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

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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).