On the cover

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Post by Dr Ali Clarke, Library Assistant – Reference

We’re always pleased to see images from our collections featuring on the cover of new books! Each year we put together a list of published items – from books to theses, blogs to journals, television series to exhibitions – which have made use of Hocken resources. Some of them relate to research carried out on our archives or publications, others have used our pictorial collections, and some have done both. So far we have tracked down over 200 items published in 2015 for our list, including 69 books. The variety of topics covered is remarkable, as demonstrated by the few examples featured here.

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MS-0975/234

The very handsome 4-volume set of James K. Baxter’s complete prose, edited by John Weir, involved lots of digging through Baxter’s archives, which are held here. The cover of the first volume features an amusing photo of Baxter with his coat on backwards in Cathedral Square, Christchurch in 1948, sourced from his archives. Another particularly handsome book that has drawn heavily on the Hocken Collections is John Wilson’s New Zealand mountaineering: a history in photographs. including many from our holdings of the New Zealand Alpine Club’s archives. Among them is the great cover shot of Syd Brookes and Bernie McLelland descending North Peak in the Arrowsmith Range in 1939, from an album compiled by Stan Conway.

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We can’t claim the splendid cover picture for Simon Nathan’s biography James Hector: explorer, scientist leader – that comes from the Alexander Turnbull Library – but he has made very good use of Hector’s papers, held at the Hocken. Hector’s notebooks are notoriously difficult to read, thanks to faint pencil combined with illegible handwriting, but some of the sketches in them make very effective illustrations in the book. Simon has also done splendid work transcribing various Hector letters in recent years, making them accessible to others.

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Hector’s sketches of Parengarenga Harbour and his Maori campanion, January 1866

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Another 2015 book which brings previously unpublished work to light is New country, a collection of plays and stories by James Courage, with an introduction by Christopher Burke. Some have been previously published, but one comes straight from Courage’s papers at the Hocken. The book also features some fascinating photographs from Courage’s papers. Genre Books, the publisher, also made good use of Hocken material in a 2014 book, Chris Brickell’s Southern men: gay lives in pictures. This includes numerous photographs from the archives of David Wildey, held in the Hocken largely thanks to Chris. On the cover is one of Wildey’s photographs, recording a visit to Waimairi Beach, Christchurch in 1960.

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Lest we leave you with the impression that all material from our collection is about recreation and enjoyment, another cover from 2014 shows a sober purpose. Presbyterian Support Otago’s report Out in the cold: a survey of low income private rental housing in Dunedin features one of our old photographs of the crowded suburbs of southern Dunedin. The Hocken really does have material for all sorts of purposes.

Hocken : Prince of Collectors

Thursday, June 25th, 2015 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

DonaldBookLaunch2015

The Hocken Collections was delighted to host the launch of Dr Donald Jackson Kerr’s latest book, Hocken : Prince of Collectors last night.

Donald is of course a colleague of ours and frequent Hocken visitor. We have followed progress on this project with great interest as Donald has spent many, many hours both here and at other institutions researching Dr Hocken’s collecting activities.

Our heartiest congratulations to Donald on the publication of a wonderful book which adds substantially to our understanding of Dr Hocken and his collections.

For more information on the book see this article in the Otago Bulletin.

Book on Dr Hocken to be launched tonight

Picture/Poem – The Hocken Gallery 18 April – 25 July 2015

Monday, April 20th, 2015 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Post prepared by Natalie Poland, Curator of Pictorial Collections

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Joanna Margaret Paul, Untitled [self-portrait], ink drawing, 299 x 229mm, acc.: L278. On deposit from the Estate of Joanna Margaret Paul. Hocken Collections Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

The exhibition Picture/Poem: the imagery of Cilla McQueen and Joanna Margaret Paul that has just opened in the Hocken Library’s gallery brings together the creative works of award-winning poet Cilla McQueen and respected painter Joanna Margaret Paul. The pair met in Dunedin in the late 1970s and during the following decade their lives continued to intersect.

Both artists have strong ties with the University being past University of Otago Arts Fellows. Paul was a recipient of the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship in 1983 and McQueen was Burns Fellow 1985 and 1986. McQueen’s first poetry collection Homing In (John McIndoe Ltd: 1982), included a poem Paul titled “Joanna”. She penned a second poem dedicated to her friend after Paul’s untimely death in 2003. McQueen credits Paul, who was also an accomplished poet, with showing her that McQueen herself was a visual artist.

