New books on the NZ collection display shelf

Our latest selection features books, writers and publishing. Chris MacLean tells the story of making books in New Zealand from writing to publishing, and Helen Bones ponders the idea of writers from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century having to leave New Zealand to find inspiration and success. There are also some new works of poetry from Anna Jackson and Chris Tse. From the history of a family to a history of William Colenso, there is always something in the New Zealand collection to catch your eye.

Syndetics book coverA way with words : a memoir of writing & publishing in New Zealand / Chris Maclean.
“From an early age, author and publisher Chris Maclean was told he had a way with words. This talent, which protected him from school bullies and made him a proficient debater, later became the focus of his professional life. A Way with Words tells the stories behind those volumes, all of which had challenges and rewards as various as their subjects. In candid, accessible style, and through a fascinating range of illustrations, Maclean describes the stages of book creation, from the first germ of an idea to writing, design, printing and distribution. A Way with Words is a celebration of a very New Zealand approach to writing and publishing.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe expatriate myth : New Zealand writers and the colonial world / Helen Bones.
“Many New Zealand writers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century travelled extensively or lived overseas for a time, and they often led very interesting lives. The received wisdom is that they were forced to leave these colonial backblocks in search of literary inspiration and publishing opportunities. In The Expatriate Myth, Helen Bones presents a challenge to this conventional understanding, based on detailed historical and empirical research. Most who left New Zealand, even if they were away for a time, continued to write about and interact with their homeland, and in many cases came back. In this fascinating and clear-sighted book, Helen Bones offers a fresh perspective on some hoary New Zealand literary chestnuts.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWanted : the search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn Taylor / edited by Bronwyn Holloway-Smith.
“Mervyn Taylor – wood engraver, painter, illustrator, sculptor and designer – was one of the most celebrated New Zealand artists of the 1930s to 1960s. He was highly connected to modernism and nationalism as it was expressed in the New Zealand art and literature of the period. Between 1956 and 1964 he created twelve murals for major new government and civic buildings erected in that era of great economic prosperity. Tragically, some have been destroyed and others presumed lost – until now. This fascinating and beautiful book, bursting with archival material, details the detective hunt for the murals and tells the stories of their creation. They cement Taylor’s place as one of New Zealand’s most significant artists, and are a celebration of the art and culture of our modernist era.” (Adapted from publisher’s website)

Syndetics book coverDear Oliver : uncovering a Pākehā history / Peter Wells.
“When writer and historian Peter Wells found a cache of family letters amongst his elderly mother’s effects, he realised that he had the means of retracing the history of a not-untypical family swept out to New Zealand during the great nineteenth-century human diaspora from Britain. His family experienced the war against Te Kooti, the Boer War, the Napier earthquake of 1931 and the Depression. They rose from servant status to the comforts of the middle class. There was army desertion, suicide, adultery, AIDS, secrets and lies. There was also success, prosperity and social status. In digging deep into their stories, examining letters from the past and writing a letter to the future, Peter Wells constructs a novel and striking way to view the history of Pakeha New Zealanders.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverhe’s so MASC / Chris Tse.
“In How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes, Chris Tse took readers back to a shocking 1905 murder. Now he brings the reader much closer to home. He’s So MASC confronts a contemporary world of self-loathing poets and compulsive liars, of youth and sexual identity, and of the author as character–pop star, actor, hitman, and much more. These are poems that delve into worlds of hyper-masculine romanticism and dancing alone in night clubs. With it’s many modes and influences, He’s So MASC is an acerbic, acid-bright, yet unapologetically sentimental and personal reflection on what it means to perform and dissect identity, as a poet and a person.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverPasture and flock : new & selected poems / Anna Jackson.
“Poets know words, know routes, know ghosts. Uneasy nights out with dead Russian poets, dalliances with German gasfitters and emotionally fraught games of badminton are brought together for the first time, along with a brand new body of work, in this time-spanning selection of Anna Jackson’s poetry. Local gothic, suburban pastoral and answerings-back to literary icons are all enhanced by Jackson’s light hand and sly humour. Pastoral yet gritty, intellectual and witty, sweet but with stings in their tails, the poems and sequences collected in Pasture and Flock are essential reading for both long term and new admirers of Jackson¿s slanted approach to lyric poetry.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMr Colenso’s Wairarapa : twelve journeys: 1843-1852 / Ian St George.
“William Colenso was a Victorian polymath: New Zealand’s first significant printer, liberal theologian, inspired educationalist, perceptive botanist, politician, explorer over much of the North Island: a man whose contributions to New Zealand history are amply recorded in the output from his press, his published scientific work, his own surviving publications, his many letters (including those to the editors of newspapers) and his journals and diaries. As the first missionary in Hawke’s Bay, 1843-1852, Colenso’s ‘parish’ extended west to Taupo and south to include the Wairarapa-Bush and this book records, from his own journals, his journeys on foot through the region.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew Zealand sign language : a reference grammar / Rachel McKee.
“One of the country’s three official languages, New Zealand Sign Language evolved in the communities that grew from networks of Deaf children at three schools for the Deaf from the late nineteenth century. The Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language (1997) – now an invaluable online resource at nzsl.vuw.ac.nz – and the Concise Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language (BWB, 2003) were landmarks in documenting the language. Today, NZSL forms part of the curriculum in intermediate schools, and New Zealanders are increasingly familiar with the language. Drawing on her experience of both teaching and researching NZSL, Rachel McKee has developed A Reference Grammar to support all those who are learning NZSL – students, families and friends of Deaf people, school teachers, public officials.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New learning resources in the New Zealand collection

