on Otago’s academic staff. As well as the women of the School of Home Science, there were Isabel Turnbull in Latin, Gladys Cameron in Bacteriology and Public Health and Bertha Clement in English; others came and went during Winnie’s years at Otago.

Winnie Aitken’s career as botany lecturer came to an end in December 1923. Her husband had been awarded a scholarship for postgraduate study and they moved to Edinburgh, where he had a long and distinguished academic career as a mathematician. Alexander died in 1967 and Winnie in 1971; they had two children. Various women have since taught botany at the University of Otago; indeed, it has been one of the more gender-balanced of the academic departments. As the department celebrates its 90th anniversary with Prof Kath Dickinson at its head, it seems an appropriate moment to remember the woman who pioneered it all!

Missing; stolen; drunk: perusing the Police Gazettes

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Post prepared by Kari Wilson-Allan, Library Assistant (Reference)

To open a volume of The Otago Police Gazette is to enter into a colourful world that warrants investigation.  What follows is a series of observations based on issues from the early and mid-1870s.

The Gazette served as a key communication tool for the police force between stations and regions.  Without photography or modern electronic communications, police work would have been very different in the late nineteenth century to how it is today.  Nonetheless, their reliance on the circulation of written material is part of what makes for such a fascinating document now.

Willisford 15 May 1877 p.62

15 May 1877, p. 62.

The mug shot was not yet employed as a means of recording appearance.  Consequently, vivid textual description is used, often offering more information than what a photograph could ever provide.   For instance, a group of wanted felons were described variously in the 30 November 1872 issue: Thomas Sheehan had a “dirty sulky appearance, [and] speaks with a broad Irish accent;” William Walsh “always keeps his mouth open;”  James Cummins was of a “coarse Yankee appearance,” and Thomas Howe had “thin features, Roman nose, smart appearance, [and was] fond of horse-racing.”

McLennan 31 Aug 1874 p. 70

31 Aug 1874 p. 70

Edward Chaplin was described in the 30 September 1871 issue as “a clerk and mining agent, below the middle height, broad shoulders, stooped and awkward gait, fresh complexion, grey hair, grey prominent eyes – occasionally bloodshot – very short sighted, Jewish appearance; he usually keeps his hands in his trousers pockets and looks on the ground when walking; he was dressed in a black sac coat, dark grey overcoat, dark striped trousers, and black silk hat; addicted to drink.”

Throughout the yellowed pages, charges for larceny, lunacy, vagrancy, disorderly conduct and habitual drunkenness abound.  Other cases illuminate societal concerns: “furious riding” and “sly grog-selling” were both frowned upon, as was “occupying a house frequented by reputed thieves.”

Apprehensions 30 April 1874, p. 33

Apprehensions list 30 April 1874, p. 33

Anxiety for the wellbeing of citizens is also apparent, with men charged for deserting their wives and for failing to support their mothers.  Children, too, could find themselves arrested for “being neglected,” or for “being a criminal child;” the usual outcome of this was a sentence of some years at the Industrial School.  Women tended to attract charges of vagrancy and drunkenness, whereas men were the usual perpetrators of a wider range of offences.  Serious and violent transgressions also arose, among them assault with intent to commit rape, attempted suicide and murder.

Brody 31 Dec 1873 p.80

31 Dec 1873 p.80

Māori appear infrequently over the period surveyed, but Chinese names are occasionally interspersed amongst those of British and European origin, both as perpetrators and as victims of crimes.

Ah Yeu 10 Jan 1876 p.3

10 January 1876, p. 3.

Wehi 2 Oct 1876 p.96

2 October 1876, p. 96.

The pages are filled with reports of items stolen (watches, horses and money dominate), warrants issued, and inquest findings.  Lost and found property is recorded, as are “missing friends” such as Edward Chaplin described above.  Offenders apprehended are listed alongside their punishments, and further tables record those arrested, tried, and discharged from prison during the past weeks.  Descriptions of former prisoners are provided, with notes made of any distinctive features such as tattoos or physical abnormalities.

Return of prisoners 10 May 1876, p. 51

10 May 1876, p. 51

Submissions to the Gazette range from the mundane through to the grim and distressing.  Some cases appear trite or even comical to the modern eye.  Yet, on reflection, they show us the anxieties, concerns, and troubles of those living in the earlier days of our province.