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Cilla McQueen, Self Portrait, 1991, ink drawing, acc 92/1462, pen & ink on paper, 298 x 210mm. Gifted by Cilla McQueen, Dunedin, 1992. Hocken Collections Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

 

 

 

 

 

The Hocken is home to hundreds of artworks by both Paul and McQueen, many of which have been gifted by them or in the case of Paul, her estate, who generously donated nearly 200 of her sketchbooks in 2008.

The exhibition focuses on works from the 1970s and 1980s, created while these artists were living in Dunedin. It includes twenty-eight artworks (predominantly works on paper), published work, musical scores, artist’s books and ephemera relating to the life and work of these two creative women.

Many of Paul’s works in this show have not been exhibited before. Most of the works are drawn from the Hocken’s extensive art collection but a small group of works have been borrowed from her Estate.

A double portrait by Paul (c.1970) recently gifted to the Hocken came from the collection of the late Michael Hitchings. The painting features Michael and his former wife, Maureen Hitchings. This couple, like Paul and McQueen, contributed to the shaping of Dunedin’s cultural outlook during this period. Michael was Hocken Librarian from 1965 to 1984 and Maureen ran the Dawsons Gallery where Paul exhibited in the 1970s.

The Hocken has a wealth of other material relating to both Paul and McQueen. The archives collection houses the literary papers of Cilla McQueen and the business records of Dunedin’s John McIndoe Ltd, the publisher of McQueen’s early poetry collections. There are letters from Joanna Paul to Deidre Airey, Ruth Dallas, Charles Brasch, Hone Tuwhare, Heather Murray and others, including to Cilla McQueen.

Despite working predominantly in different artistic fields their approaches have common features including an interest in juxtaposing pictures and poems and the visual arrangement of words on the page. In the 1980s it was not as common as it is now to create interdisciplinary work. In correspondence with the exhibition’s curator Natalie Poland, McQueen writes: “The works on display date primarily from the 1980s and show that both women were informed by experimental approaches that blurred the conventional boundaries between art, literature and music. Their pictures and poems celebrate the richness of the everyday experience and the local environment. The freshness of their drawings, use of collage and surprising combinations of images and text enliven ordinary language and convey a sense of living intensely in the present moment.” [Source: Unpublished memoirs, email to Natalie Poland May 2011, now in Hocken’s artist’s files.]

An artwork by McQueen called Sequestered (2009) was purchased by the Hocken in 2010. McQueen made it by scratching text onto a series of six outmoded computer floppy discs that contained a late twentieth century manuscript by McQueen. The texts, etched into the surface of the black circles, are partly occluded with red seal wax, an evocation of other modes of communication that are facing obsolescence – the tradition of handwritten letters.

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Joanna Margaret Paul, Untitled [The Stillness of the Rose] (detail), 1974, watercolour and pencil on paper, Hocken Collections, Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago. Dunedin

One series by Paul makes its debut in Picture/Poem – Untitled (The Stillness of the Rose . . .), 1974-1980, comprises seven water-colour and pencil works conceived to be viewed as a single creative work. Curiously each separate piece of this work was created on the same day over a period of seven years. Each part contains a fragment from the poem ‘The Rose’ by American writer William Carlos Williams. This work was purchased by the Hocken just this year.

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’.

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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.

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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.

 

 

Inscription on UNESCO Memory of the World Register

Thursday, November 28th, 2013 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

We are delighted to announce that the papers of Charles Brasch have been inscribed on the New Zealand Memory of the World Register.

At a national function at the Hocken on Thursday (November 28), the Charles Brasch papers were announced as a significant new addition to the UNESCO register, along with the Sir Edmund Hillary Archive at Auckland Museum and the original score and lyrics of God Defend New Zealand held at Auckland Libraries.

UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme, which promotes the nation’s heritage stories to the wider community, in 1992. It sits alongside UNESCO’s better-known World Heritage List and Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The New Zealand Programme was established in 2010.

“The Memory of the World Trust is truly delighted to welcome these three inscriptions of such distinguished documentary heritage items onto the register. All three greatly contribute to the story of our nation’s heritage and are significant to the identity of New Zealanders today,” the Memory of the World New Zealand Trust Chair Dianne Macaskill says.

