Archive for the 'Marguerite Hill' Category

A glam bunch of entries

Viewing art, Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui, 1958 (click for image credit)

Viewing art, Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui, 1958 (click for image credit)

GLAMs – galleries, libraries, archives and museums. Without their support and the expertise of their staff, the Te Ara Resource Team would not be able to bring you the wide range of images, film and sound files that we do.

This April Te Ara is launching three entries that are very dear to our hearts:

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten Museums – that entry will be launched later in the year.

Since the beginning of the Te Ara project, we’ve had the support of museums, galleries, libraries and archives throughout New Zealand and all over the world. We would like to acknowledge their support and highlight a few things you might not have known about them.

  • Before the establishment of National Archives (now Archives New Zealand), government archives were stored all over Wellington city. When fire broke out in the Hope Gibbons building in 1952, numerous public records were destroyed or damaged.
  • Auckland City Libraries are home to the Sir George Grey special collections. Ranging in scope from illuminated medieval manuscripts to photographs, the initial collection was acquired by Sir George Grey, governor of New Zealand, and gifted to the country in 1887.
  • The National Art Gallery building in Wellington was requisitioned by the air force during the Second World War. The paintings were stored in Hastings for the duration of the war. They were returned to the gallery in 1949.

We would also like to acknowledge just some of the repositories that we work with every day. There are too many to list them all, but here are just a few:

Archives New Zealand, which supplies us with newsreels like this; Radio New Zealand Sound Archives, who are keepers of songs like this, the New Zealand Film Archive, which has supplied us with many films for the upcoming entries in our Creative and Intellectual Life theme, and of course TVNZ Television Archive.

We also source material from specialist archives, like the Christchurch Anglican Diocesan Archives, the Society of Mary Archives and the Presbyterian Archive. Banks like BNZ and Westpac have their own archives and museums. Crown research institutes like GNS Science and Landcare Research also have libraries and archives.

Regional libraries and archives have always shown us a great deal of support, especially when we were working on our Places entries. We would particularly like to thank the Wairarapa Archive, Palmerston North Library, Hastings Library and Tauranga Library.

Te Ara’s resource researchers and writers regularly visit the Alexander Turnbull Library and use the collections of research libraries like the Hocken Library and Macmillan Brown Library.

We also source artworks and archives from galleries in the four main centres, as well as regional galleries like Timaru’s Aigantighe Art Gallery.

It is always a pleasure to showcase the collections of New Zealand galleries, libraries and archives on Te Ara. We hope that you enjoy the images, films and sound files in these new entries and join us in thanking all the librarians, archivists, curators, technicians and collection managers who make these resources available.

Sad stories and slightly creepy dolls

Material Histories conference 2012

Late last week several Te Ara staff attended the Material histories: antipodean perspectives symposium. This was a joint conference with Massey University and Te Papa, with a focus on material culture – objects and their stories.

Poignant stories and not necessarily aesthetically pleasing dolls were key to a number of the papers, as the presenters looked at museum objects and archive collections in different ways to unpack the powerful stories that objects had to tell about their makers, users and keepers.

The centenary of the First World War is fast approaching and many of us here at Manatū Taonga – Ministry for Culture and Heritage and many other organisations are busy beavering away at projects to remember and memorialise the stories of soldiers and civilians alike. Curator Kirstie Ross and historian Kate Hunter spoke about taking a fresh look at the objects of the First World War. Kirstie told the story of Dorothy Broad, a woman who made a woollen doll in the likeness of her fiancé, Thomas Wyville Rutherford, a soldier in the First World War. Patriotic Dorothy crafted a number of dolls for fundraising purposes and also incorporated her fiancé’s regimental badges and buttons into the doll she kept for herself. Her fiancé died of influenza just before the armistice, while Dorothy, who never married, lived into old age. On Thomas’s death she was given parts of his uniform, which she kept for the rest of her life, along with regimental badges and buttons, which she turned into mourning jewellery.

Georgina White also held the audience in thrall (although we just knew it wouldn’t have a happy ending) with her presentation about the Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery archives. The story of a young artist, sent from England to New Zealand for his health, was gently revealed through family papers, sketches and paintings from the archive. These vividly told of family connections and the importance of letters as a way of maintaining relationships when separated by distance. His parents were set to arrive in New Zealand a year after his departure from England, to rejoin their now hopefully healthy son. But, tragically, his parents arrived too late to see him again.

Back to dolls – among other things – Fiona McKergow and Kerry Taylor’s presentation about the publication of Te hao nui: the great catch (about objects from Te Manawa museum) was just as much about the intricacies of the workings of the museum and the museum society as the objects actually selected for the book. This reflective look at the keepers of objects, the way collections are developed (or just spring up) and how the book was intended to tell new stories about objects in Te Manawa’s collections was refreshing.

Other highlights included discussion of the second-hand, nostalgia and the various uses of the ‘past’.

There were several papers looking at the perspective that a Māori world view can bring to projects – Areta Wilkinson (a jeweller) and Hinemoa Hilliard (an artist) both spoke about how their cultural framework informs their research and practice.

The graduate students’ presentations – from the meanings and uses of wool-bale stencils (Annette O’Sullivan), to afternoon tea in the Manawatū (Megan Watson) and the teaching of dressmaking in schools (Dinah Vincent), assures us that the future of the study of material culture looks rosy.

Te Ara’s Flickr photostream celebrates its 10,000th

Earlier today Te Ara’s Flickr photostream received its 10,000th view. That’s something we’re quite proud of, because all the images in this photostream have been contributed by Te Ara staff members.

