Mourning cards at the Hocken

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 | Hocken Collections | No Comments

One of the more poignant collections held in the Hocken archives is a small number of papers relating to the Kaitangata coal mine disaster (Misc-MS-0840). On 21 February 1879 a miner entered some old workings with a naked light and the firedamp (methane) within exploded. 34 men and boys underground died, some from the explosion and others from the afterdamp (the toxic gases left in a mine after a methane explosion, including nitrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide). It was, at the time, New Zealand’s largest mine disaster; sadly there have been larger ones since, at Brunner in 1896 and at Huntly in 1914.

The collection includes some newspaper clippings and photographs, but perhaps most interesting are the mourning cards for nine of the people who died in the disaster. These small cards (around 115 x 75mm) each bear the name and age of the person, along with a memorial verse; the verses vary slightly. Five of the cards are for members of the Beardsmore family: James Beardsmore senior, his sons Edward and James, his son-in-law Caleb, and his brother Joseph. Two other men in the family were also miners, but off work at the time of the accident. The Beardsmores had arrived in New Zealand as assisted migrants in an extended family group of 22 aboard the ship ‘Oamaru’ just two years before the disaster; they hailed from Lancashire. Four of the family were left widows with young children through the mine explosion.

James Spiers, who died in the mine disaster (left), his widow Elspeth Spiers (right), and mourning cards for their son James. Misc-MS-0840-1.

The Clutha Leader reported that, overall, the disaster left 25 widows and 105 fatherless children. Another of the men for whom we have a memorial card, and also a photograph, is James Spiers, who was a father of eight. His youngest was just a baby who died himself soon before his second birthday; the collection also includes memorial cards for that child. The community raised funds to support the families bereaved by the disaster, but it was not easy for a widow to support a family in an era before government social support payments. Many remarried fairly quickly. Joseph Beardsmore’s widow Caroline married Harry Denson later that year – he subsequently died in 1896 in the Brunner mine disaster.

The oldest mourning card identified at the Hocken. Ephemera collection.

Preston family papers, MS-1272/039.

The Hocken also has a wide variety of other mourning cards, or in memoriam cards as they were sometimes known. Some are in family papers and others are in our ephemera collection. The earliest I have located is dated 1859 and is for Hannah Longfellow, who died in Yorkshire. It has an elaborate cutout design and is mounted on velvet fabric for framing. The earliest card for a New Zealand death that I have located so far is a much simpler design, for John Edward Preston, who drowned in a creek on his family’s sheep station on the Maniototo in 1877.

Lyttelton Times, 1 December 1855.

Northern Advocate, 24 December 1898.

New Zealand Tablet, 19 August 1920. Clippings from PapersPast, https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/, courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.

Quertier family papers, MS-3001/062.

Quertier family papers, MS-3001/062.

From the Blue Spur House of Treasures photograph album no.1, AG-683/056.

Mourning cards were popular in Britain from the early 1800s, and there is advertising for them in New Zealand papers from the 1850s. The cards were imported into New Zealand, with local printers – often newspaper offices – supplying them and adding the personal details required. Embossed flat cards, like those from the Kaitangata disaster, were common at that time, but during the 1880s and 1890s small folded cards became more common, with decorative covers and personal details inside. Another style of card popular during the 1890s and early 1900s was a large flat card in black, with text and decorative features in gold. Some, like the Arthur Brook Quertier card shown, were manufactured in Australia by the Memorial Card Company; the personal details would have been added locally. Occasionally memorial cards included a photograph. A rather unusual one in our collection is a 1901 card for Fred Hancock of Lawrence, produced by Wellington photographer David Aldersley, with a photograph of Hancock and a flower border. Most cards carried some sort of imagery, and many were beautifully designed.

A selection of In Memoriam card covers from the H.S. Tily papers, MS-3153/005.

Frank Tod papers, MS-3290/114.

The messages on cards varied between people and through time; many carried religious messages such as Bible verses, hymns, or poems with a spiritual flavour reflecting on death and the afterlife. Twentieth-century Catholic memorial cards frequently included a prayer readers could offer for the deceased person. The simple verses on the cards for the Kaitangata mine disaster victims reflected the shock of their sudden deaths; they refer to their grieving wives, children and friends, and some referred to the hope “we’ll meet in heaven again”. Today, exactly 140 years after the mine disaster, we remember the victims and their families.

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Owner-bound music volumes

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 | Hocken Collections | No Comments

Post researched and written by Amanda Mills, Curator Music and AV

The Hocken sheet music collection houses some interesting titles and volumes, including a number of owner-bound volumes, which are, on the surface, intriguing collections of random choices of sheet music. We collect these from a number of places including auctions and sales, with a handful of volumes donated to us. The purpose of owner-bound volumes was to collate collected music, keeping it tidy and in good condition, and easier to use on a piano stand. Cultural capital was also important. Many had gilt lettering and leather binding, so were attractive to display. Also (like a contemporary music collection), they displayed the owner’s tastes in sheet music, and the subjective choices and organisation are displayed by the indexing, which was often hand-written.

