Treasures of Turnbull Library inspire two writers

Two well-known writers are co-recipients of 2019 Friends of Turnbull Library Research Grants.

Wellington writer and broadcaster Nick Bollinger receives a research grant to assist his latest project, eventually to be published as an illustrated book chronicling the development of the counterculture in New Zealand during the years 1960-1975. Bollinger will be drawing on the rich and diverse collections of the Turnbull Library to trace the roots of countercultural ideas, how they evolved and how they affected New Zealand society.

Bollinger is presenter and producer of The Sampler for RNZ, and is the author of the acclaimed Goneville: a memoir, published by Awa Press in 2016. He says the term “counterculture” originated in the 1960s and became widely used to identify a range of groups and individuals broadly sharing a belief in an alternative society. “From Baxter’s poetry to the music of Blerta, from Roger Donaldson to Tim Shadbolt, the counterculture has had a profound and lasting impact on New Zealand culture.”

Wellington historian Dr Vincent O’Malley – whose fine book The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800-2000, was published by Bridget Williams Books in 2016 – receives a research grant to assist him to continue work on a book on the New Zealand Wars aimed at secondary school students as well as a general market.

Dr O’Malley says that his project “takes us to the heart of the series of conflicts that profoundly shaped the course and direction of our nation’s history.” His new book will focus on a number of quite lengthy first-hand accounts (manuscripts held in the Alexander Turnbull Library) from Māori and Pākehā who either fought in or witnessed the wars that ravaged New Zealand between 1845 and 1872. From Heni Te Kiri Karamu’s narrative of her remarkable exploits as a wahine toa, through to Gustavus Ferdinand von Tempsky’s colourful account of his time in the Forest Rangers and beyond, these stories will resonate with New Zealanders who are now acknowledging the need to remember, embrace and own our past.