This month you will find lots of new language resources for learning Te Reo Māori to have a look at in the New Zealand collection. We have featured one of the 4 volumes of ‘Māori Made Easy’ workbooks and a new fun way to learn, called A Māori word a day. There is also lots of variety with books on poetry, Māori musical instruments, cycling and World War 1.

Syndetics book coverMāori made easy : for everyday learners of the Māori language. Workbook/Kete 1 / Scotty Morrison.
“The accessible guide to learning the Maori language, no matter your knowledge level.
Fun, user-friendly and relevant to modern readers, Scotty Morrison’s Maori Made Easy workbook series is the ultimate resource for anyone wanting to learn the basics of the Maori language.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA Māori word a day : 365 words to kickstart your reo / Hemi Kelly.
A Maori Word a Day offers an easy, instant and motivating entry into the Maori language. Through its 365 Maori words, you will learn the following-
– English translations – Word category, notes and background information
– Sample sentences, in both te reo Maori and English
Exploring the most common, modern and contemporary words in use today, A Maori Word a Day is the perfect way to kickstart your te reo journey!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTaonga pūoro = Singing treasures : the musical instruments of the Māori / Brian Flintoff.
“And to further breathe life into this book, the technical information about each instrument is interwoven with the stories and myths that belong to each instrument. In addition, instructions are given for making and playing these singing treasures, and there is an explanation of the art forms used in Maori carving.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTe ahu o te reo : reflecting on research to understand the well-being of te reo Māori / co-editors, Vincent Ieni Olsen-Reeder, Jessica Hutchings, Rawinia Higgins.
Te Ahu o te reo Maori: Reflecting on Research to Understand the Well-being of te reo Maori is an edited collection of bi-lingual writings that brings together Maori researchers, writers and community language advocates who were involved in the Te Taura Whiri-funded study. Contributors include: Vini Olsen-Reeder, Professor Rawinia Higgins, Jessica Hutchings, Jen Martin, Stephanie Fong, Associate Professor Jenny Bol Jun Lee-Morgan, Eruera Lee-Morgan, Waitiahoaho Emery.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWayfinder : new & selected poems / Jan FitzGerald.
“Any reader of the literary journals of the late 1960s and ’70s would have noted the name Jan Coad. Hone Tuwhare certainly did, and James K. Baxter, from both of whom Jan received admiration and friendship. In 2005 writing under her married name, FitzGerald, Jan launched her long-gestated collection, Flying Against the Arrow (Wolfdale Press). This was followed by On a Day Like This (Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2010). All the while, the poet was quietly maturing as an artist, and in this collection, for the first time, the two talents perform a happy tango.” (Mighty Ape summary)