These volumes tell stories of what was fashionable in music at the time, and available to purchase locally from dealers, although all volumes included sheet music that was purchased overseas, and therefore not widely available here. The content throughout all the volumes is a mix of song (piano-and-vocal), and music (piano only), and much of this is related to dance. However, Aline Maxwell-Scott, writing about jazz-age owner-bound volumes in Australasia, thinks women’s owner-bound volumes were more likely to include songs than men’s[1], although our volumes belonging to William Larnach show a substantial number of piano-and-vocal songs.

The practice of owner-binding sheet music dates to the nineteenth century, and is linked predominantly to both the mass publishing of sheet music, and to domestic amateur music making. This was largely the realm of women, as they were the primary providers of musical entertainment in the home, according to Maxwell-Scott[2], and she notes that playing the piano was an accomplishment that enhanced marriage prospects[3]. The female acquisition of musical skills maintained the social values of the developing middle classes, which was especially true for the Antipodes, where applying European cultural values to the uncivilised environs of the colonies was valued greatly. The piano was even considered “a kind of gigantic hearth God, to be placated by polish and performance, its altar covered in lace and candles”[4]. It was also women who drove the nineteenth-century market for sheet music and popular songs, and increased demand led to the rise in the production of this music, and expansion of the music industry.

The overall content of owner-bound volumes is eclectic, with different genres represented – sentimental song, classical piano pieces, operatic arrangements, comic bawdy numbers, and songs relating  to military or war subjects. Many were popular songs of the day. There is also the aesthetic nature of sheet music covers to consider, as many are beautiful, and still in extremely good condition. Over time, owner-bound volumes became more scarce, with a drop in number from the 1920s, correlating with the rise of the gramophone and the 78rpm disc.

The earliest owner-bound volumes in Hocken’s sheet music collection bear William Larnach’s name embossed on the cover, and date to around the 1880s. Although there is no date for the binding, it is likely to have occurred relatively quickly, as a way to collate the music, and also to signify cultural status. Larnach’s volumes are interesting, containing many songs from Sheard’s comic song annuals which were published overseas, although one piece, ‘The Old Flag’, was published in Dunedin by G.R. West, at 18 Princes Street. Unlike later owner-bound volumes, there is not much information annotated on the sheets, but the titles make for interesting reading!

Title from William Larnach’s owner-bound volume. ‘New Zealand Anthem: Dedicated by permission to Lt. General Sir William Francis Drummond Jervois K.G.C.M.G., C.B.’ by William Allan and John McGlashan. Hocken Sheet Music Collection.

Owner-bound volumes don’t always include local material, focusing on predominantly English or American titles. There are some exceptions, especially in one volume belonging originally to Lucy Maude Bayley, which features some rare local sheets by Charles H. Russell, published by Charles Begg in Dunedin. However, even if the music is not from New Zealand, the dealers were, and dealers’ stamps tell you what music was available at what dealer, with stamps for Begg’s and Terry’s, and later, Muriel Caddie (among others) frequently appearing. Also, these owner-bound volumes were predominantly collected by local individuals: their initials regularly appear on the front of the volumes, and the sheets are annotated with their names, and (often) addresses, so we can try and trace their lives. However, due to the sheets being trimmed for binding, these details are often lost, or at least severely cut, making it harder to locate owners.

Some volumes stand out and tell stories through the addresses, and annotations given. Harry Kelk’s owner-bound volume is one. Kelk (a teacher) emigrated to New Zealand from England in the 1870s, aged 16. His owner-bound volume has music sheets collected over a number of years, and although they have no dates printed on them, a couple have the dates hand-written on them. One of the later sheets (‘The Mikado Quadrilles’) has the inscription ‘H. P. Kelk, from his aunt Ellen, 1906’, while others have dates in the  1880s. There are some interesting inscriptions too – ‘Myosotis’ reads “Don’t forget the night you heard this first! Never!” and “A thing of beauty is you forever.” These sheets are all piano music, and predominantly waltzes.

Title from Harry Kelk’s owner-bound volume. ‘Myosotis’ by Caroline Lowthian. Hocken Sheet Music Collection.

Another recently-acquired owner-bound volume was originally compiled by Lucy Maude Mary Bayley, who was born in 1869 to Frederick and Lucy Bayley. Her volume features some interesting sheets, mostly piano music: polkas, airs, mazurkas, melodies, and studies. Four of these music sheets were locally published – ‘The Daily Times Mazurka’ (a polish folk dance in triple meter), was published and available from Kelsey’s (who were taken over by Begg’s in 1883), ‘The Colonial Mazurka’, published by G. R. West, and two rare pieces by Charles H. Russell – ‘Fern Leaves’, and ‘The Silvery Spray Mazurka’, both published by Beggs. While most of these songs are undated, we can get an estimated publishing date, as Lucy Bayley annotated some titles with a (purchase?) date.

Title from Lucy Maude Bayley’s owner-bound volume. ‘Fern Leaves’ by Charles H. Russell. Hocken Sheet Music Collection.