Professor of History Tony Ballantyne, UNESCO Senior Advisor Susan Isaacs, Auckland Museum Team Leader - Library Collections Theresa Graham, Chair of NZ Memory of the World Committee, Dianne MacCaskill, Hocken Librarian Sharon Dell and Auckland Public Libraries Manuscript Librarian Iain Sharpe

Hocken Librarian Sharon Dell says the Inscription of the Brasch papers onto the Register is also recognition of the national importance of the Hocken as a research archive.

“This is a huge advantage for University staff and students to have a resource like the Charles Brasch papers in their midst. As well as conferring a higher level of protection on this archive resource, this inscription from UNESCO also enhances the Hocken’s international profile,” she says.

Hocken Curator of Archives and Manuscripts Anna Blackman says after Brasch’s literary and personal archive was opened at the Hocken in 2003 (30 years after his death), the significance of his legacy began to be appreciated.

“We are very fortunate that the Hocken holds such a substantial collection – 25 linear metres of his personal letters and archives. The work, papers and journals of Brasch are now a significant resource for researchers focusing on New Zealand’s rich cultural and literary development during his life-time,” she says.

Charles Orwell Brasch (1909-1973) corresponded with over 600 individual people and this correspondence forms the bulk of the collection. People represented include Janet Frame, James. K Baxter, Colin McCahon, Frank Sargeson, James Courage, James Bertram, Rita Angus, Toss Woollaston, Alistair Campbell, Fred and Eve Page, Douglas Lilburn, Louis Johnson, Denis Glover, Ruth Dallas, Carl Stead and many more.

Brasch’s editorial activities and contribution to the literary scene, as well as the thoughts and opinions of his correspondents are documented through the correspondence.

A letter from James K. Baxter to Brasch (MS-0996-002/026)

“It is a unique insight into the opinions and activities of this group who created so much of New Zealand’s cultural life,” says Anna Blackman.

From 1938 to just prior to his death Brasch wrote a personal journal. These journals document both his inner life of thought as well as his opinion on many topics and his everyday activities.

Pages from Brasch's journal

“Brasch was an acute observer of the world around him and the journals include commentary on not just the arts and literature but also people, politics and contemporary events.”
Further information about Memory of the World and the inscriptions on the register can be viewed on www.unescomow.org.nz.

 

Advice from a best-selling author

Monday, April 16th, 2012 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

 “Don’t wait till the spirit moves. While there are times when inspiration and thought outrace your pen, you’ll never get to the top if you wait on this.”
“Choose the magazine you are going to submit to most carefully … Not a bit of use submitting an article on colour bar or flying saucers to a periodical catering solely for young mothers or fashion trends.”
“Make sure of your facts, whatever you are writing … Don’t even let your characters eat whitebait out of season … unless it’s tinned.”
“Never be set back with rejections. I could have papered a room with mine.”
MS-3854/021, from the Charles and Louise Croot papers
These are some of the tips Essie Summers gave in 1960 to young people interested in free-lance journalism. A copy of her advice, which runs to ten closely-typed pages, is in the papers of Dunedin teacher, broadcaster and writer Charles Croot. Perhaps Croot had invited Summers, a local Presbyterian minister’s wife, to talk to one of his English classes at Kaikorai Valley High School.
Essie Summers was well qualified to give advice to budding writers. She had published poems and stories in magazines, and for six years wrote a popular column in the Timaru Herald. She was also well on the way to becoming one of New Zealand’s most popular novelists. By 1960 she had written eight romances, published in England by Mills & Boon. They would eventually publish 52 of her books, which were translated into 17 languages and sold millions of copies. Many of her books were set in Otago and Canterbury, particularly in the high country, and her lyrical descriptions of the landscapes she loved inspired numerous overseas readers to visit New Zealand.
Bachelors Galore by Essie Summers, published by Mills and Boon, London in 1958. The Hocken has most of Summers’ novels, which are collectors’ items today
As well as giving a wealth of practical advice on formatting, inspiration, subject matter and editing, Summers revealed her own joy in writing: “One may as well admit that it is a great thrill to see one’s name in print and to know that some editor is so convinced of its merit that he is willing to identify himself with your views or imaginings and to pay cold cash for it.” Summers, who was renowned for her charm and kindness, signed off with some encouragement to her audience: “Wishing you all the best and some resultant and desirable little thin envelopes with acceptance slips and cheques.” 
Blog post prepared by Ali Clarke, Reference Assistant

