Fantastic Film posters from the Forties

Monday, February 16th, 2015 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Blog post prepared by Katherine Milburn, Liaison Librarian – Ephemera

MonkeyBusinessRecently, whilst moving the posters collection from the upstairs pictorial collections stack to new cabinets downstairs, a fantastic assortment of old Hollywood film posters was rediscovered. There are just over 60 posters ranging in date from the 1931 Marx Brothers’ film “Monkey Business” to the 1954 film “Saskatchewan”. They were all donated to the Hocken Library in 1976 and had belonged to William Strong of Naseby.

 

The Hocken Archives collection includes a collection of OurHeartsWilliam Strong papers [MS-1078], and these incorporate another set of Hollywood film posters from the 1940s and 1950s. William Strong was a watchmaker and jeweller who took over the watchmakers shop in Naseby opened by his father Robert in 1868.William was involved in a variety of local organisations, including the Naseby Cinema whose audience was likely drawn in by these enticing and colourful posters.

RunawayThe Hocken Posters collection included a fairly limited range of New Zealand related film posters until last year when a concerted effort to improve our holdings was made. Many posters have been sourced via online auction sites. Coverage includes the 1947 film “Green Dolphin Street”, which features a destructive New Zealand earthquake, and the 1964 film “Runaway”, that starred Colin Broadley along with Barry Crump, Kiri Te Kanawa and Ray Columbus.GreenDolphin

We continue efforts to improve our holdings of New Zealand film posters and ephemera and make them available to researchers of the New Zealand film industry.

Please ask at the downstairs reference desk or email Katherine.Milburn@otago.ac.nz if you have any inquiries relating to the posters and ephemera collection.

What’s that thesis about?

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Blog post prepared by Dr Ali Clarke (Reference Assistant)

University of Otago History theses at The Hocken Collections

University of Otago History theses at The Hocken Collections

It’s always encouraging to see the final results of research carried out at the Hocken, from books and interpretation panels to newspaper articles and television shows. But undoubtedly one of our favourite things is to see the dissertations that post-graduate students have been sweating over, often for several years. 2014 was a stellar year for graduations of people who spent many hours poring over the treasures of the Hocken for their dissertations. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, some of these can even be read on-line.

Nister Kabir came all the way from Bangladesh to study at Otago. He made extensive use of our newspaper collection for his PhD thesis, New Zealand media constructions of Islam and Muslims: an analysis of selected newspapers between 2005-2006.  Also from the Department of Media, Film and Communication at Otago was 2014 PhD graduate Donald Reid, who made good use of our serials and books collections for his thesis Solid to liquid culture: the institutional, political and economic transformation of New Zealand state broadcasting. He also found the Hocken a peaceful place in which to write! Another PhD graduate who made good use of our serials collection was Trudie Walters, of Otago’s Department of Tourism. Her dissertation, An analysis of media representations of the luxury in and of second home ownership in New Zealand 1936-2012,  revealed the value of all those old home and building magazines.

Archaeologists dig out information from archives, books and pictures as well as from the ground, and a couple of 2014 graduates from Otago’s Department of Anthropology and Archaeology used the Hocken while completing their dissertations: Peter Petchey’s PhD was titled The archaeology of the New Zealand stamp mill  and Megan Lawrence’s MA was Backyard historical archaeology: unraveling past lives through analyses of the archaeological remains from 26 St David Street, Dunedin.

Unsurprisingly, some of our biggest users are the post-graduate students of Otago’s History and Art History Department. We were delighted to see the completed PhD theses of Grace Bateman (Signs and graces: remembering religion in childhood in Southern Dunedin, 1920-1950),  Sarah Carr (Preserving decency: the regulation of sexual behaviour in early Otago 1848-1867), Daniel Davy (Lost tailings: gold rush societies and cultures in colonial Otago, New Zealand, 1861-1911),  Jill Harland (The Orcadian odyssey: the migration of Orkney Islanders to New Zealand 1949-1914 with particular reference to the South Island)and Jane McCabe (Kalimpong kids: the lives and labours of Anglo-Indian adolescents resettled in New Zealand between 1908 and 1938) last year, and also the MA theses of Nic MacArthur (Gold rush and gold mining: a technological analysis of Gabriel’s Gully and the Blue Spur, 1861-1891)  and Christine Mulligan (The Dunedin Hospital art collection: architecture, space and wellbeing).  All delved into our archives and publications collections – we saw a lot of Daniel, Jill and Nic in particular. Then there were all the BA (Hons) dissertations. History and art history students found material in our collections on a wide range of topics for these in 2014: pensions, shipboard writing, Smithells and physical education, women in the police, Philip Trusttum, Maori divorce, surveyor John Turnbull Thomson, US intelligence, female assisted migrants and Robin Morrison.