Syndetics book coverThe kiwi cyclist’s guide to life / Jane King.
“The Kiwi Cyclists Guide to Life takes an inquisitive peek into the lives, minds, adventures and bike sheds, of many Kiwis from different walks of life, who love nothing better than experiencing freedom, fun, adventures and misadventures on two wheels. Whether road-racing at breakneck speed, soaring over jumps on a mountain bike in the forest, or navigating nature on a picturesque cycle trail at a more leisurely pace – many of us cant get enough of the thrills and spills that riding a bike provides. These tales are of the fun, enthusiasm and dedication of a variety of different characters – from high-profile elites, mountain biking trailblazers, BMX fanatics, cycling groups and communities, recreational riders – not forgetting the MAMIL (middle-aged man in lycra), collectors, restorers and a bunch of under-the-radar bike-nuts you’ve got to watch out for.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJack’s journey : a soldier’s experience of the First World War / Jack Pryce ; edited by Trish McCormack and Andrew Gibson.
“When Jack Pryce sailed to war in 1915 with the Otago Infantry Battalion he was restless, wanting to “make good” of his life. Experiencing the carnage of Gallipoli and Passchendaele and other epic battles on the Western Front, he rose through the ranks to gain his commission.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnimism in art and performance / Christopher Braddock, editor. “This book explores Māori indigenous and non-indigenous scholarship corresponding with the term ‘animism’. In addressing visual, media and performance art, it explores the dualisms of people and things, as well as ‘who’ or ‘what’ is credited with ‘animacy’. It comprises a diverse array of essays divided into four sections: Indigenous Animacies, Atmospheric Animations, Animacy Hierarchies and Sensational Animisms.” (Syndetics summary)

Recent additions to the NZ Collection

Always eclectic, new additions to the New Zealand Collection this month feature stories from a museum curator, a kiwi sanctuary, photography, poetry, the sad history of post war state care of children and lastly a murder mystery. The new book shelves of the NZ Collection have something to interest everyone.

Syndetics book coverThe unburnt egg : more stories of a museum curator / Brian Gill.
“Museum natural history collections have been called libraries of life. In The Unburnt Egg Brian Gill continues his spellbinding stories from more than thirty years as a curator. Some tales are so bizarre they read like fiction: a population of ship rats decimating the entire wildlife of an island and then collapsing; birds leaving their young to be raised by other birds; frogs and lizards living in trees and flying. Others reveal the painstaking detective work involved in solving mysteries presented by police, biosecurity agencies, government departments and members of the public. Frogs’ legs on sale as chicken, a feather hidden in a bag of sugar, a live boa constrictor on a street in snake-free New Zealand–it’s all in a day’s work.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverProject Kiwi : how one man’s passion for the land hatched New Zealand’s first community kiwi sanctuary/ Sue Hoffart.
Project Kiwi is New Zealand’s first community-led kiwi conservation project, on the Coromandel Peninsula.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThrough the eyes of a miner : the photography of Joseph Divis / Simon Nathan ; with assistance from Les Wright and Brendon Wilshire.
“Joseph Divis (1885-1967) photographed life in New Zealand mining towns where he lived and worked between 1909 and 1935. His images provide a unique record of life in some small communities, especially the now-abandoned town of Waiuta, near Reefton.” (Introduction)

