Publisher’s archive a great resource

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 | Anna Blackman | 3 Comments

The distinctive John McIndoe cat logo on the office door

In November 2008 Hocken was offered further records of the printing and publishing company John McIndoe Ltd, following the liquidation of successor firm Rogan McIndoe Print Ltd. McIndoes had been established in 1893, and its publishing arm flourished from 1968 through to the 1990s under editors Peter Stewart, Brian Turner, and Barbara Larson.

Some of the graphic art materials on the floor at McIndoes

On 17 November we appraised and collected records from the former company buildings in Crawford Street. Storage conditions were dry and the records were generally in good condition. Many were stored in cupboards and bundled according to publication titles, others were found in boxes on shelves, in loose piles on the floor, or tucked away in odd drawers and corners. We picked our way through two large floors of the rambling old buildings and eventually took 16 shelf metres of records back to the Hocken. These were added to a similar quantity of records we had received between 1978 and 1985, but which mostly remained unlisted. Much of the material was neatly wrapped in parcels with paper printed with the elegant cat logo of McIndoes.

A storage cupboard showing the neat “cat wrapped” parcels of records

From February 2009 to January 2010, thanks to funding from the New Zealand Lotteries Grants Board, Project Archivist Sally Milner fully arranged and described all of our McIndoe holdings, packaging them in preservation-quality enclosures, and listing them in detail on Hakena.

The collections contain a wide array of material relating to the publishing and printing activities of the company. They include authors’ book files and other papers relating to literary projects, correspondence, financial records, photographs, and artwork. Authors and poets who are represented in the collection include Roderick Finlayson, Owen Marshall, Cilla McQueen, Vincent O’Sullivan, Philip Temple, and Hone Tuwhare, to name but a few.

Some items from the McIndoes records at the Hocken. Note the cat wrapping paper!

The collection, which occupies some 25 shelves, is already proving valuable for research into printing and publishing history, individual authors, and related subjects.

Our special thanks goes to Lawrie Forbes of Zealsteel, owner of the McIndoe buildings, for ensuring that records were not destroyed following the company liquidation, and arranging for their donation to the Hocken.

This post was prepared by Arrangement and Description Archivist, Debbie Gale, and Assistant Archivist, David Murray.

ANZAC Day

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Photo from AG-577/023 Hocken Collections Uare O Hakena

Keen World War 1 researchers may feel they recognise this image – that’s because it is a photograph of the “man with the donkey” at Gallipoli that Sapper Horace Millichamp Moore-Jones based his famous paintings on. The paintings depict Private John Simpson (his full name was John Simpson Kirkland), but the man in the photo is actually Private Richard Henderson of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

The photo you see is scanned from a negative which is part of a substantial collection of WW1 photographs amongst the papers of James Gardner Jackson held by the Hocken Collections. The collection also includes Jackson’s diaries and correspondence with the Australian War Memorial explaining the circumstances in which he took the picture. Jackson did actually meet Private Simpson and worked with him for about 5 days but did not take a picture of Simpson. It was only a little later that he took the picture of his colleague Private Richard Henderson. Both Jackson and Henderson were in the NZ Field Ambulance Unit at Gallipoli. In a letter to the Australian War Memorial dated 22 September 1937, Jackson states that the wounded soldier was an “Aussie” so the photo could be said to illustrate the ANZAC spirit with New Zealanders and Australians working together in appalling conditions to help each other.

Although the photo was taken in May 1915, Jackson did not see it until 1919 when he returned to NZ. In the meantime his photos had been developed by his family. The artist Moore-Jones had been discharged and had returned to NZ by 1917 and during a lecture in Dunedin on the war, illustrated with copies of his watercolours, he was asked if he had a painting of Simpson and his donkey. Moore-Jones said no he didn’t but that if he had a photograph he would make one. James Jackson’s brother supplied him with a copy of the photo the next day, Moore-Jones identified it in error as being of Simpson and produced the first painting.

