New Zealand Archaeology Week 2017

Monday, April 3rd, 2017 | Anna Blackman | 2 Comments

Post prepared by Jacinta Beckwith, Kaitiaki Mātauranga Māori 

Each of us is an epitome of the past, a compendium of evidence from which the labours of the comparative anatomist have reconstructed the wonderful story of human evolution. We are ourselves the past in the present.                                                           

H.D. Skinner, The Past and the Present

This year’s inaugural New Zealand Archaeology Week (1-7 April) offers an opportune moment to highlight some of the Hocken’s archaeology-related taonga. Examples include the Otago Anthropological Society Records (1960-1983), Anthropology Departmental Seminar flyers (most dating to 1997), and a wide variety of archaeological reports, notebooks, diaries, letters and photographs including papers of David Teviotdale, Peter Gathercole and Atholl Anderson. More recently, our collections have been enhanced by the ongoing contribution of local archaeologists such as Drs Jill Hamel and Peter Petchey who regularly submit their archaeological reports, for which we remain deeply grateful.

One of our largest collections relating to the world of archaeology and anthropology are the Papers of Henry Devenish Skinner (1886-1978). At 3.14 linear metres in size, this collection comprises folders full of handwritten research and lecture notes, letters, photographs, scrapbooks and newspaper clippings pertaining primarily to Skinner’s archaeological, anthropological and ethnological work with the Otago Museum and the University of Otago, and also to his school days and military service. It includes personal correspondence detailing the collection of Māori artefacts, letters with Elsdon Best, S. Percy Smith, Willi Fels, and other notable anthropologists and collectors. Skinner’s papers also include a significant series of subject files relating to not only Māori and Pacific archaeology but also to that of Africa, Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

H.D. Skinner is fondly remembered as the founding father of New Zealand Anthropology. He is particularly known for his development of the Otago Museum, for his pioneering work on the archaeology of the Māori and for his comparative studies of Polynesian archaeology and material culture. He was the first Lecturer of Anthropology in Australasia, appointed Lecturer in Ethnology at the University of Otago in 1919 (where he lectured until 1952). He was appointed assistant curator of the Otago Museum in 1919, later becoming Director of the Museum from 1937 until 1957. Skinner was also Librarian of the Hocken from 1919 until 1928. Much of the collection expansion in the Otago Museum, and the importance placed on the collection and display of Māori and Polynesian artefacts can be attributed to him. He also expanded the Hocken’s collections, most notably in New Zealand paintings and drawings.

Skinner’s research on the Moriori represents a milestone in the history of Polynesian ethnology as the first systematic account of material culture of a Polynesian people. He set new standards in description, classification and analysis, and he demonstrated how ethnological research could contribute to important historical conclusions. Professor Atholl Anderson, Honorary Fellow of Otago’s Department of Anthropology & Archaeology, describes Skinner’s analyses of Māori material culture as prescribing the method and objectives of the discipline for over 50 years and his teaching as inspirational for several generations of archaeologists, especially in southern New Zealand.

References:

Anderson, A. Henry Devenish Skinner, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Volume 4, 1998

Skinner, H.D. The Past and the Present – Popular Lecture, in Skinner, Henry Devenish Papers, Hocken Archives Collection, MS 1219/071

Wells, M. Cultural appreciation or inventing identity? H.D. Skinner & the Otago Museum. BA (Hons) thesis, Otago, 2014

ITEMS ON DISPLAY

HOCKEN FOYER

Anthropology Department Seminar flyers from the late nineties. Hocken Ephemera Collection

