Turnbull Library Record — Vol. 43, 2010-2011

Articles in the 2010-11 issue included:

A Fraught Relationship: the early years of the Alexander Turnbull Library and the General Assembly Library. John E Martin uses archival material to reveal the Turnbull’s shaky beginnings in 1918 when the GA Library had become our de facto national library.

Among the Reeds: using the AH & AW Reed Collections. Gavin McLean describes the vast extent of the Reed collections of papers and ephemera in the Turnbull, and provides a few key signposts for further research.

“By far the best parts”: the jackets of Paul’s Book Arcade as agents of cultural myth. Patricia Thomas explores a selection of the book jackets, “visual markers which add another dimension to the story of New Zealand”, produced for Paul’s Book Arcade and Blackwood and Janet Paul from the 1940s to the 1960s.

Books and Readers, Old and New: a reflection. Lydia Wevers looks at the experience and meaning of reading, in the context of recent developments in e-readership.

Papers from the Past, and Problems from the Present. Caroline Daley considers the advantages of online access to newspapers, through Papers Past on the National Library website, as well as the limitations of the technology.

Diaries and the Depression of the 1930s in New Zealand. Malcolm McKinnon has drawn on seven diaries held in the Turnbull and five held in the Hocken Library, to explore “what diaries tell us or do not tell us about the Depression”, and why.

On Fighting the Great War. Jock Phillips recounts the way that his research into male stereotypes in New Zealand led him to examine the mythology of the New Zealand male at war, and how he became “well and truly hooked” by the stories told in wartime letters and diaries in the Turnbull.

“Kia Rongo Mai Koutou ki Taku Whakaaro”: Maori Voices in the Alexander Turnbull Library. Paul Meredith and Alice Te Punga Somerville survey the “mass of unpublished and published writings, and visual and recorded texts by Maori” held in the Turnbull, in order to present “some possibilities for reading Maori texts alongside English-language ethnographic texts”.

A Fijian in Bulls. John Sullivan reveals “the power of newly available research tools to uncover individual stories” by using Papers Past to focus on one particular example, a striking photographic portrait identified as Frank Luni, taken by Wanganui photographer William James Harding (1826-1899).

Joseph Divis: Mining Town Photographer. Simon Nathan outlines the photographic career of Joseph Divis (1885-1967), a miner who photographed the places where he lived and worked, leaving a unique record of life in gold-mining communities and a valuable contribution to social history.


Caroline Daley is an associate professor of history at the University of Auckland, and co-editor of the New Zealand Journal of History.

John E Martin is the Parliamentary Historian in the Parliamentary Service, who previously taught history at Victoria University of Wellington.

Malcolm McKinnon is a writer and theme editor for Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, who is currently working on a history of the economic depression of the early 1930s in New Zealand.

Gavin McLean is a senior historian at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, who has published widely on commercial, local and maritime history, and is the author of Whare Raupo: The Reed Books Story (2007).

Paul Meredith (Ngati Maniapoto) is a senior Maori administrator at Victoria University of Wellington, and a previous recipient (2009) of the FoTL Research Grant.

Simon Nathan is an earth scientist with a strong interest in history who has written biographies of several mid-20th century geologists and is the author of Through the eyes of a miner, the photography of Joseph Divis(2010).

Jock Phillips is general editor of Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, and was previously New Zealand’s Chief Historian, having published 13 books on New Zealand history.

John Sullivan is curator of the Photographic Archive of the Turnbull Library.

Alice Te Punga Somerville (Te Ati Awa) is a senior lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington, and specialises in Maori, Pacific and indigenous writing in English.

Patricia Thomas is a lecturer at Massey University’s Institute of Communication Design, currently working on a PhD on the topic of advertising associated with nineteenth-century emigration to New Zealand.

Lydia Wevers is director of the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, and is the author of Reading on the Farm: Victorian Fiction and the Colonial World (2010).