Of course, not all our student researchers are from the University of Otago, or even from New Zealand. We have met postgrads from Canada, the United States, Japan, England, Australia and the Czech Republic over recent times. In 2013 Hocken researchers completed dissertations in several Canadian and Australian universities. We aren’t aware of any who graduated in 2014, but we’re keeping an eye out!

Several students from other New Zealand universities completed theses based on significant research at the Hocken. Genevieve De Pont read lots of Hocken diaries for her Auckland PhD, ‘Tourists like ourselves’: New Zealanders’ international travel diaries and their journeys, 1919-1963,  and Joanna Bishop used our archives for her Waikato PhD, The role of medicinal plants in New Zealand’s settler medical culture, 1850s-1920s.  Claire Le Couteur also delved into our archives for her Canterbury PhD, Dentist, doctor, dean: Professor Sir Charles Hercus and his record of fostering research at the Otago Medical School, 1921-1958. Rachel Patrick of Victoria University of Wellington based her entire thesis – An unbroken connection? New Zealand families, duty, and the First World War  – on our large collection of archives of the Downie Stewart family. We’ve seen quite a bit of Vic post-grad students in recent years; others who graduated in 2014 were Nicholas Hoare (New Zealand’s “critics of empire”: domestic opposition to New Zealand’s Pacific empire, 1883-1948) , Erin Keenan (Maori urban migrations and identities, “Ko nga iwi nuku whenua”: a study of urbanisation in the Wellington region during the twentieth century),  Rebecca McLaughlan (One dose of architecture, taken daily: building for mental health in New Zealand)  and Richard Thomson (At home with New Zealand in the 1960s).  Material from the Hocken also appeared in the dissertations of a couple of Massey University graduates, Tupu Williams (Te Poihipi Tūkairangi: te poutokomanawa o Ngāti Ruingārangi/the central support post of his hapū Ngāti Ruingārangi)  and Annabel Wilson (From Aspiring to ‘Paradise’: the South Island myth and its enemies. A critical and creative investigation into the (de)construction of Aotearoa’s Lakes District).

Our hearty congratulations to everybody who graduated in 2014! We salute your hard work, your contribution to knowledge and the creative use you have made of our collections.

The Treaty of Waitangi – The Wai 27 Claim records

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

image

Boxes of Wai 27 Claim on the shelves in the archives stack

Through the generosity of Sir Tipene O’Regan, the Ngai Tahu Maori Trust Board and the Crown Law Office the Hocken Collections holds copies of the Wai 27 claim papers that are available for researchers to use. The picture doesn’t really do the papers justice, there are a total of 82 boxes of papers rich with information on the history of Ngai Tahu. To find the papers search by the reference numbers AG-653 and MS-2448 in the Hakena database.  

The papers are a rich source of information not just on the claim but also of Ngai Tahu history.