DISPLAY TABLE

  1. Skinner, H. D. 1923. The Morioris of Chatham Islands. Honolulu, Hawaii: Bernice P. Bishop Museum. Hocken Published Collection
  2. Letters from Elsdon Best and S. Percy Smith to H.D. Skinner, and envelope addressed to Corporal H.D. Skinner containing further letters and clippings relating to Moriori in ‘Letters, extracts, notes, etc. relating to Morioris’, Skinner, Henry Devenish Papers, Hocken Archives Collection, MS-1219/169
  3. Letter from J Renwick (1925) to H.D. Skinner in ‘Technology and Art of the [Moriori of the Chathams]’, Skinner, Henry Devenish Papers, Hocken Archives Collection, MS-1219/160
  4. Photos of Chatham Island artefacts in ‘Moriori Photos’ (n.d.), Skinner, Henry Devenish Papers, Hocken Archives Collection, MS-1219/168. Stone patu, bone fishhooks, blubber cutter, stone adzes and postcard map of Chatham Islands.
  5. Syllabus of Evening Lectures on Ethnology 1919 & University of Otago Teaching of Anthropology (n.d.) in ‘Anthropology at Otago University’, Skinner, Henry Devenish Papers, Hocken Archives Collection, MS-1219/022

PLINTH

  1. Freeman, D. & W. R. Geddes, 1959. Anthropology of the South Seas: essays presented to H. D. Skinner. New Plymouth, N.Z.: T. Avery. Hocken Published Collection
  2. Dr Henry Devenish Skinner at the Otago Museum (1951). D. S. Marshall photograph, Hocken Photographs Collection, Box-030-013
  3. Dr Henry Devenish Skinner and others get aboard the ‘Ngahere’ for Chatham Islands (1924). The others are identified as Robin Sutcliffe Allan, John Marwick, George Howes, Maxwell Young and Dr Northcroft. Photographer unknown, Hocken Photographs Collection, Box-030-014

PLINTH

  1. The Dunedin Causeway – archaeological investigations at the Wall Street mall site, Dunedin, archaeological site 144/469 (2010). Petchey, Peter: Archaeological survey reports and related papers, Hocken Archives Collection, MS-3415/001
  2. Beyond the Swamp – The Archaeology of the Farmers Trading Company Site, Dunedin (2004). Petchey, Peter: Archaeological survey reports and related papers, Hocken Archives MS-2082
  3. A smithy and a biscuit factory in Moray Place, Dunedin… report to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (2004). Hamel, Jill, Dr: Archaeological reports, Hocken Archives MS-2073
  4. Otago Peninsula roading improvements – Macandrew Bay and Ohinetu sea walls, report to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (2010). Hamel, Jill, Dr: Archaeological reports, Hocken Archives MS-4174/001
  5. Album of photographs accompanying Otago Peninsula roading improvements – Macandrew Bay and Ohinetu sea walls report (2010). Hamel, Jill, Dr: Archaeological reports, Hocken Archives MS-4174/002

 

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.

S15-533a MS_0975_234

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.

011

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.

013

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

007

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.

015

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

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.

 

For Dunedin’s Good Rule and Government

Monday, September 30th, 2013 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

While we are all pondering who to vote for in the upcoming local body elections, by-laws from a city’s past can provide an interesting, curious and sometimes amusing glimpse into the way things once were.   Common sense underlines many, but one can’t help but wonder if there was a story behind the origin of others.

The following are excerpts from the 1912 Corporation of the City of Dunedin By-Law No. 1.

Part IV. General Provisions for the Good Rule and Government of the City
332. No person shall –
(13) Roll any cask, beat any carpet, fly any kite, use any bow and arrows, or catapult or shanghai, or play at football or any game, to the annoyance of any person in any street, footway or public place.

(16) Stamp, stain, paint, write, print, or post, any advertisement or notice upon any footway, kerbstone, or steps within the City.

(17) Expose to view or distribute in any public place any placard, hand-bill, print, or other document whatever of an offensive or indecent character.

(18) Throw or place upon any street, or any crossing, or public place or private footway in the City, any fruit skin, rind, or peel.

Part VI. In Respect of Butchers’ Shops and Small Goods Houses, and the Transport and Delivery of Meat in the City of Dunedin
381. No person shall smoke or expectorate in any shop within the City used for the sale or exhibition of meat.

Part XV. In Respect of Public Billiard Rooms
685. No unmarried woman not being a widow shall be the keeper of any public billiard room.

Part XVI.  In respect of the Public Library

706. No male person shall sit at any table set apart for ladies.

711. Visitors to the Reading Room are required to leave all parcels or baggage in charge of the officials and no refreshments shall be partaken of in the Library.