Finally, the three owner-bound volumes of Jessie Bell McLaren provide a slightly more modern comparison. McLaren was born around 1896 to David and Christina McLaren of 15 Crown St, North East Valley (her address is annotated on one of the music sheets). Her three volumes of sheets, titled Selections and Songs on the cover, still have their binders’ stamps, which identify Whitcombe and Tombs on Princes Street as the binder. These volumes are a diverse collection of mostly popular songs from theatre shows, but include a number of piano-only pieces, mainly waltzes and foxtrots. McLaren dated these pieces, so we can see the acquisition date, which was during the First World War. There are a few war-related sheet music titles, with some directly related to theatre productions about the Great War. While many of these titles were purchased in Dunedin or in other New Zealand centres (dealers stamps give the location), a number were sent to her from England. Written on the back of one sheet is a letter from a loved one, Bill, who sent the sheet from Stevenage, England during that time. This could be a co-incidence, but Jessie Bell McLaren married chemist William Francis Stanley Pollock in 1922, moving to Highgate. Is he the same Bill who wrote the letter?

Letter from Jessie Bell McLaren’s owner-bound volumes, from Bill to Jessie.

Title from Jessie Bell McLaren’s owner-bound volumes. ‘The Lilac Domino’ by Charles Culliver. Hocken Sheet Music Collection.

The remaining owner-bound volumes in Hocken’s sheet music collections date between the late 1800s and the 1950s, and all have thought-provoking selections of international, and locally-produced music. Not all are listed on the University’s Library Search|Ketu online public access catalogue, but we are working to make these volumes, and their contents, searchable. However, they can all be viewed in our reading room – please come and talk to our Curator, Music and AV if you would like to view them.

Title from Jessie Bell McLaren’s owner-bound volumes. ‘That Naughty Waltz’ by Edwin Stanley and Sol. P Levy. Hocken Music Collection. Note the Dunedin dealer’s stamp in the lower right hand corner, and that the sheet has been trimmed.

[1] Maxwell-Scott, 2016, p 192.
[2] Maxwell-Scott, 2016, p 189.
[3] Maxwell Scott, 2016, p 191.
[4] Crisp, L. quoted in Maxwell-Scott, 2016, p 191.

Reading between the lines in Blighty

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 | Hocken Collections | No Comments

Post written researched and written by Kari Wilson-Allan, Collections Assistant – Archives

‘Blighty’, New Zealand YMCA booklet of advice for soldiers on leave in London (c.1917), MS-1474/143 in Dr Aaron Fox Military history collection.

Blighty is a tiny (72 by 124mm) pocket book, published by the New Zealand Young Men’s Christian Association.  Despite its diminutive size, it contains worlds of insight into respectable expectations of service men on leave. Judging by its condition, our copy has certainly seen some sights. Throughout the lightweight guide, soldiers are encouraged to seek out wholesome entertainment, to take advantage of British hospitality, develop friendships and make the most of their leave in London.The text suggests itineraries for touring the city or venturing further afield, to Scotland, Ireland, or Wales.  It advises of ‘host families’ throughout the British Isles who welcome Kiwis into their homes; declaring that ‘hundreds have already availed themselves of this privilege,’ it then asks the soldier ‘is this not just what you are wanting?’

The YMCA was widely considered during wartime to be ‘practical Christianity.’[i] This booklet supports that. Along with all the tips on where to go, what to see, and how to get there, there is plenty of detail about the various churches in London that a soldier might wish to attend.

Yet, towards the end of the guide, the reader is returned to thoughts of New Zealand. Nostalgia is provoked with a map, and a verse, schmaltzy to modern eyes, reminds the soldier what he is fighting for: New Zealand, ‘the fount of pure freedom.’

While the booklet itself is undated, and was originally catalogued as such, this verse, by Lt. A.H. Bogle, has been the clue to determining its age.  A bit of research showed up Bogle as the winner of the National Song Competition, held in 1917. His success was announced in various New Zealand newspapers from September of that year.  Therefore, the guidebook dates from late 1917, or perhaps early 1918.  Based on its content, this does not seem surprising.  By mid-late 1917 enthusiasm for the war reportedly had waned significantly,[ii] and I wonder if the song competition, and the booklet itself, were intended to boost flagging spirits.

Although it is interesting to see what soldiers were encouraged to do, I found myself reading through the book feeling that there was a massive gap in the useful advice proffered. Nowhere was there guidance on avoiding venereal disease, the scourge that, at a restrained estimate, infected twenty percent of our troops.[iii] As a Christian publication this isn’t too unexpected, but then I read closer.  The guidance is there, if veiled.  Just as we might read between the lines to the inferred homoeroticism in the Village People’s 1978 hit, YMCA, we can read through the lines here, and find delicate guidance in the art of maintaining one’s honour.

First the soldier is met with an image of a woman and two young girls ‘awaiting your return.’ Surely these are proxies for the soldier’s wife and daughters, or other family members. This visual representation prompts the soldier to remember the faces he holds dear.

Then there’s the text itself. Recall the VD statistics, and you’ll see what’s being underlined here; it’s certainly not just monogamy:

‘soil not her faith in you by sin or shame’

‘when base temptations scorch you with their flame’

‘O keep for her dear sake a stainless name’

These matters were presumably too indecent for an organisation such as the YMCA to broach directly. That was more the style of Ettie Rout, the celebrated and reviled campaigner for safer sexual liaisons in wartime, yet they still found a way.  Regrettably, we cannot know how many men took heed and brought ‘back to her a manhood free from shame!’