Moir 31 Dec 1873 p. 80

31 December 1873, p. 80.

Every entry in the Gazette hints at a richer story on the part of both victim and perpetrator.  I can’t help but wonder at the implications and outcomes of certain cases, and if those with missing friends were ever reunited.

Verchere 15 Dec 1876, p.125

15 December 1876, p. 125.

 

 

Election ephemera

Monday, August 18th, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Blog post prepared by  Katherine Milburn, Liaison Librarian (Ephemera)

Labour Party Brochure 1984

In 1966 Hocken Library staff wrote to all the candidates in the general election requesting examples of their electioneering pamphlets, brochures, and the like. Hocken staff have continued to contact all political candidates in every general election since then, and there are currently ca. 40 boxes of printed election ephemera in the library; including some ephemera from pre-1966 campaigns. This material is a rich resource for researchers of New Zealand’s election and political history that supplements the wide range of political publications and papers held at the Hocken.

Values Party Brochure 1972 cropped

 

The response rate of candidates to our request is quite variable, despite the careful efforts of library staff to contact every candidate and political party. It is important to ensure that all views are represented and that material for the full political spectrum is available for current and future researchers.

Social Credit Party sticker 1984 cropped

 

In 2014 several hundred candidates will be contacted by e-mail and asked for donations of their electioneering material. We will also be asking our fellow librarians throughout New Zealand to assist with the acquisition of this material.

National Party Poster 1966 cropped

 

 

If you would like to help us by donating pamphlets, brochures, posters, stickers, etc for any of the candidates throughout New Zealand, please send material to Katherine Milburn, Liaison Librarian (Ephemera), Hocken Collections, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054. All donations will be gratefully received.

Centenary of declaration of the Great War in Europe

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

George Malcolm Thomson was MP for Dunedin North from 1908-1914. At the time war was declared Thomson was in Wellington as Parliament was sitting. He was in the habit of writing a diary entry most days, recording a mix of parliamentary activity, letter writing and family news.

What follows are extracts from his 1914 diary, along with snaps of the original text.

Monday – Augt. 3rd

The declaration of war by Germany on France and Russia was the engrossing topic of conversation today. I spent the day in the library at the Education Bill. Prof. Prince came to tea with me, & and later we went together to the Town Hall & heard a delightful recitation by Mr. Watson on “Nicolas Nickleby”. Letter from Grandma

3aug

Tuesday – Augt. 4th

Education Committee met this morning, and Bishop Cleary was cross-examined by Canon Garland and Prof. Hunter. In the afternoon the House sat till 5 o’clock, & after getting through some work adjourned till 2.30pm tomorrow.

The atmosphere was electrical, party distinctions seemed to completely disappear, and the expected news came through at night that the Germans had violated Belgium territory & the British Army was mobilising, which amounted to a declaration of War. It is the beginning of the most appalling struggle known in the history of the world. Wrote John.

4aug

Wednesday – Augt. 5th

Letters from Stuart & John. Education sat again in the forenoon. In the afternoon we adjourned the House for an hour, & at 3 p.m. from the library entrance the Governor announced to a crowd of 3-4000 that the Empire had declared war against Germany. The House then adjourned till tomorrow. I went out to tea with Gertie and then wrote to Malcolm & Stuart. Earthquake shock at 9.30 p.m.

5aug

 

All images are from George Malcolm Thomson’s diary 23 May 1914-30 October 1916  (AG-926/004). The Hocken holds Thomson’s papers

For further information on George Malcolm Thomson see the Dictionary of NZ Biography entry on him from this link>http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/2t40/thomson-george-malcolm

Huia Tangata Kotahi : Niupepa Māori at Hocken

Monday, July 21st, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

In 19th century Aotearoa New Zealand, Māori-language newspapers carried the written word of the day throughout the land. The first newspapers in te reo Māori were published by the colonial government shortly after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Māori quickly realised the benefits of this new instrument of communication and by 1862 embraced print culture with the publishing of their own press.

Te Paki o Matariki, 20 November, 1894Te Paki o Matariki, Cambridge, N.Z.: Kingitanga (Māori King Movement), 1894, Māori-language newspaper. Published Collections, Hocken Collections, S14-573a.

Newspapers held great value for Māori because they provided access to new knowledge. Māori saw the power in news and the pleasure that could be derived from its consumption and its sharing. A new platform emerged offering opportunities to voice opinions and concerns. A reading community developed, connecting the population and bringing iwi together through issues of land, mana and rangatiratanga. The linguistic richness and rhythms of whaikōrero were carried over to the newspapers in the publication of letters and vigorous debates of politics, religion and education. Through newspapers, the spoken word could be transported beyond the marae.

