Thursday, 30 July 2015

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori: Pūtahitanga exhibition

To mark Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, Māori Language Week, for 2015 here at Heritage et AL we are featuring some of the oldest items in our collections relating to te reo Māori.

These taonga are all held in Sir George Grey Special Collections and currently on show in our exhibition space on the second floor of the Central Library as part of our exhibition Pūtahitanga: a meeting of two worlds in the North, 1769-1842.

The arrival of Captain James Cook in New Zealand in 1769 is usually seen as the beginning of the meeting of two worlds – the Māori and the European – leading to increasing interaction, misunderstanding and understanding, cross-cultural movement and exchange.
This exhibition reveals some of those interactions with explorers, sealers and whalers, missionaries, traders and settlers in the documents and books produced at the time and held in Sir George Grey Special Collections. The word Pūtahitanga means a confluence of streams and expresses the fluidity of this period.
We end the exhibition in 1842, two years after the Treaty of Waitangi and the move of the capital to the new settlement of Auckland, and three years before the first major conflict erupted in 1845.  

The first item ever printed in New Zealand is this very modest production by the missionary William Yate, printed in Kerikeri in 1830. Only two known copies survive now.
The text is a Māori translation of the catechism, a summary of the Christian doctrine.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Eating in & dining out: Dalmatian-run grill rooms of the 1940s

The 1940s were boom times for Auckland’s Dalmatian-run grill room restaurants, especially after US soldiers, sailors and nurses arrived in June 1942 - there were six grill rooms on Victoria Street West alone (Clarich, Jelich, Kosovitch, Lipanovich, Makovina and Urlich) and a further 20 in the central city. The Americans came for R and R after fighting in the Pacific, for medical attention, and for training. For the next two years about 50,000 American servicemen and women were in the country at any one time. They were often paid twice as much as local wages, and had three out of every four days free.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

A map of the Duke's Forest from 1567

The map below is one of many beautiful and intricate hand-coloured illustrations and maps in Lodovico Guicciardini's book on the Low Countries. Sir George Grey Special Collection's copy is a French edition published in Antwerp in 1567. It was donated to the library by Henry Shaw. The map is of Bolduch ('s-Hertogenbosch or the Duke's Forest) in the southern Netherlands. Iain Sharp notes in Real Gold that Guicciardini's book was one of the best sellers of the sixteenth century.

Image ref: Map from: Lodovico Guicciardini. Description de tovt le Païs-Bas, avtrement
dict la Germanie inferievre, ov, Basse-Allemaigne.
Antwerp: Guillaume Silvius, 1567.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-C1964.
The two main methods for printing maps in the sixteenth century were relief (usually woodcut) and intaglio (copper engraving or etching). The map pictured is a copperplate engraving. The intaglio technique involves engraving lines into a plate of metal. Ink is placed on the surface of the plate, wiped off, but remains in the grooves. Paper is placed on the plate and compressed: transferring the ink from the plate to the paper. One way of distinguishing a copperplate engraving from a woodcut is the indentation of the border of the copperplate itself around the outside of the map.

Remembering the Rainbow Warrior

On the weekend of 25 and 26 July the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior III will be moored at Princes Wharf, Auckland. Its visit commemorates the thirtieth anniversary of the sinking of its predecessor at Marsden wharf on 10 July 1985 by agents of the French security intelligence service. Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira drowned on the sinking ship.

The day after the act of sabotage Alton Francis snapped a shot of the half-submerged Rainbow Warrior

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Golden Quran and translated Arabic manuscripts

One of the recipients of Auckland Library Heritage Trust's Researcher in Residence award for 2014/2015 was Dr Zain Ali. Dr Ali focused his research on a golden Quran that Henry Shaw donated to the library and also some manuscripts of poems in Arabic.

The aim of the Researcher in Residence scholarship is to assist with scholarly research and promotion of materials held in Sir George Grey Special Collections. These aims were certainly achieved this year with some Arabic manuscripts being translated into English for the first time.

The fruits of this research were presented in a talk at the library on the evening of 28 May this year. The video of the talk is now up online and you can watch the talk that Dr Ali and translator Hoda Khaled Fahmy gave below:

Do have a look at Auckland Libraries YouTube Channel; there is some great content there. Recently added videos include some of our family history talks through to the talking portraits that were down at Queen's Wharf on the waterfront over Auckland Anniversary Weekend.

This past weekend Dr Ali, Hoda Fahmy and Manuscripts Librarian Kate de Courcy were interviewed on Radio New Zealand's Spiritual Outlook show. Dr Ali mentions in the interview on Spiritual Outlook that they in the process of assessing the manuscripts with a view to finding a publisher for the translations, which is very exciting news. Do click through to the article as it has some great photos of the Quran and the manuscripts.

Author: Andrew Henry

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Rossdhu Book of Hours

Popular throughout Europe from the late thirteenth to the sixteenth century Books of Hours were prayer books intended for devout everyday folk who wanted to follow the Church’s programme of daily devotions.  They always included a series of prayers to the Virgin Mary but also varied in the choice of other saints recognized and in the number, size and quality of illustrations. These books could either come readymade or be specially tailored to a person’s own circumstances and interests.

Monday, 6 July 2015

United States and German war plans for New Zealand - prior to the First World War

In 2008 the New Zealand National Maritime Museum featured a 62 page document entitled 'Naval war plan for the attack of Auckland, New Zealand'. This had been produced as an intelligence exercise by visiting United States Naval officers a century before in 1908. They had come to Auckland as part of a visit by the 'Great White Fleet' of 16 United States battleships, and had spent six days in Auckland.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

More Auckland region newspapers added to Papers Past

Earlier this week the National Library announced that the latest batch of newspapers has just gone live on Papers Past. Auckland Libraries have contributed two newspapers from our collections to the project: the Pukekohe and Waikuku Times from 1921-1924 and the New Zealander from 1853-1866.

The Pukekohe & Waiuku Times (later known as the Franklin Times), one of South Auckland’s longest-lasting local newspapers, was published in Pukekohe from 1912 to 1971. On 8 March 1912 Pukekohe businessmen Richard Eames and William Cargill brought out the first issue of the Pukekohe & Waiuku Times. The new tabloid was just four pages long and came out once a week. As demand grew it increased in size and frequency, becoming bi-weekly from 1 October 1912 and tri-weekly from 5 July 1915.

For a more in-depth look at the Pukekohe & Waiuku Times have a look at our blog post on Franklin newspapers, and also see where it fits in the family tree of the South Auckland Courier.