[i] Evening Post, 26 September 1917, p.7

[ii] https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/first-world-war-overview/defending-our-shores

[iii] Tolerton, Jane, Ettie Rout – New Zealand’s safer sex pioneer, 2015, p.19.

Betts portable terrestrial globe

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Post by Karen Craw – Maps Curator

As well as sheet maps, charts and Atlases of New Zealand, Australia, Antarctica the Pacific and the wider world, the Hocken Maps Collection contains a wide variety of cartographic resources and reference materials. This portable terrestrial globe produced by George Philip & Son, London and Liverpool, is an example of such a resource.

Betts Globe

Betts’s portable Terrestrial Globe compiled from the latest and best authorities. British Empire coloured red London, George Philip & Son, [188-?] Donated by the Otago Education Board. Hocken Library: Maps: Rolled; 100 1880 a

John Betts publisher

John Betts (fl. 1844-1875) was a London publisher specialising in low cost educational products which were large enough for children to observe features easily. This particular style of collapsible globe was patented by Betts in the 1850’s. The firm was taken over by George Philip & Son around 1880. Regular updating kept the globe in production well into the 1920’s.

An 1850’s version of the portable globe produced by Betts was 12.5 cm in diameter and had 8 hand lithographed paper gores. Cotton cords held between the gores and backing paper extended through the poles were pulled on a thread and fastened with a bead at the top to form an inflated globe. A facsimile version of this globe made in the same way as Betts original globe is still available to purchase from a British Globe maker.

 George Philip and Son map publisher

George Philip (1800-1882) cartographer and map publisher, was born at Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland into a Calvinist family. Two of the sons became ministers and the teaching of the local minister instilled in George the value of education for everyone.

He began his career working for a bookseller in Liverpool and later set up his own business. He placed orders with well-known cartographers for maps on copper plates which he had printed and hand-coloured. The bulk of his production was for the commercial, and particularly the educational market.

The firm supplied atlases and textbooks for many overseas countries in several languages, beginning with an atlas for Australian schools in 1865 and for New Zealand in 1869. The firm also published many maps of New Zealand.

George Philip and Son was sold in 1988 to the Octopus Publishing Co, part of Reed International Group of Companies, London.

The Hocken Collections globe is produced by George Philip and Son. Packed in a wooden box, it can be inflated by a metal umbrella type mechanism. It was intended to be a low cost portable education device for classroom teaching, easily transported and loaned to schools. The gores are made of silk. Wear and tear of the silk has meant that examples in good condition are very rare.

Sources:

http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/George_Philip_and_Son

http://www.globemakers.com/facsimile/globe_betts.html

 

 

Going past Papers Past: a mass of mastheads

Friday, August 12th, 2016 | Anna Blackman | 2 Comments

Post by Kari Wilson-Allan, Library Assistant – Reference

Papers Past is undoubtedly a valuable and convenient resource for historical research.  It is easy, however, in using it, to overlook other avenues of journalistic endeavour.

While working on a response to a recent reference enquiry, I came across a reel of microfilm in the stack containing all manner of titles, some of which I had never previously encountered.  A large number of these were of local origin, and covered matters social, political, intellectual, commercial, spiritual and more.

The Dunedin triumvirate available online (Otago Daily Times, Otago Witness and Evening Star) shine a light on the city’s goings-on, but to rely on these three is to neglect a wider range of perspectives and possibilities for enquiry.

Regrettably, the film holds only a single issue of many of the titles, and some rolled off the presses for only the briefest of spells, yet they reveal a lively and varied past.

The selection of mastheads below all feature on the reel; search any of the titles on Library Search | Ketu to request the film.

Other early Dunedin papers of which we hold larger runs include the paper most commonly known as the Otago Workman (otherwise the Beacon or Forbury News, later the Otago Liberal), the Echo, the Globe and the Southern Mercury.

01 Port Chalmers watch 02 Sandfly 03 NZ Liberator 04 Magnolia 05 Penny Post 06 Hot springs guide 07 Guardian 08 Morning herald 09 Illustrated news 10 NZ Life

Musos, anarchists, poets, feminists, artists and activists: a look at the Hocken zines collection

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 | Anna Blackman | No Comments

Post by Emma Scott, Library Assistant – Periodicals

Tucked away within our publications collection are approximately 149 zines spanning from the 1970s to the present day. For those of you who haven’t come across a zine before, zines are self published publications that are on a variety of different topics. Many of the zines in our collection were created by cutting and pasting text, images, photographs and drawings and sticking them on master sheets which are then photocopied and put together as a zine. Creating a zine is a labour of love as they take a substantial amount of time and effort to produce and the funds involved in the making of a zine are seldom recuperated.

