The Library’s rare book collection, which was previously at the Central Library, has been safely moved to the Wellington City Archives who have very kindly agreed to house the collection for us while Central is closed. Items in the collection can be identified in the online catalogue by their shelf location being listed as an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you see something that you would like to view, send us an email with all the details included and we can arrange a time for it to be made available for you in the reading room of the City Archives in Barker Street (Te Aro). Note that all the books in the collection are reference only and they can only be viewed during the normal business hours of the archives (9am – 4pm, Monday to Friday)
On Wednesdays from 12.30-1.30pm during the month of August, the Central Library will be hosting a series of history talks covering the social, urban and Māori history of Wellington. Have a read of the programme below, and come along!
Wednesday 7 August: The Flight to South Karori: How Katherine Mansfield’s family coped with life and death in the time of cholera (1890-93) by Redmer Yska Notable Wellington historian Redmer Yska uncovers the extraordinary story of Wellington’s cholera epidemic and the associated flight of the Beauchamp family out of the city, along with many other members of Wellington’s middle-class. The story also covers the political battles that waged between influential forces as the city struggled to gain the means to rectify the situation.
Wednesday 14 August: Te Upoko o te Ika, 1840s: A Struggle over Power, Mana and Resources by Hēni Collins Presented by the researcher, writer and journalist, Hēni Collins, this illustrated talk will cover a period of history in Te Whanganui a Tara/ Wellington Harbour and the Kapiti Coast during the mid-19th century. It was a time when the mana of Te Rauparaha, Te Rangihaeata and allied tribes was undercut by English settler ambition and then eventually backed up by the heavy hand of the British military. This represented a huge shift in access to land, economic resources, power and cultural dominance in the region. Hēni Collins is the author of Ka mate ka ora! : the spirit of Te Rauparaha (Steele Roberts, 2010). The story of Te Rauparaha and his times continues to intrigue, provoke and inspire Maori and Pakeha alike. In this book Collins describes Te Rauparaha’s life from the time his birth was foretold, through inter-tribal conflict, migration, settlement in the south (Kapiti Island), and into the period of colonization. Signed copies of the book will be available for sale at the conclusion of this talk
Wednesday 21 August: Radical Wellington: Philip Josephs, the Freedom Group & the Great Strike of 1913 by Jared Davidson Jared Davidson, archivist and author of Sewing Freedom, will be talking about the colourful radicals of the early labour movement in Wellington – anarchists and the Industrial Workers of the World. As well as organising one of New Zealand’s first anarchist collectives, Josephs and members of the IWW were active in Wellington’s working-class counter culture and the Great Strike of 1913. This talks aims to highlight the role of literature, meetings and international influences in these events. Signed copies of Jared Davidson’s book Sewing Freedom will be available for sale for $15 at the conclusion of the talk (sorry; no eftpos)
Wednesday 28 August: He tohu aroha – the protective role of Māori cloaks by Awhina Tamarapa Awhina Tamarapa edited and contributed to the book Whatu Kakahu which arose from the outstanding exhibition at Te Papa, Kahu ora : living cloaks (June-Otober, 2012). Of special interest to Wellingtonians will be the history of the cloak of Ruhia Porutu, deposited into the care of Te Papa by the whānau of Henry Pitt. This is the beautiful kākahu that saved the life of Thomas Wilmore McKenzie in 1840 who had arrived in Wellington as a teenager on board one of the first settler ships. McKenzie went on to become a prominent Wellington citizen but never forgot the debt he owed to Ruhia Porutu and the two families maintained a life-long friendship. Awhina Tamarapa (Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Ruanui, Ngati Pikiao) is a curator of Maori artifacts at Te Papa. She holds a Bachelor of Maori Laws and Philosophy from Te Wananga o Raukawa, Otaki, and a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University, Wellington, where she majored in Anthropology.
As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations for the Central Library building, the pricipal architect of the building, Ian Athfield will be giving a free talk on Tuesday 13th December 2011 at 6pm on the 2nd floor. Titled Why is the library more than just about books? his talk will discuss how the presence of a library can “inform” the physical structure of its neighbourhood as well as his thoughts and memories of how the building’s design came about.
Ian Athfield is the founding principal of the Wellington-based firm, Athfield Architects Limited. He has headed this practice since its inception in 1968 and has been responsible for most of the design direction through this period.
As well as his contribution to the design of a broad range of projects throughout New Zealand, in 1976 “Ath” won an international design competition for housing in Manila, the Philippines. He has been involved in a teaching fellowship with Victoria University, has been a keynote speaker at various international conferences and has judged at numerous architectural / urban design competitions. Under his directorship Athfield Architects has won over 100 design awards. In 2004 he was the recipient of the New Zealand Institute of Architects’ highest honour, the Gold Medal, and from 2006 – 2008 was President of the NZIA. In 2006 he became the first New Zealander to be registered as an APEC Architect. More recently he has been a member of the Auckland City Property Enterprise Board, advisor to Auckland’s Aotea Square development and a member of the assessment panel for the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery master plan. He is currently serving on the Board of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and was made NZIA Architectural Ambassador to Christchurch soon after the September 2010 earthquake to provide advice and coordination during the rebuild and restoration process.
Come and enjoy this rare opportunity to hear one of New Zealand’s best known architects whose designs and influences have made a significant impact on Wellington’s urban geography.
Ian Athfield : Why is the library more than just about books?
Tuesday 13th December, 6pm, Central Library (2nd floor), 65 Victoria Street.
Free and everyone is welcome – just come along.