Huxley Forks Hut, one of Te Ara's popular Flickr photos

Huxley Forks Hut, one of Te Ara's popular Flickr photos

Often these are the photos taken by staff when they are out and about researching Te Ara’s Places entries. Sometimes they are photos we resourcers take in-house of objects and, particularly, food. We also pop up photos of our Te Ara Places and theme launches.

Currently, we have 475 images in our photostream. Of course, some of these images are more popular than others. Our most clicked image is this one: Carvings in the Square, Palmerston North, which has been viewed 395 times. One of the reasons for its popularity is because it’s linked up to a Wikipedia page on Rangitāne.

Other popular images include signs and bus shelters and this gorgeous photo of Lake Pukaki. The Tui brewery at Mangatainoka is always popular, as is inside the ladies’ loos at Kawakawa.

Last year, Emily Tutaki, one of our resourcers, travelled to Greece and the UK, and uploaded photos of places of significance to her family to our photostream. Her images of Monte Cassino and Hinemihi are also in our top 25 most viewed.

This unusual view of Te Ara's offices, featuring The Joker, was taken for photography class homework

This unusual view of Te Ara's offices, featuring The Joker and taken as homework for photography class, has found fans on Flickr

We had a flurry of interest in our photos of Dunedin student flats when we added them to the Dunedin (NZ) Student Flats group pool, which is preserving the history of these fine institutions.

As well as our photostream, Te Ara also invites photos from other Flickr members to our group. In each of our Places entries we include an exhibition of the magnificent images contributed by Flickr members. We’re currently working on the Marlborough entry, and would love to see your photos of the area. After Marlborough, we’ll be working on the East Coast and, later, King Country.

Chance Kiwi encounters

Baby shoes

Baby shoes

Sandwich board, Salzburg

Sandwich board, Salzburg



Globe theatre memorial

Globe theatre memorial

Anchor billboard

Anchor billboard

Tangaroa Sailing

Tangaroa Sailing

Speights sign

Speights sign

I’ve just gotten back from my first trip to Europe, and being a resources researcher, I found it a bit hard to turn off my camera. Three thousand digital photos later, I’ve trawled through them all in order to show you some of the Kiwi connections we encountered while we were away. I wasn’t away for very long, but it was fun to spot places and things that reminded me of home.

Most of my Kiwi encounters were in the UK, but strangely it was Salzburg where I stumbled upon two quite different New Zealand connections. The first was this display of Bobux shoes in a children’s shop near my hotel. These soft babies and infants shoes are exported all over the world – including to Austria.

This Inligua sandwich board was found in the maze-like streets of the Salzburg Old Town. My rusty German translates the sign as ‘Some things you’ll just never understand/With language you’ll have it much easier’.

Once I got to London, I was spoilt for choice New Zealand associations. At the end of the Mall, just outside of Buckingham Palace, stands the Victoria Memorial, which was completed in 1911. Next to Victory are two figures donated by the ‘people of New Zealand’. Two figures, a man and a woman, represent New Zealand’s role in the Empire. I think that the chap in the photo looks suspiciously like Premier Richard Seddon. But maybe it’s just the beard?

Next, when wandering around Globe, I came across a stone donated by New Plymouth Boys’ High School. It sat alongside those paid for by Sir Patrick Stewart and other theatrical luminaries. This New Zealand connection didn’t surprise me – after all a group of New Zealand embroiderers created the fantastic New Zealand hangings inside the Globe. Sir Raymond Boyce’s cartoons or preliminary drawings for the hangings now reside in Te Papa.

Anchor billboards like this one appeared all over East London. Apparently New Zealand cows are very clever, with skills including tractor driving and cheese-making. Of course, Anchor has been a household name in New Zealand since 1886.

My dad comes from Bristol, and while the family were showing me around the rejuvenated Bristol dock area I found this sign for Tangaroa charters. The ship wasn’t in dock, so I didn’t get to see the beautiful oak ketch which was made in Denmark. I still have no idea why a ship in the Bristol floating harbour is called the Tangaroa, but it seemed appropriate.

This Southerner Speights pub was closed the Sunday afternoon I wandered around Fleet Street and Brideswell. A closer inspection of the menu didn’t find any New Zealand-themed food – but according to their website they do sell Speights and Steinlager.

Flickr update – Waikato, Nelson and you

Huntly power station – one of the photos you'll be seeing in the Waikato entry

Huntly power station – one of the photos you'll be seeing in the Waikato entry

Last time we blogged about Flickr, we were asking people for images for the Taranaki Places entry.

Busy as usual, we’ve moved on since then and will be launching the Waikato Places entry at the end of May. As usual, our Flickr friends have contributed dozens of fantastic images of the region. As well as images we’ve sourced from Flickr that will appear as part of the entry, we’ll also be staging our fifth Flickr exhibition (the link goes to our Otago Flickr exhibition). The Waikato exhibition isn’t online yet, but you can take a look at the exhibition pool to get an idea of what’s in store.

Now that the Waikato entry is well underway, we’ve started work on the Nelson entry. For Te Ara’s purposes, the Nelson region comprises Nelson city and Tasman district; the latter takes in Golden Bay, Abel Tasman National Park, Motueka, Murchison, Nelson Lakes and nearby areas.

We would love for you to start adding your Nelson photos to the Te Ara pool. We’re looking for photographs of Nelson landscape, culture and people, but in particular inland Nelson and Murchison are on our list. Thank you to the photographers who have already started adding images!

In a new feature, you can view thumbnails of recent additions to Te Ara’s Flickr pool at the bottom of Te Ara’s redesigned homepage ( which was launched in January).