Caveat Emptor An Anarchist Fanzine issue 2 (1998) pages 5-6

Caveat Emptor An Anarchist Fanzine issue 2 (1998) pages 5-6

Looking through the list of zines in our collection it is surprising to discover just how varied zines can be. The zines most people are familiar with are the punk rock and rock music zines. While we do have plenty of those, we also have zines on many other subjects including: feminism, government resistance, art, death, horror tales, poetry, science fiction poetry, erotic poetry, sexual harassment of women, anarchism, human rights, paper dolls, New Zealand literature, colonisation and politics just to name a few. Some zines cover multiple topics as they have many contributors.

PMt issue 2 ([1986]) cover

PMt issue 2 ([1986]) cover

Zines can be difficult to catalogue as they are often missing title and date information. Zines also differ greatly in size and format, becoming an artwork in themselves. Fortunately we are able to call upon the services of the University of Otago Library Bindery who can create customised acid free enclosures for these items.

A zine a day as winter goes away covers of 2011 July 3, 7, 10 and 20

A zine a day as winter goes away covers of 2011 July 3, 7, 10 and 20

With May being New Zealand Music Month, it is worth bringing attention to an excellent zine in our collection called Ha Ha Ha: from the city that offers nothing. Ha Ha Ha is a Hamilton music zine that started in 1983, it isn’t focused entirely on Hamilton music, it includes information about bands from all over New Zealand. Issue no.5  features an interview with Bruce Russell from the Dunedin Expressway label called “Expressway to your skull” and includes reviews of Vehicle – The Clean, Sour – S.P.U.D. and Bunny liver – Sferic Experiment all of which we hold in our music collection. If you are a punk fan issue 4 might interest you with an article on New Zealand punk from 1977 – 1982 which includes a list of albums and singles worth listening to and a brief description of each band mentioned.

Ha Ha Ha issue no.5 cover

Ha Ha Ha issue no.5 cover

Another New Zealand zine of particular interest is : Incredibly Hot Sex with Hideous People by Bryce Galloway.  Issue no.15,  The Fear of Fatherhood Issue is an excellent read as Bryce recounts his experience of the ante-natal classes that he is attending with his “de-facto wife”. He prepares his readers for the change of tone: “If you’re a regular visitor to Incredibly Hot Sex with Hideous People, you will have noticed by now, the consolidation of an autobiographical style. So, babies. This is the big thing in my life at present, so I gotta go there, as unhip as that makes me”. His writing is honest and refreshing as he describes a class where the midwife is describing the birthing process: “Images less sterile than statistical data are crowding my head, I fold my arms, I cross my legs. I think about fainting and I’m not sure whether it is because I believe I’m prone, or because I truly am being overcome by these sideways images of birthing”.

Incredibly hot sex with hideous people no.15 (2003 Spring) cover

Incredibly hot sex with hideous people no.15 (2003 Spring) cover

By being self published, zines provide us with uncensored and often quite personal insights into peoples experiences, events, and lifestyles. All of us have something that we are interested in and or are passionate about, but not all of us go to the effort of creating our own publication. We hope that zines continue to be created as they provide us with invaluable information about the history and culture of this country.

If you are interested in finding out more about New Zealand zines, it is well worth checking out an excellent blog called the New Zealand Zine Review:  http://www.newzealandzinereview.org.nz/. Some of the zines featured in the blog are held in our collection if you would like to have a look at them in the flesh.

Do you create a zine yourself, or perhaps you have a zine you would like to donate? In which case we would love to hear from you as we are always interested in expanding our collection of zines. You can send us an email at serials.hocken@otago.ac.nz or phone us on 03 479 4372.

References:

AudioCulture – the noisy library of NZ music. (n.d.). Retrieved May 02, 2016, from http://www.audioculture.co.nz/

Caveat Emptor: An Anarchist Fanzine, (2), 5-6. (1988)

Galloway, B. (2003). Incredibly Hot Sex with Hideous People, (15), 1-18.

Incredibly Hot Sex with Hideous People – Bryce Galloway | Culture | Critic.co.nz. (n.d.). Retrieved May 02, 2016, from http://www.critic.co.nz/culture/article/1501/incredibly-hot-sex-with-hideous-people—bryce-gal

New Zealand Zine Review. (n.d.). Retrieved May 02, 2016, from http://www.newzealandzinereview.org.nz/

PMt, (2), 1-23. (1986?).

  1. (2011). ‘a Zine a Day as Winter Goes Away’

S, A. (n.d.). Ha Ha Ha: From the City That Offers Nothing, (4), 8-19.

S, A. (n.d.). Ha Ha Ha: From the City That Offers Nothing, (5), 9-12.

Zine. (n.d.). Retrieved May 02, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zine

Zines. (n.d.). Retrieved May 03, 2016, from http://www.wcl.govt.nz/popular/zines.html

 

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.