The Kai Tahu (or Ngai Tahu) inquiry began with a claim, Wai 27, registered in August 1986. It was brought by Rakiihia Tau and the Ngai Tahu Maori Trust Board, but as the Tribunal said, it was ‘really from and about Ngai Tahu, an amalgam formed from three main lines of descent which flowed together to make the modern tribe’. The inquiry was extensive – over a period of three and a half years, 23 hearings were conducted and the Tribunal received 900 submissions and heard from 262 witnesses and 25 corporate bodies. The claim was presented in nine parts, known as the ‘Nine Tall Trees of Ngai’. Eight of these ‘trees’ represented the different areas of land purchased from Kai Tahu, whilst the ninth represented Kai Tahu’s mahinga kai, or food resources. A number of grievances were attached to each of the nine tall trees, and these came to be known as the ‘branches of the Nine Tall Trees’. There were also a number of smaller claims, which came to be described as the ‘undergrowth’, or ancillary claims. The Ngai Tahu Report came out in 1991, the Ngai Tahu Sea Fisheries Report in August 1992, and the Ngai Tahu Ancillary Claims Report in May 1995. In the Ngai Tahu Report, 1991, the Tribunal concluded that many of the grievances arising from the Crown’s South Island purchases, including those relating to mahinga kai, were established, and the Crown itself conceded that it had failed to ensure that Kai Tahu were left with ample lands for their needs. The Tribunal found that, in acquiring more than half the land mass of New Zealand from the tribe for 14,750 pounds, which left Kai Tahu only 35,757 acres, the Crown had acted unconscionably and in repeated breach of the Treaty, and its subsequent efforts to make good the loss were found to be ‘few, extremely dilatory, and largely ineffectual’. After the Ngai Tahu Report was released, the Tribunal also put out a short supplementary report in which it referred to the need for tribal structures to be put in place to allow Kai Tahu to conduct remedies negotiations with the Crown. The Tribunal supported the proposals regarding representation that the claimants had made and it recommended that the Ministry of Maori Affairs introduce legislation constituting the Ngai Tahu Iwi Authority as the appropriate legal personality to act on behalf of the iwi in those negotiations. The ‘Sea Fisheries Report’ dealt with the issue of Kai Tahu’s fisheries, and reported that, as a direct consequence of the loss of their land, Kai Tahu were ‘unbable to continue their thriving and expanding business and activity of sea fishing’. The Tribunal found that, in legislating to protect and conserve fisheries resources, the Crown had failed to recognise Kai Tahu’s rangatiratanga over the fisheries and in particular their tribal rights of self-regulation or self-management of their resource. It also found that the quota management system then in place was in fundamental conflict with the terms of the Treaty and with Treaty principles. The Tribunal recommended that the Crown and Kai Tahu negotiate a settlement of the sea fisheries claim, that an appropriate additional percentage of fishing quota be allocated to Kai Tahu and that Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) be returned to them as an eel fishery, and that the Fisheries Act 1983 be amended to allow for ‘mahinga kaimoana’, or specific marine areas set aside for iwi. The ancillary claims report dealt with 100 of the ‘undergrowth’ claims and showed how the 35,757 acres that Kai Tahu had been left with were further eroded by public works and other acquisitions. Of the 100 claims, 41 were found to involve breaches of the Treaty, and as a result, the Tribunal recommended that the Public Works Act 1981 be amended and proposed changes to the way that the Crown acquired land from Maori for public purposes. (From the report summary prepared by the Waitangi Tribunal).

In-depth news coverage!

Monday, January 5th, 2015 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Blog post prepared by Periodicals Library Assistant, Megan Vaughan

For the past several years Hocken staff have been working on rehousing our oldest and most precious newspapers in archival boxes. We discovered this copy of the Otago News copied out by hand. The rest of Dr Hocken’s collection of the Otago News are the printed copies but this particular issue is missing from the run.

OtagoNewsFrontPage

This unfinished copy is in a mixture of both Dr Hocken and his wife Elizabeth’s (Bessie) handwriting. The masthead is in Dr Hocken’s handwriting and the rest is Bessie’s (confirmed after looking at a letter from Bessie to Hocken). Bessie copied many items for Dr Hocken’s collection and without her work his collection would be much poorer.

OtagoNewsMasthead

The masthead in Dr Hocken’s writing, the rest in Bessie’s.

CustomdutiesElizabethsHandwriting

A list of custom duties advertised on the front page

ElizabethandTomsHandwriting

An example of a sketch of an ethnographic object from Bessie’s sketchbook with her handwriting alongside Dr Hocken’s.