715. No person shall bring any animal or bicycle within the Library.

Part XIX.  In Respect of Street Traffic

851. No person shall ride a bicycle within the City of Dunedin without having his feet on the pedals thereof.

855. No person shall upon any public street in the City carry a whip in such a manner as to strike a person.

 

Blog post prepared by Kari Wilson-Allan, Library Assistant

New acquisition : Legend Land of Mysteries

Friday, January 4th, 2013 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

On 23 December 1953 Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived in New Zealand for a royal tour. It was a big deal for the country, and it’s been estimated that three quarters of New Zealanders saw the young Queen.

A new addition to the Hocken Collections is a memento of that time of optimism. Legend Land of Mysteries, written by Florence Wynn-Williams was a Christmas gift presented by the author to the Queen for Princess Anne. We have acquired the author’s copy, one of only six published, and it is the only copy whose binding matches that of the presentation copy. Consisting of children’s poems with hand-drawn and coloured illustrations, it is a delightful work with a distinctly New Zealand flavour.

One of the book’s charming illustrations:

Blog post prepared by Hocken Publications Coordinator, Pete Sime

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

Remembering Victorian polar exploration

Friday, December 16th, 2011 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Less well known than the Hocken’s New Zealand and Pacific material are our collections relating to Antarctica. We recently catalogued a letter with interesting links to Victorian Antarctic exploration and one of history’s most famous palaeontologists. Robert McCormick (1800-1890) was a surgeon and naturalist serving in the British Navy. After recovering from yellow fever contracted in the West Indies he evidently decided that tropical climates did not suit him, obtaining postings to cooler climes when he could. In 1827 he travelled to the Arctic under William Edward Parry on the Hecla, studying the natural history of Spitsbergen. After unhappy spells in the West Indies and Brazil, and several years back in Britain, in 1839 he travelled to the Antarctic as naturalist and surgeon aboard the Terror, commanded by James Clark Ross. In 1852 he returned to the Arctic regions on the North Star, mapping part of the Wellington Channel. In 1884 McCormick’s two-volume autobiography appeared, bearing the impressive title Voyages of Discovery in the Arctic and Antarctic Seas, and Round the World; Being Personal Narratives of Attempts to Reach the North and South Poles; and of an Open-boat Expedition up the Wellington Channel in Search of Sir John Franklin and Her Majesty’s Ships ‘Erebus’ and ‘Terror,’ in Her Majesty’s Boat ‘Forlorn Hope,’ Under the Command of the Author.

Our copies of the two volumes of this book bear the inscription “To Sir Richard Owen K.C.B. F.R.S. &c &c &c With the Author’s kind regards & best wishes. Jany 29th 1884.” Owen (1804-1892) was one of the major figures of Victorian science, best known for his contributions to anatomy, his disagreements with Charles Darwin, and as founding director of England’s Natural History Museum. These books are part of Dr Hocken’s original collection and bear his signature, along with the pencil marks “2/12/6 2 vols 30/- net”, suggesting he obtained them from a book dealer some years after Owen’s death. The books include a few annotations by Owen and at the back of the second volume he notes the pages which include references to himself. In a section where McCormick describes a reindeer-shooting excursion, he marked the passage “Eleven deer altogether were killed by the party, four of them shot by myself” and noted “what did you do with ‘em?”

Title page of McCormick’s book, along with his portrait in naval uniform

We recently came across a stray letter from McCormick to Owen dated 14 January 1884, which seems likely to have come into Hocken’s collection together with McCormick’s book. McCormick thanks Owen for his “kind & friendly letter” with “its good wishes, for the success of my book.” He asks if Owen would “permit me, to wind up my book with it as the last addenda to this record of my life”. McCormick had presumably left it far too late to add more to his book: Owen’s copy he signed just two weeks later. The appendix does include, however, an 1865 letter from Owen to General Sabine, President of the Royal Society, testifying to McCormick’s ability as a naval surgeon and naturalist.

McCormick’s letter to Owen [Misc-MS-2133].

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.