Postcards at the Hocken

Monday, January 25th, 2016 | Anna Blackman | 2 Comments

Post researched and written by Dr Anna Petersen (Assistant Curator of Photographs), originally published in Deja View 63 (February 2014), pp. 10-14  (Journal of the Photographic Collectors’ Association of New Zealand)

The Hocken Library has a good collection of early postcards available to researchers, as one would expect of an institution located in Dunedin – the centre of postcard production in Australasia during its postal heyday. There are approximately four thousand postcards in total housed separately in their own sequence within the Hocken Photographs Collection and digital images of about a third of these are currently available on the Hocken Snapshop website.   Hundreds more are housed within individual holdings named after their donors, as well as in albums and brief descriptions of these are given on the Hakena database, available online via the Hocken Library home page.  Countless more postcards are to be found in the Hocken Archives Collection though not collected as postcards per se and, due to the sheer mass of material and limited resources of the Library, only a mention of the format has so far generally been given on the Hakena database.

A visit to the Hocken provides an opportunity to view postcards by particular photographers alongside other examples of their work.  Bill Main chose to mention the E.A. Phillips collection of negatives, for example, in his brief description of the Hocken’s holdings in his book Wish You Were Here.[i]  The recent acquisition of Hardwicke Knight’s collection of photographs and archives currently being catalogued also contains some hundreds of postcards and looks set to bolster in particular the number of images from the Aotearoa series produced by Hugh and G.K. Neill.

GuyFigure1

Figure 1 Portrait of Guy Morris, F.L. Jones photograph.  S09-113b.

 

One favourite Dunedin photographer for curators at the Hocken over the years has been Guy Morris (1868-1918, see figure 1).  Guy Morris’s work was featured at an in-house exhibition in 2009, following the gift of over 100 original photographs from the estate of his eldest daughter, Marina. The show included postcards carrying his images as well as illustrated supplements from the Otago Witness newspaper which contain many published copies of Guy’s work from 1900 until his death during the flu epidemic in 1918.

Hardwicke Knight was the first to mention Guy Morris in his histories of New Zealand photography.[ii]  He explained how the Morris name was well known in Dunedin at the end of the nineteenth century as John Morris, Guy’s elder brother, headed a thriving photographic business.[iii]  John Morris (1854-1919) rose to prominence as a portrait photographer, and, in competition with the Burton Brothers, his prints of Dunedin streets also proved popular, possibly as Hardwicke Knight noted, because he included so much life.  Guy and another brother, Hugh, began as John’s apprentices and then ran branches of the firm around the city before Guy struck out on his own in 1900, trading under his first name.[iv]

Bill Main has published a couple of articles specifically about Guy Morris’s postcards in Postcard Pillar in 2007 and 2011, well-illustrated with examples of his colour and real photo cards.  A useful list of cards in Bill’s private collection reveals how Guy’s images appeared in a number of different series and though mainly devoted to the Dunedin and Otago region, he also photographed other corners of New Zealand. [v] The Hocken holds cards by Guy of places as far south as Stewart Island and north to Bluff Hill in Napier.   Bill Main focused on Guy’s work as a press photographer, putting him on a par with Joseph Zachariah and S.C Smith in Wellington and F.N. Jones in Nelson, and noted  how  his street scenes were ‘refreshingly different’ for the choice of subject matter in people going about their business and the manner in which they were taken  ‘with Dunedin’s trams playing a very important part in his ordered compositions’. [vi]  Another aspect of this is that his subjects can often be matched and dated accurately with photographs in the Otago Witness.  We can therefore know that his ‘Naseby Snow Series’ was a record of a heavy fall in July 1908, for example.

GuyFigure2

Figure 2 ‘Lawyer’s Head Dunedin NZ’, Standard Series postcard, Guy photograph, c.1908.  S14-006b.

I would like to draw attention to Guy’s early postcards that at first sight might not seem as interesting or exciting to collect in terms of action.  These include colour lithograph views of sunsets and largely empty shorelines like that shown in figure 2, now such ubiquitous subjects in the postcard market with its modern printing techniques.  During the first decade of the twentieth century, however, such mechanically reproduced scenes were about as close to a real colour photograph as was possible.  Moreover, the subject of unspoilt nature in the form of uncrowded spaces, unpolluted water and clear skies was very topical (as indeed is still the case), as people in Europe looked to escape their over-populated, smog-bound cities and local authorities sought to attract the discerning public to Dunedin.

Guy’s career as a photographer covered the Edwardian period, often referred to as ‘The Age of Innocence’ before World War One.  Dunedin was a safe haven even by New Zealand standards and residents actively promoted the city as a good place to raise a family.  The Otago Witness newspaper published a weekly column espousing the teachings of local hero, F. Truby King and ‘Dunedin became the Citadel’ of the Plunket Movement.[vii]  The newspaper also supported the Dunedin Expansion League’s quest to attract industrious, skilled workmen with large young families to bolster the population, further business interests and regain the position of foremost city in New Zealand.[viii]

The golden beaches lying literally at Dunedin’s doorstep, which had been largely neglected by photographers until this point, constituted a major selling point and Guy’s photographs and postcards served an integral part in advertising the fact.  While the focus of photographers during the late nineteenth century had been on promoting the material progress of the colony and Muir and Moodie’s extensive stock of postcards concentrated on built-up areas of the city, Guy offered a change of scene and rather different set of values.  Along with his postcards of other public beauty spots like the Botanical Gardens and Outram Glen, Guy’s images of the open coastline spoke of a romantic closeness to nature and wealth of wholesome leisure activities which held universal appeal.