A Kiwi Christmas playlist

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

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

Hocken Christmas music

Have you ever heard of the New Zealand Christmas classic “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by Pat McMinn and the Combie Murdoch Trio? No? How about Pixie Williams singing “Best Wishes”?  These are only two of the many New Zealand Christmas classic tracks waiting in the Hocken stacks to be rediscovered. The recorded Christmas music that the Hocken has dates from the late 1940s with the Pixie Williams disc, though the 1960s to the 1980s featured many recordings popular at the time, but now faded into obscurity. These include

  •  Chic Littlewood’s “Let’s make everyday Christmas”
  • The Dallas Four’s “White Christmas”
  • Hauraki Good Guys with Salty Dog “Please daddy, don’t get drunk this Christmas”
  • Various Artists Still hooked on Christmas

However, many recordings have remained in the public consciousness, with arguably the most well-known being Kingi Ihaka’s “Pukeko in a ponga tree”.  Along with Billy T. James’ “When a child is born”, Julie Nelson and The Don Ball Orchestra’s “Sticky Beak the kiwi” is still incredibly popular. “Sticky Beak the kiwi” was written specifically by Gisbourne-based folk singer Bob Edwards and lyricist Neil Roberts for children in 1961. 14-year old Julie Nelson sang the song, backed by the Whanganui dance band, the Don Ball Orchestra. The song became a hit.

Sticky beak the kiwi

Well known bands like the Avengers in the 1960s, and Split Enz in the 1980s, recorded Christmas messages for their fan clubs, in a similar vein to the Christmas fan club recordings released by The Beatles. Billy T. James released “A Maori Christmas” for Radio Hauraki, while Fred Dagg released the infamous short track “Star of wonder”. These tracks were among the local songs gathered together in the 2012 Christmas-themed CD Pohutakawas & pavlova.

Along with Wing’s two albums of Christmas music (Everyone sing carols with Wing, and Carols, rap and sing: A beautiful Christmas), another Christmas-themed holding we have is Wendyhouse’s The Wendyhouse Christmas album, which has alternative (and often subversive) Christmas tracks such as “Teddy’s anger”, and “Here comes the family”.

Our sheet music holdings have some interesting items too – “The song of Bethlehem (A New Zealand Christmas carol)” from 1942 by Muriel Hunt and Joye Taylor is a short piece that centres on the seasonal features of the New Zealand Christmas. “Dear Santa Claus” in contrast (written in the UK in 1948 by Gerry Mason, and published locally by Beggs), is more traditional in theme, focussing on a child’s letter asking Santa Claus to not forget him.

Finally, one very interesting holding we have is particularly close to the Hocken Collections:  the Hocken end of year function from 1987, featuring the recorder skills of Ken Booth. This cassette is definitely one for the digitisation list!

Hocken Cassette

Going for UNESCO Gold – A second Memory of the World Registration for The Hocken Collections!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

We are very excited to announce that the Hocken Collections has again been successful receiving a Memory of World Registration.

This year it is Dr Thomas Morland Hocken’s collection of Church Missionary Society papers that has been added to the register.

IMG_0968

Some of the collection laid out on furniture from the original Hocken Library reading rooms

We made application this year as part of our programme of work to commemorate 200 years since the mission at Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands was established. Our current exhibition Whakapono : Faith and foundations showcases some of the documents in the collection, and the Marsden online website provides sophisticated tools to search a portion of the documents.

This collection of records acquired by Hocken from the Church Missionary Society in London contains the letters and journals of Rev Samuel Marsden and the settlers who came to New Zealand in 1814 to begin establishing missionary settlements.

The records document the development of the Anglican mission in the Bay of Islands including Marsden’s celebrations of Christmas Day 1814. In describing what they saw and learnt in detail the authors created a rich resource for developing our understanding of New Zealand in the pre-Treaty of Waitangi era. They provide a first-hand account of  Maori world around the Bay of Islands; describing people, places, events, conversations, battles and gatherings, who was important and why, relationships between local iwi and hapu, Maori cultural practices, rituals, religion and arts, Maori horticulture, fishing and foods, and the land and sea, forests and lakes.

The writers also describe their work introducing European agriculture, new plants and animals, teaching reading and writing, how they learnt Te Reo Maori, the development of early Maori orthography and also their own tiny community’s internal strife, failures and successes as they struggled to live together in a foreign and isolated place.

The documents are written by a variety of people principally Samuel Marsden, Thomas Kendall, William Hall, John King, John Butler, Reverend Henry Williams, James Kemp, Richard Davis, George Clarke, James Hamlin, William Colenso and the CMS officials in London.

