Hocken Snapshop of photographs from the Library’s collections goes live

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 | Anna Blackman | 2 Comments

The Hocken has just launched a new online service making the photographic collections housed at the Hocken Library more accessible to remote users.

Over 33,000 images have been digitized, relating to people and places from all over New Zealand.  A small portion of the Hocken’s large shipping collection is also included.  Copies of the images are available for purchase over the internet and a zoom function greatly assists in the use of the photographs for research purposes.

Emails from readers are already arriving on a daily basis confirming that the site is proving an instant success.  Coupled with the fact that the Photographs Collection database is also now available online, people are more able to see for themselves what we hold and direct specific questions and requests to staff.

The Hocken Snapshop link is as follows:


Children from Milton School visiting Thomson & Co. factory in Dunedin by E.A. Phillips, Dudley Collection, Photographs, Hocken Collections Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago. S10-243c.

Post prepared by Anna Petersen, Assistant Curator of Photographs.

Treasures abound in recently catalogued scout archives

Friday, October 22nd, 2010 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

The first New Zealand scout troop was officially registered at Kaiapoi on 3 July 1908, following the arrival of Baden-Powell’s book ‘Scouting for Boys’ in New Zealand. The movement was formed by Lieutenant-Colonel O. Cossgrove, who became the first chief commissioner.
Originally a branch of the United Kingdom Scout Association, the New Zealand Boy Scouts Association became independent in 1953 and in this year became the Scout Association of New Zealand.  In 1911, the first all-Maori scout troop was formed at Ohinemutu.  Cubbing was introduced in 1916 and Venturer scouting was introduced in 1965.

The records of the New Zealand Scout Association, Otago Area, held at the Hocken occupy over seven and a half metres of shelving and include those of scout groups from all over Otago, such as the Owaka Scout Group, Halfway Bush Scout Group and North East Valley Scout Group.

The collections include a vast array of material, such as minute books, logs, scrapbooks, jamboree papers, newsletters, magazines, photographs and textile banners.
An example of a handwritten, illustrated log of a trip to Port Craig by Andersons Bay Rover Sea Scout Crew, 1955 (image from MS-3486/010):

A colourful log book entry of the 13th Dunedin North East Valley Scout Troop describing an account of Easter camp and woodcraft signs, 1951 (image from MS-3486/103):

The earliest record is a minute book of the St Martin’s Boy Scouts, which began in April 1927, before changing to North East Valley Boy Scouts in 1935. (Image from MS-3486/090).
The Rovering branch of scouting was officially started in England in 1917. The First Dunedin District Rover Crew was established in 1926. Handwritten, illustrated log of a caving trip to Dunback by Andersons Bay Rover Sea Scout Crew, 1954 (image from MS-3486/009).
There are approximately 16,000 Scouts in New Zealand.  In the lower South Island there are currently 50 active scout groups, 12 Venturer Units and 2 Rover Crews.  There are plenty of newsletters being produced to keep people up to date on developments:
Image from MS-3486/017

Visitors are welcome to come in and view the scouting material, or you can look through our listings on ‘Hakena’ at http://hakena.otago.ac.nz/nreq/Welcome.html

Post prepared by Debbie Gale, Arrangement and Description Archivist.

Interesting use of photographs of Cargill’s Castle

Thursday, August 5th, 2010 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

The Otago Daily Times recently published the story of Warren Justice and his scale model of Cargill’s Castle


Warren based his model on historical photographs of the well known landmark (also known as the Cliffs) which he found at the Hocken. While researchers use information from the Hocken for a wide variety of purposes this is probably one of the more unusual. It’s good to hear that the Cargill’s Castle Trust may be able to use the model in its’ work towards the preservation of the Castle.

Crawford Street and Thomson & Company photographs

Thursday, May 20th, 2010 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

These images show the intersection of Crawford and Police streets, Dunedin, with the Otago Harbour and Andersons Bay beyond.

The first photograph was taken not long after 1876, when the three-storyed building on the corner was built for the well-known cordial and fizzy drink manufacturers Thomson & Company. This impressive building was designed by local architects Mason & Wales, and it even featured a lion lounging on top of the pediment. Crawford Street follows the waterline from the left to the right of the image.

Extensive reclamation carried out from 1879 is very apparent in the second photograph, which was taken c.1905-1910. Thomson’s premises still dominate and a large sign on the side of the building boasts of the company’s awards at the St Louis World’s Fair of 1904. The small building next door appears to be the same one visible in the earlier image. It has a new facade and is occupied by the builder George Simpson. The building at the far left was built in 1897 for the auctioneers Maclean & Co. Here it seen as the premises of A. Steven & Co., ‘manufacturers of the famous Victor flour’, who took over the building in 1902. At the centre is the large wool and grain store built in 1892 for Stronach Morris & Co. Behind this is the store of the National Mortgage and Agency Company (NMA), and further back some long railway sheds can be seen.

None of the buildings or businesses visible in these photographs survives. The site of Thomson’s building is now occupied by Brown’s Avanti Plus cycle shop.

The original photographs are in the papers of J.T. Paul, MS-0982/597. They are on identical mounts from Exchange Court Studios, Dunedin.

Blog post contributed by David Murray, Assistant Archivist.


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.