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.

The Williams Collection

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Post prepared by Jacinta Beckwith, Liaison Librarian

Hocken Collections has the privilege of caring for a collection of early printed Māori material known as the Williams collection. The collection is named after Herbert William Williams (1860-1937), sixth Anglican Bishop of Waiapu. His father William Leonard Williams (1829-1916) and grandfather William Williams (1800-1878) were also bishops of the Waiapu area and all three were linguists and scholars of Māori language.

In 1924 Herbert Williams wrote A Bibliography of printed Maori to 1900 which lists and describes more than a thousand Māori print items published prior to 1900, and from this we get the Williams numbers. The criterion for the list was:  any work, however small, printed wholly in Maori or in Maori with a translation, has been admitted ; so also any work dealing wholly with the Maori language –as, for example, a dictionary.

The first book of the collection is the first known book published in Māori, A Korao no New Zealand; or, the New Zealander’s First Book Being an Attempt to compose some Lessons for the Instruction of the Natives’. This was compiled by Thomas Kendall (ca.1778-1832) a school teacher based at Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands, with help from local Maori. Mr Kendall had it printed in 1815 at Sydney and used it in his school.

 Title page of A Korao no New Zealand

PIC 1: Title page of A Korao no New Zealand; or, the New Zealander’s first book; being an attempt to compose some lessons for the instruction of the natives. Williams Collection 0001, Hocken Collections

 Pages from A Korao no New Zealand

PIC 2: Pages from A Korao no New Zealand


Hocken’s copy of Kendall’s book was meticulously hand-copied from the only original surviving text held at the Auckland Museum Library by John Kenderdine (1860-1932) and later presented to Dr Hocken by Mr Kenderdine’s wife. It also bears an inscription: From Mr J King, First missionary to New Zealand to G A Selwyn Paihia, Bay of Islands and given by him to me at Port Macquarie New South Wales in June 1859. John King (1789-1854) was a shoemaker from Oxfordshire who lived in Parramatta prior to arriving in New Zealand as a missionary with Samuel Marsden. George Augustus Selwyn (1809-1878), also an Englishman, was the first Anglican Bishop of New Zealand and Melanesia. Letters and journals of both Mr King and Bishop Selwyn are held at Hocken.

A second item in the Williams Collection with connection to Bishop Selwyn is a small edition of the Gospel of St Matthew: Ko te rongo pai ki te ritenga o Matiu. This was printed in London in 1841 by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) and brought out to New Zealand by Bishop Selwyn for distribution. A bishop’s mitre is embossed on the front cover.

 Cover of Ko te rongo pai ki te ritenga o Matiu

PIC 3: Ko te rongo pai ki te ritenga o Matiu. Williams Collection 0065, Hocken Collections

 Pages from Ko te rongo pai ki te ritenga o Matiu

PIC 4: Pages from Ko te rongo pai ki te ritenga o Matiu

At this time the predominant written material available for Maori to read aside newspapers and other written ephemera left by European visitors were scriptures in Māori.  Hocken’s Williams collection currently comprises just over two hundred items and many of these are religious texts: scripture, prayer books, hymns and prayers books. The collection also comprises Māori newspapers and gazettes, letters of correspondence, translations of literature, lessons in money matters and medicinal remedy recipes. The collection provides a glimpse into life and communication between early missionaries and local Māori and demonstrates early European effort in learning the indigenous language.


Hocken Snapshop now feeding into Digital NZ

Monday, May 12th, 2014 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

We are very pleased to announce that the Hocken Snapshop database of around 30,000 images of our photographic collections is now feeding into Digital NZ. This provides different functionality than Snapshop, and allows you to search for Hocken images along with 27 million other digital items from across NZ. You can search across all 27 million at once or narrow your search using the filters system on the site.

Thanks to the Digital NZ staff and also to NZ Micrographics, who designed and support the Recollect database that we use for Snapshop.

Check out Digital NZ from this link