Te Waka Maori, 22 March, 1879Te Waka Maori o Niu Tirani, Gisborne, N.Z.: Gisborne Maori Newspaper Company (Limited), 1879, Māori-language newspaper. Published Collections. Hocken Collections S14-573b.

Aside from the wide and varied coverage of local, national and foreign news, correspondence offers remarkable insight into storytelling, recipes and family gatherings. Obituaries farewell notable personages with revealing reflections on everyday life. Travellers describe journeys. Practical advice is offered on health and farming. Writings include whakapapa, waiata and whakatauākī, and discussions of wairua and kēhua.

Te Hokioi was the first publication printed from a Māori perspective, on a press gifted to the Māori king by the Emperor of Austria. This and papers that followed, Te Paki o Matariki, Huia Tangata Kotahi, Te Puke Ki Hikurangi, illustrate the confidence of Māori in printing their own language. They also demonstrate the variation of written Māori over time, in its translation, and diversity in language usage among different iwi.

Some items on displaySome of the items on display in the Hocken Foyer

The display at Hocken joins together a range of Māori-language newspapers printed by Māori and by Pakeha. The purpose of the display is to illustrate and celebrate historical records of Māori language held at Hocken. These printed pages remain a rich resource for Māori political, cultural and social history and represent invaluable taonga for the information they offer on ideas, experiences and everyday life of Māori. The display was co-curated with Dr Lachy Paterson from Te Tumu, University of Otago, who has conducted extensive research in niupepa Māori.

List of items on display:

DISPLAY CASE

1. Te Karere o Nui Tireni, Akarana, N.Z.: Hone Mua, 1842, Māori-language newspaper. Published Collections. Hocken Williams Collection 0085.

2. Te Puke Ki Hikurangi, Greytown, N.Z.: K.H.T. Rangitakaiwaho, 1905, Māori-language newspaper. Published Collections. Hocken Williams Collection 0974.

3. Ko Aotearoa, Maori Recorder, Akarana, N.Z.: He mea ta i te perehi o nga iwi Maori, 1861, Māori-language newspaper. Published Collections. Hocken Williams Collection 0336.

4. Te Korimako, Akarana, N.Z.: Henry Brett, C.O. Davis, S.J. Edmonds, W.P. Snow, 1883. Māori-language newspaper. Published Collections. Hocken Williams Collection 0630.

5. Te Pipiwharauroa, he kupu whakamarama, Gisborne, N.Z.: H.W. Williams, 1900, Māori-language newspaper. Published Collections. Hocken Williams Collection 0967.

PLINTH

6. The Seal of the Māori King, Potatau, wax imprint and metal die of the seal of the Māori King, Potatau, with explanation by Dr Hocken of the origin of the seal, c.1862. Hocken Archives MS-1460.

PLINTH

7. Te Paki o Matariki, Cambridge, N.Z.: Māori King Movement (Kīngitanga), 1894, Māori-language newspaper. Published Collections, Hocken Variae v.18.

8. Te Hokioi o Nui Tireni, e rere atu na, Ngaruawahia, N.Z.: Patara Te Tuhi, 1862, Māori-language newspaper. Published Collections. Hocken Williams Collection 0337.

WALL

Te Paki o Matariki, Cambridge, N.Z.: Kingitanga (Māori King Movement), 1894, Māori-language newspaper. Published Collections, Hocken Collections, S14-573a.

Te Waka Maori o Niu Tirani, Gisborne, N.Z.: Gisborne Maori Newspaper Company (Limited), 1879, Māori-language newspaper. Published Collections. Hocken Collections S14-573b.

Huia Tangata Kotahi, Hastings: Kotahitanga (Unity Movement), 1893, Māori-language newspaper. Niupepa: Māori Newspapers. The New Zealand Digital Library, The University of Waikato. Retrieved from http://www.nzdl.org/cgi-bin/niupepalibrary/

Post prepared by Jacinta Beckwith, Liaison Librarian

 

Not just for the Young Folk

Thursday, June 12th, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Blog post prepared by Emma Scott, Library Assistant – Periodicals

The Mail Minor

The Mail Minor, Oamaru, September 13 1940, v.2:no.37, p.1

While working on a project for the Hocken Collections in 2010, my colleague and I came across a delightful supplement to the Oamaru Mail that ran from 1939 to 1942 called: The Mail Minor: for the young folk. It was created by W.R.F. Naylor who refers to himself as “Major” in his editorials.  It began with v.1:no.1 (1939 February 3) and ceased with v.4:no.30 (1942 July 24).