GuyFigure3

Figure 3 Original photograph of an image included in ‘Scenes on the Beach at St Clair, Dunedin’, Otago Witness Christmas Annual, 1905, p.40.  S09-096g.

A critical aspect of the message was that the sandy stretch was accessible to all and, by in large, this appeared to be the case.  The trams that Bill Main noted as integral to Guy’s cityscapes, now linked the suburbs more completely to the business centre making it easier for everyone to travel and bathe in the salt water, walk along the esplanade, picnic and take in the fresh air.  Crowds of people made their way there each Labour Day when the weather was fine, and over the summer months as documented in Guy’s photographs published in the Otago Witness Christmas Annual (for example, see figure 3).  Copies of the Christmas Annual made their way across the world courtesy of the New Zealand Government Department of Tourist and Health Resorts.  Of course the very idea of being on the beach around Christmas time was a novelty for adults of European origin.  One copy of the Guy postcard in figure 4 (a photograph reproduced in at least four different postcard series including F.T. Opalette, F.T. Domed Glossine and Industria) was sent by one local resident as a Christmas card to a friend just down the Otago Harbour at Broad Bay.

GuyFigure4

Figure 4 ‘St Clair, Dunedin, N.Z.’, Guy postcard, c.1909. S14-006a.

Yet then, as now, it was still possible to find the beach virtually to oneself and judging from his output, Guy spent hours photographing beside the sea.  Purely from an aesthetic point of view, Guy found an ever-changing play of light and form in the vista of earth, sea and sky between Lawyer’s Head and St Clair known as Ocean Beach, the warren of curious volcanic rock formations further south towards the expanse of sand looking out to Green Island and drama of the waves of the South Pacific Ocean hitting land.  Amongst the original prints by Guy in the Hocken Photographs Collection are many studies (figure 5) that obviously constituted a library of images to choose from for his postcards.

GuyFigure5

Figure 5 St Kilda, Guy photograph, undated. Marina Morris Collection. S14-006d.

By working productively and spending the time, Guy established a personal relationship with the Dunedin coast, making it his own.  Though some other postcard images of the area by different photographers can be seen on the Hocken Snapshop site, Guy appears to have produced the largest number.  Guy’s postcards and published photographs comprise both public as well as more private views, perhaps none more so than those that include his own children enjoying themselves.  The card entitled ‘Ocean Beach, Dunedin. A Summer Seascape’ (figure 6) may well feature his three young daughters just above his signature, a portrait of whom is also reproduced here from the Hocken Photographs Collection (figure 7).

GuyFigure6

Figure 6 ‘Ocean Beach, Dunedin.  A Summer Seascape’, Guy postcard, undated.  S14-006c.

Guy Figure7

Figure 7 ‘Gathering Wild Berries’ [Portrait of Jean, Dorothy and Marina Morris], original photograph reproduced in Otago Witness Christmas Annual, December 1912, p. 39.  S14-008.

Studying postcards of the closest beaches at the Hocken, we are left with a record of Guy’s vision of a healthy city environment and people―fresh, clean, full of natural beauty and promise.  What were once new views of Dunedin are now old, but over a century later, they remain relevant.  The same virtues that Guy and other citizens valued continue to satisfy local residents and attract foreign families to the city.  Providing just a sample of the postcards held at the Hocken, Guy’s postcards are undoubtedly worth collecting and preserving.  They represent just a fraction of the postcards held at the Hocken but speak of the potential the collection holds for researchers as a whole.

[i] William Main, Wish You Were Here, Wakefield, 2005, p.114.

[ii] For example, see Hardwicke Knight, Photography in New Zealand:  A Social and Technical History, Dunedin, 1971, p.108.

[iii] Hardwicke Knight, The Photography of John Richard Morris: An Appreciation of his contribution to New Zealand portrait and view photography in the nineteenth century, Dunedin, 1995.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] William Main, “Guy” Guy Clayton Morris 1868-1918’, Postcard Pillar, issue 79 (August 2007), pp. 16-17.

[vi] Main, p.15.

[vii] Erik Olssen, A History of Otago, Dunedin, 1984, p.151.

[viii] See, for example, ‘Dunedin The City Beautiful’, Otago Witness Christmas Annual, December 1912,  back cover.

Enquire Within

Thursday, October 29th, 2015 | Anna Blackman | 2 Comments

Post researched and written by Megan Vaughan, Library Assistant – Publications

 

Huia butter

Huia butter advertisement (edition 3, p.5)

Addressed to the householder these booklets were distributed to subscribers in the 1930s and 1940s. The content ranges from household cleaning tips to reading tea leaves.

Hocken holds 12 Dunedin editions from the 30s and 40s, as well as a 1935 Auckland edition and a 1935 Wellington edition.

About half of the content is dedicated to advertising for local businesses such as Hallensteins, and Wolfenden and Russell.

Hallensteins

Hallensteins advertisement (inside back cover of 1st edition)

While the booklets themselves are not eye-catching the content offers an interesting, and sometimes amusing, insight into the minutiae of domestic life in 1930s and 40s New Zealand.