As well as the negative there are several prints of the photo in the Jackson collection, curiously and somewhat tantalisingly the back of one of the prints is inscribed “Murphy, Paterson, VC Anzac, Received the Victoria Cross on 1st of June and killed on June 8th”. Well, my research indicates that one of the donkeys was called Murphy, but that sometimes Simpson was also called Murphy by some, but where “Paterson” fits in I haven’t been able to work out. Perhaps the name of the injured Australian? Perhaps just another error of identification?

Private Henderson’s personnel file is now available in digitised form from Archives NZ and you can find a digitised copy of the painting at the Australian War Memorial website. You can find out more about Moore-Jones from the NZ Dictionary of Biography.

Dr Mervyn McLean donation of Maori and Pacific Music

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 | Anna Blackman | 2 Comments

One of our most significant donations in 2009 was the Dr Mervyn McLean collection of Maori and Cook Islands music. The collection has been added to the archives and manuscripts section of the Library and is catalogued under the call number ARC-0613. It is fully listed on the Hakena catalogue.
Right: Dr Mclean, Anne McLean and Professor John Drummond at the Hocken Collections 2009 Donors event.

Dr McLean is acknowledged world wide as an authority on the music of Oceania, particularly traditional Maori music. A graduate of the University of Otago, Dr McLean was the founding Head of the Archive of  Maori and Pacific Music at the University of Auckland from 1970 until his retirement in 1992. The collection that has been donated to the Hocken is Dr McLean’s personal collection of the original tapes, notes, transcriptions and translations of the waiata, cds and mint copies of his books. The material relates mainly to NZ Maori with recordings dating back to 1958, but also includes 30 hours of material recorded in Aitutaki and Mangaia in 1967. Although it duplicates what is already available through the Auckland archive, this generous donation will allow more researchers to access the material here at the in Dunedin. The collection will be useful to iwi, musicians, historians, anthropologists, ethnomusicologists and other researchers who will be able to listen to the recordings through the digital copies, and read the notations and transcripts.

Centenary celebrations 31st March 2010

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Last Wednesday was a busy day for the Hocken Collections but luckily food featured prominently throughout the day to keep us energised! The day started with a celebration shared breakfast for Hocken staff in our seminar room with white linen and fresh flowers, not to mention the yummy home cooked breakfast. The breakfast was not only celebrating 100 years of the Hocken being open to the public, but also more sadly the departure of staff member Cynthia Haakman who couldn’t have picked a more auspicious day to finish her time at Hocken. We wish Cynthia all the best for her future endeavours.


Present and past Hocken staff were joined by friends, staff of the Dunedin Public Library, Otago Settlers Museum and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and University Library staff and many researchers for genial morning and afternoon teas with commemorative decorated cakes and lots of great converstation.

The cakes were decorated depicting the Hocken wing of the Otago Museum, Dr T.M. Hocken and the present Hocken Library building.

Above – guests enjoying coffee and cake.

A little later in the day at 5.30pm, former Hocken Librarian, Stuart Strachan gave the inaugural Otago Anniversary Day speech on the history of the Hocken Library/Collections. Stuart spoke about the history of our institution and hopefully his well researched and fascinating speech will be published soon. This was followed by a celebration dinner at the University staff club hosted by the History Department. Sorry – no pictures of this event.

You Can Now Browse the Hocken’s Founding Pictures Collection Online

Friday, April 2nd, 2010 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

To mark our institution’s centenary we have made the founding art collection of the Hocken, Dr Hocken’s picture collection, available online via the University of Otago Library’s Digital Collections.


The showcase offers a representational sample of the pictures that Dr T. M. Hocken gave in trust for the people of New Zealand. At the time of his death in 1910 he had amassed 437 pictorial items, a collection of more than 4,000 printed volumes, as well as photographs, manuscripts and maps. Collectively these items are the Hocken Library’s founding gift. Dr Hocken’s abiding interest in the history of Southern New Zealand continues to shape what the Hocken collects today and preserves for the future benefit of researchers.

Visit Digital Collections:
Digital.otago.ac.nz

It you haven’t visited the site before have a look a some of the other material in our collections view ‘A Showcase of the Hocken Collections’. Most of the images that appear here are the result of two digitisation projects undertaken by the Hocken’s Pictorial Collections staff between 2007 and 2009 and funded through the generous assistance of the University Library.