Research Grant for 2014 awarded

Auckland researcher Elizabeth Treep (known as Lucy) has been awarded the 2014 Friends of the Turnbull Library Research Grant of $10,000 to write a biography of Maurice Shadbolt, one of New Zealand’s major literary figures, a writer of novels, short stories, non-fiction and a play. Shadbolt won almost every major literary prize and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Literature by the Univerrsity of Auckland in 1997.

“This biography will be an important contribution to New Zealand literary studies,” said Rachel Underwood, president of the Friends of the Turnbull Library. “Lucy Treep will have access to the Shadbolt papers in the Alexander Turnbull Library.”

Lucy Treep has qualifications in architecture and a PhD in English. Her interest in Maurice Shadbolt arose through a commission from the Going West Trust to write a social and cultural history of the house Shadbolt lived in for over 30 years — soon to be the Shadbolt House Writer’s Residence in Titirangi, Auckland.

The Friends of the Turnbull Library Research Grant is intended to emphasise the distinctive contribution that a heritage library makes to public knowledge. It celebrates the significant role of ongoing research and publication based on the Alexander Turnbull Library collections and the knowledge of the staff. It is funded from income derived from two generous bequests, by David Bilbrough and Wesley (Bill) Secker.

The Friends received a record number of applications for the grant this year. We look forward to increasing the size of the award as funds become available and encourage bequests for this purpose.

Previous grants have been awarded to Philip Norman for his biography of Douglas Lilburn; Tim Beaglehole for a biography of the historian JC Beaglehole; Alex Bremner to complete a study of colonial Anglican architecture; Paul Diamond for his photo-biography of Makareti (Maggie Papakura); Jennifer Shennan for her biography of dancer Poul Gnatt; Paul Meredith for a book based on the journey to England of the Maori King Te Rata in 1914; Philip Simpson for his book Totara: Te Mahi a Rauru; Charlotte Williams for a history of relations between Maori and the National Party 1936-1996; and Doug Munro for a history of the New Zealand Opera Company 1954-1971.