The Mail Minor is not your ordinary children’s publication, while it contains plenty of jokes and puzzles like you would expect, it also touches on current events occuring in Oamaru and throughout the world during that period. The back page of each issue has a special feature on a different topic which include titles like: “Well known dogs of the day”, “The centenary of the Bicycle”, “The Romance of Rubber” and “What’s in a Peanut”.

Major converses with children like adults in his editorials and doesn’t shy away from discussing the harsh reality of what children have to face during war time. WWII updates are scattered throughout, and some of the special features such as: “How Warships are Classified” and “The Swastika Through the Ages” seek to further children’s knowledge about the war. Major encourages children to help out the war effort in any way that they can. He suggests that boys could assist the war effort by joining a scheme to help on farms and girls could knit for the armed forces (v.2:no.49 1940 December 6).

Major welcomes children’s contributions  to The Mail Minor, these original contributions are excellent and showcase what it was like for a child to live in southern New Zealand during WWII. In v.2:no.37 (1940 September  13) Gwendoline Goodall ( 11 years of age) shares her poem. Here is the first verse:

The War of 1940

Twenty-two years have passed in vain

Since the last great war was slain

Nineteen-forty now is the year

And war again is raging, hear

All along the battle line

Are anxious men awaiting the time

For the bloodthirsty cry to begin

The Mail Minor was not just enjoyed by the children of Oamaru. In v.3:no.33 (1941 August 15) Major writes: ”It was a pleasure to hear from Egypt this week that several Oamaru soldiers were greatly interested in the Minor containing the South School page. No fewer than ten of them were members of the school band featured in that issue.”

In v.4:no.30 (1942 July 24) the final issue, Major leaves his devoted readers a heartfelt farewell along with a photograph of the man himself. “Young and old read the Minor- public men have quoted it. Schools in both the North and South Islands have used it in their classroom, and writers and authors have expressed their admiration of it’s appeal and lay-out. It was my gift to the Oamaru Mail and to you – I enjoyed it, they enjoyed it and you enjoyed it.”

 The Mail Minor Major

“Major”, The Mail Minor, Oamaru, July 24 1942, v.40:no.30, p.1)

 

NZ Music Month 2014

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Post prepared by Amanda Mills, Liaison Librarian – Music and AV

Music Month has rolled around once again! This year, to draw attention to the recordings and music-themed material we have in the collections, we have created six posters that illustrate our interesting (and often decorative) holdings.

Archway Hocken Poster A2 May 3 14

The posters are currently displayed in the University of Otago’s stone archway on campus. They represent the various aspects of the music collections, including The Dunedin Sound, locally-focussed music sheets, and early 20th Century Māori music released on major international labels (and the attractive sleeve that accompanies it). We have also included an image of some of our more interesting and rare formats: cylinder, mini-CD, and (intriguingly) a disc the size of a business card. Also featured are examples of our music posters and music ephemera: programmes dating back to the 1920s.

Some of the images are well-known: the cover of ‘Doledrums’ by The Chills is hand drawn by the bands founder, vocalist and songwriter, Martin Phillipps; while the cover of ‘Bird Dog’ by the Verlaines is by John Collie, local musician and artist. The sleeve for Columbia Records’ Māori Recordings would have been familiar in the 1930s, but is now mostly forgotten to all except collectors and music historians. Graphically designed in red and black, the sleeve speaks to the Māori Marae design on the disc’s label. This label was used for local Māori recordings on Columbia Records.

Archway Hocken Poster A2 May 5 14

The eye catching poster for the Royal Comic Opera ‘Our Miss Gibbs’ dates to 1911 and this production was described in the Otago Daily Times at the time as “…the Greatest Musical Comedy Success Of Our Generation.” The ephemera collection includes a large number of programmes for a variety of musical events in Dunedin from the late nineteenth century through to the present day. Some colourful examples of these are represented on one poster and they demonstrate a few of the musical genres included in the collection.

 
Anna Blackman anna.blackman@otago.ac.nz
 

Any views or opinion represented in this site belong solely to the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the University of Otago. Any view or opinion represented in the comments are personal and are those of the respective commentator/contributor to this site.