New book published on Judge Dudley Ward

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

A regular visitor to the Hocken is Geoff Adams, formerly the Editor of the Otago Daily Times. Geoff is the author of the recently published book Judge Ward which explores the lives of three Victorian colonists to New Zealand – Dudley Ward, a Supreme Court Judge; Ward’s first wife Anne, first national president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union; and his mistress Thorpe Talbot, who he married late in life. Geoff writes:
“Many thanks to the Hocken Collections. It allowed me to get the bulk of copious research done in Dunedin: perusing many decades of files of the Otago Daily Times and Otago Witness, not to mention sorties into other early newspapers, Lloyds’ registers,  ships’ passenger lists, street directories, searches of New Zealand births, marriages and deaths, parliamentary reports, Hansard and other tools were all fruitful too. Some loose ends finally took me as a researcher to some other places in New Zealand and to London.
Hocken excelled in my hunting Talbot, a prize-winning novelist, as well as journalist, short story writer and poet. Not only do the collections have rare copies of her major books, but there is an archive (02-034/001) on Frances Ellen Talbot (her birth name in Yorkshire) presented in 1991 by Dr George Griffiths . This consists of some interesting fragments of personal letters and writing, as well as the only known photographs of Talbot, her birth certificate and the 1902 marriage certificate to Judge Ward. The archive is restricted, requiring George’s permission to peruse. Fortunately he is an old friend and knew my interest in all of the life and contacts of Judge Ward. And I live in the Maori Hill house where the Judge and Talbot were married!
I finally traced at the National Library, Wellington, the “missing” novel of Talbot — a long epic poem “Guinevere in the South” found in a copy of the obscure Geraldine County Chronicle newspaper.  It was chasing clues concerning Timaru from the back of a cutting in George’s fragments that finally led to that discovery!”
We are glad to have helped Geoff with his research and very pleased to see the book published.
For more on the book see the Otago Daily Times 9 July 2011.
To buy the book see Amazon Books.

Baptists and best sellers on the Taieri

Monday, February 7th, 2011 | Anna Blackman | 1 Comment

Photographs and a short manuscript from the archives of the Mosgiel Baptist Church (AG-263/023, AG-263/053 and AG-263/054).

F.W. Boreham (1871-1959) is not widely known today, but in his time he sold over a million books.  Frank Boreham arrived in New Zealand from England in 1895 to become the first minister of Mosgiel Baptist Church. The young man quickly proved himself as a successful and popular preacher, pastor and writer. His sermons appeared in the Taieri Advocate and he became a regular contributor of leading articles to the Otago Daily Times. He also edited the New Zealand Baptist.  The first of his several dozen books was published before he left England, to be followed by The Whisper of God and Other Sermons, published in 1902. Many of his books were devotional in character, but they also included charming tales of people and places he had known. Boreham moved to Australia in 1906. He retained fond memories of his first pastorate in Mosgiel, which featured in some of his later books. For instance, the booklet The Bachelors of Mosgiel (1936) is a “collection of unusual love stories of crusty old bachelors never suspected of having any.” Boreham’s writing might be dismissed as simple and sentimental today, but it was also engaging, as the opening of The Home of the Echoes (1921) reveals:


Hester Spanton – Auntie Hester, as everybody called her – was the tenant of a large second-hand store and a small asthmatic body. I used at times to think that the adjectives might be regarded as interchangeable. If you had described her as the occupant of an asthmatic store and a second-hand body, the terms would have seemed perfectly congruous and fitting. Her poor little body looked a very second-hand affair. It was terribly the worse for wear, and was so battered and broken that Auntie Hester could only crawl about by the aid of a crutch. It gave you the impression that it had been bought and sold over and over again, and that, having got it cheaply, none of its owners had taken any care of it.

The Merry Man of Mosgiel, published by Epworth Press, London, 1936.

There is a special F.W. Boreham collection at the Mosgiel Library (described by Barbara Frame in the March 2005 issue of New Zealand Libraries), and another at Carey Baptist College in Auckland. But southerners who wish to know more of one of the best-selling authors of the early twentieth century may like to start with a perusal of the 59 individual Boreham titles held by the Hocken (some in more than one edition).  Also available at the Hocken are the Taieri Advocate and Otago Daily Times, which feature Boreham’s early journalism, and the archives of the Mosgiel Baptist Church.

Blog post prepared by Ali Clarke, Library Assistant – Reference.