Wellington biographer Sarah Gaitanos receives a research grant to assist her latest project, to be published as a biography of Reginald Miles, a highly regarded New Zealand military commander who served in both world wars, but who died in mysterious circumstances in Spain in 1943. Gaitanos is drawing on the rich and diverse collections of the Turnbull Library to show how Miles and his generation re-examined themselves and their country in the aftermath of the Great War, with the prospect of a further war looming.
Gaitanos is the author of the acclaimed Shirley Smith: An Examined Life (Victoria University Press, 2019). She says “The heart of Reg Miles’ exciting, romantic, ultimately tragic life story lies in an unpublished collection of his letters from 1911 up until his death. Written before battles, after campaigns, from captivity in Italy, as an escaped POW in Switzerland and finally in Spain on the night of his death, they touch on all aspects of the human condition.”
Dunedin researcher Dr Claire Macindoe receives a grant to assist her to continue work on a book on Dr H B Turbott, an important and popular health broadcaster during his forty-year tenure as the ‘Radio Doctor’. Macindoe is a recent graduate from the University of Otago. Her project uses extensive ATL holdings as the basis of her research, with Dr Turbott’s broadcast manuscripts also widely quoted throughout. Given that radio history is a largely under-studied field of research, it is gratifying to support this project amid the celebration of 100 years of radio in New Zealand.
Macindoe says “Dr Turbott’s life as a medical missionary, an advocate for improved Māori health and housing, Director General of Health, and World Health Organization member, provides an important background to his 2,500+ broadcasts.”
Katherine Baxter, President of the Friends of the Turnbull Library, says: “The extensive collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library – a world-class research library that attracts scholars from around the globe – provide fertile soil for much diverse research. We are delighted to be assisting in the creation of new knowledge with these two fine projects. These latest grants bring the total number of projects assisted by the Friends of the Turnbull Library to twenty-one since the first grant was awarded to Philip Norman in 2004 for his biography of Douglas Lilburn.”