Recipes occupy a lot of space. Instructions for cooking asparagus (boil for 20 minutes!) (ed.1, p.14), curried sardines (ed.1, p.10), parsnip and turnip wines (ed.1, p.17), stuffed lettuce (ed.5, p.28), tripe (ed.7, p.8) and rusks (ed.7, p.28) are just a few of the recipes featured.

Cooking hints complement the recipes and include being able to tell the difference between fungi and mushrooms (ed.1, p.6), how to make your jelly set quickly using methylated spirits and a draught (ed.1, p.22), how to improve your coffee with a pinch of mustard (ed.4, p.34), and how to sweeten rancid fat (ed.2, p.26) rather than throwing it away.

RS Black and Son

RS Black & Son advertisement (edition 5, p.73)

Other household hints make heavy use of vinegar, lemon juice, salt and methylated spirits. A recipe for homemade floor polish finds a use for broken gramophone records (ed.4, p.36). Eggshells thrown into the copper made clothes very white (ed.2, p.22) and rusty ovens were clearly an issue as the solution of leaving the oven door open after use was repeated in many editions (e.g. ed.12, p.28).

Health remedies include tips such as placing a scraped potato on scalds (ed.1, p.26), using sage tea for a sore throat (ed.1, p.28), smoking blue gum leaves several times a day for asthma (ed.1, p.30), and shaving warts until they bleed before applying lunar caustic (silver nitrate) (ed.1, p.30). Billiousness was treated by drinking salty water and “nerves” were improved by numerous glasses of cold water and getting out of bed earlier (and a better attitude is implied!) (all in ed.1). It was recommended invalids be protected from visitors (e.g. ed.1, p.26).

Beauty tips included “cures” for numerous complaints ranging from scurf (aka dandruff: cured with kerosene, ed.3, p.48), dry skin, and baldness, to freckles (ed.1, p.32). Much of this content was repeated without variation throughout editions.

 

United Cash Orders

United Cash Orders advertisement (back cover of 5th edition)

Etiquette for occasions such as visiting, dining out and weddings is described in great detail. The dense lists for these sections contain some conventions still familiar today such as not reaching across your neighbour at the dinner table or spitting out bits of bone onto your plate (ed.2, p.4-6). Declining a dish at a meal was acceptable, but offering a reason was not (ed.2, p.4-6). Carrying a stick into someone’s drawing room was within the realm of good manners, but wielding an umbrella or wearing an overcoat was considered impolite (ed.2, p.4-6).

Conversation brought a whole raft of dos and don’ts: the familiar rules against interrupting and whispering are listed along with the recommendation you don’t talk about yourself or your maladies, or afflictions  (ed.2, p.4-6). It was advised when telling jokes to laugh afterwards, and not before! (ed.1, p.25).

Wolfenden and Russell

Wolfenden & Russell (edition 5, p.11)

Fortune telling appears to have been popular with many editions containing hints on reading tea leaves (e.g. ed.2, p56), and large sections of many booklets were dedicated to interpreting dreams (e.g. ed.1, p.54-62). One booklet includes a section that explains mole position and your resulting fortune: for e.g. a mole on the nose means success in everything, but on the left knee indicates an indolent, thoughtless and indifferent person (ed.2, p.58).

Enquire within also offers tips for motorists, hints for fixing common radio problem, advice for gardeners, meanings of a select few given names, and guidance on the care of animals.

 

 

Recent purchases for the Ephemera Collection

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 | Hocken Collections | No Comments

Post by Katherine Milburn, Liaison Librarian – Ephemera

Staff at the Hocken are constantly on the search for new material to add to the collections. We rely on the generosity of donors and greatly value the contributions they make. Some other avenues used to hunt down relevant items include searching second hand stores, bidding at local and national auction houses and via online auction sites such as Trade Me and eBay. We are grateful to all those who alert us to material that may be of possible interest.

Purposeful collecting of ephemera began in the mid-1960s and although there are some older items in the collection, there is much earlier material that we would love to be able to add. The ephemera collection includes a wide variety of printed items from programmes, tickets, menus, leaflets, to posters and packaging. The collection focuses particularly on Otago and Southland material but does include items with a national scope too.

 

Here are pictured some items for local businesses, some of which are now defunct, that were recently found and purchased via Trade Me. They include a Huia Cream cap (the Hocken Collections occupy the former Otago Co-operative Dairy Company Limited building where Huia products were manufactured); a Manda Ice cream sticker (a company that was founded in Invercargill); a box for F. Wilkinson’s Emulsion of Cod Liver Oil (a chemist in Caversham, Dunedin); a hat box for D.I.C. (the Drapery and General Importing Company of New Zealand Ltd was established in Dunedin in 1884); and a Coulls Somerville Wilkie Ltd packaging sample book that features wonderful examples of packaging for a variety of local firms such as Hudsons and D.W. Johnston & Sons Ltd and is dated from c.1950s. Other recent purchases include a small sheet of stickers featuring the iconic brand for the New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board, and a striking poster for the 1975 Labour Party election campaign.

All of these items reflect aspects of New Zealand society and culture at the time they were manufactured and used; they are now valuable resource material that is available to all Hocken researchers.