JPG_Image-MS_0054_087_003

Part of a letter from Reverend Samuel Marsden to the Church Missionary Society in London with list of items sent to the Society. The list includes items of Maori clothing such as fine cloaks. MS-0054/087

From the early 1800s Maori were beginning to explore the wider European world. They were intensely curious about European technologies, literacy, religion and trade.  Seeing the potential benefits these could bring to their people Nga Puhi leaders Te Pahi, Ruatara and Hongi Hika used their relationship with Samuel Marsden to encourage him to send teachers, agriculturalists and artisans to New Zealand.

The records registered are MS-0053, MS-0054, MS-0055, MS-0056, MS-0057, MS-0058, MS-0060, MS-0061, MS-0062, MS-0063, MS-0064, MS-0065, MS-0066, MS-0067, MS-0068, MS-0069, MS-0070, MS-0071, MS-0072, MS-0073, MS-0176/001, MS-0176/002, MS-0176/003, MS-0176/004, MS-0176/005, MS-0177/001, MS-0177/002, MS-0177/003, MS-0177/004, MS-0498.

Hocken was an active collector of publications and archival material documenting New Zealand’s history and culture. He was particularly interested in the early mission period. These records were primarily acquired by Dr Hocken directly from the Church Missionary Society in London in late 1903. Whilst initially reluctant to part with the records the CMS eventually agreed that they should be returned to New Zealand. Hocken later sent £250 to the Society. Hocken also acquired some of the documents in the collection from descendants of the missionaries.

Dr Hocken’s collection was transferred to the University of Otago in 1907 under a Deed of Trust that established the Hocken Collections.

Further additions of complementary Church Missionary Society records have been made by donation and purchase, notably the purchase from D.K. Webster of London in 1967 of the papers comprising MS-0498.

 

Celebrating audiovisual heritage

Thursday, November 20th, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

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

Broken disc Hocken Collections

UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is held annually on October 27th to raise awareness of collections of audiovisual objects around the world in various institutions. While this celebratory day has passed, it is always advantageous to draw attention to the importance of audiovisual collections and to their fragility.

It is worth remembering that audiovisual materials are very important primary records of the 20th and 21st century. Countless major historical moments of the last 100 years have been captured in film, or on sound recordings. Many of these recordings are now iconic, for example footage of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

Edison blue amberol cylinder. Hocken Collections; uncatalogued.

However, much audiovisual material has been lost, or is in danger of disappearing. Purposeful destruction, decay and obsolescence of format, and neglect are some of the factors that contribute to much of this cultural loss. The theme for the 2014 World Audiovisual Heritage Day was “Archives at risk: Much more to do”. Audiovisual collections are often at risk because of the inherent fragility of the materials used : all audiovisual heritage is endangered.

Damaged shellac 78rpm disc.

In New Zealand,audiovisual collections are held in many institutions, including the Hocken Collections, and the Alexander Turnbull Library. Preservation programmes are undertaken to ensure the survival of these precious items, though often these are hampered by lack of resources. Audiovisual digitisation and preservation is highly skilled and labour intensive work. But the collections that are in the care of institutions, archives and libraries are highly valued and we do our best. Apart from preserving sound and images for the future digitisation can improve access to AV collections. Many people know of their existence, but often not the depth of the collections. Making digital copies available online brings them to a new audience.Broken disc  Hocken Collections

The Hocken Collections has many different formats of audiovisual material. Formats such as cylinder, open reel tape (ORT), and 16mm film are challenging to for us to digitise, as suitable equipment is often difficult to source. Film reels are a precious source of historical content and information, and we have very pleased to have preserved the Hocken’s motion picture films with the help of the local Film Heritage Trust. A sound format that presents interesting preservation issues is the 16” transcription disc – turntables need be larger than usual and require a longer tonearm to accommodate the disc size. Rare and unique material is part of the Hocken’s collection, and we are currently building our capacity to care for this material using the highest standards and best practice.

The images presented here include three broken 78rpm discs that we have in our collections, though they have been removed from circulation! The was cylinder is not broken. They are all extremely fragile, and care is required in handling them. This is only one example of how delicately balanced the preservation of audiovisual material can be, and how vulnerable the content and the carrier (formats) are.

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.  Consequently 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 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)

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)

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.

1973: Happen Inn People

This January 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 (serials.hocken@otago.ac.nz) 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 | 1 Comment

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.

 
Anna Blackman anna.blackman@otago.ac.nz
 

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