Syndetics book coverThe road to hell : state violence against children in postwar New Zealand / Elizabeth Stanley.
“From the 1950s to the 1980s, the New Zealand government took more than 100,000 children from experiences of strife, neglect, poverty or family violence and placed them under state care in residential facilities. In homes like Epuni and Kingslea, Kohitere and Allendale, the state took over as parent. The state failed. Within institutions, children faced abysmal conditions, limited education and social isolation. They endured physical, sexual and psychological violence, as well as secure cells, knock-out sedatives and electro-convulsive therapy. This book tells the story of 105 New Zealanders who experienced this mass institutionalisation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDark days at the Oxygen Café / James Norcliffe.
“James Norcliffe is one of New Zealand’s most widely published and anthologised poets. In Dark Days at the Oxygen Cafe, he looks over the shoulders of many characters and creatures, both real and imagined, and takes us deep into uncanny valleys. Poems about Seneca and James Dean sit alongside poems about a Turken dictator and an owl man. We share in a portentous UFO sighting, a small celebration for Laika the space dog, and Peter the Great being offered an Air New Zealand lolly. These scenes from myth, history, pop culture and personal experience make for a wryly funny, deeply felt collection that contemplates the quirks of shared and personal histories.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNothing for it but to sing : poems / Michael Harlow.
“Michael Harlow’s poems are small detonations that release deeply complex stories of psychological separations and attractions, of memory and desire. Frequently they slip into the alluring spaces just at the edges of language, dream and gesture, as they carefully lower, like measuring gauges, into the ineffable: intimations of mortality, the slippery nature of identity, longing, fear … This is a beautifully honed new collection.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMister Hamilton / John Dickson.
Mister Hamilton, John Dickson’s first collection in eighteen years, is an appealing, questioning mix of elements. Over a base of South Island bedrock (granite, schist, greywacke), Dickson has peopled this quietly fiery collection with day-to-day working voices and narratives, sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, sometimes charged with a political consciousness and lyrical intensity. Shot-through with veins of jazz, rock and blues, quizzical religiosity and a streak of the absurd, this book takes a fresh look at the streets and lawns and people of urban and suburban ‘Pig Island’ and offers some thoughtful, wisely pitched and immensely likeable poems.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe black widow : how one woman got justice for her murdered brother / by Lee-Anne Cartier.
“The Black Widow almost got away with murder. But then her sister-in-law became suspicious… The infamous Black Widow case shocked the nation. An average-looking suburban housewife carefully staged her husband’s ‘suicide’. At first it looked like she might get away with murder, but then her sister-in-law, Lee-Anne Cartier, became suspicious and started gathering evidence and presenting it to the police. Helen Milner, who became known as the Black Widow, was eventually convicted of murder and is now serving out her sentence in Arohata Prison. This book tells how Lee-Anne persevered and put together many strands of information to crack the case wide open.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Family History Month – Part 4

As Family History month continues you may be starting to think about what to do with the information you have collected. Here are some resources on caring for your family papers, information, photos and memorabilia. We also have some ideas and examples of how to present or publish your family history information.

LOOKING AFTER YOUR HERITAGE ITEMS
Inheriting family photos, documents and other treasures is a family historian’s dream come true. But deciding how to deal with the ‘archives’ can become a nightmare. Organisation is key and lots of strategies are collected in Denise May Levenick’s book:
Syndetics book coverHow to archive family keepsakes : learn how to preserve family photos, memorabilia & genealogy records / Denise May Levenick.
Baby Boomers are coming of age, the age of inheritance. How to Archive Family Keepsakes will help anyone who has inherited their family treasures whether they are a few trinkets or a house filled with antiques. This step-by-step guide will lead the reader from chaos to calm. Part one offers specific advice on sorting and organising inherited items.

This guide sets out clearly how to:
• Organise the boxes of your relatives’ stuff you inherited
• Decide which family heirlooms to keep
• Donate items to museums, societies and charities
• Protect and pass on keepsakes

Levenick also has a blog on the Ancestry website, which you can access at any branch of Wellington City Libraries: This blog summarises many tips on topics like organising and preserving photo collections.

Syndetics book coverHow to trace your family tree (and not get stuck on a branch) / Janet Reakes.
“Janet Reakes has compiled sample birth, death and marriage certificates and pedigree charts, family record sheets and other blueprints to make laying out the family history an easy, methodical task.” (Syndetics summary)

WRITING YOUR FAMILY HISTORY
When you’ve gathered lots of details, documents and photos, and got them organised, the next step is to write up your family’s story.
The library has some good resources (see the 929.1 section on the 2nd Floor) to help you move beyond the masses of facts to present them engagingly.

Syndetics book coverWriting a non-boring family history / by Hazel Edwards.This book “will help you craft the history of your ancestors in an interesting and rewarding way that others will want to read”. It is packed with practical advice, with checklists of questions to consider – including who your target audience is, costs, collaboration, editing, format, publication, shaping your story – and when to stop researching!

Syndetics book coverWriting your family history : a New Zealand guide / Joan Rosier-Jones.
“A guide for the writer of a family history, focusing on the actual writing and production of the book, rather than the background research. The book includes choosing material for the book, writing style, editing and revision, getting feedback, and production and marketing. An appendix of samples and a bibliography are included. The author teaches courses on the subject.” (Syndetics summary)

Family histories in the NZ Collection
To get some ideas on how to present your research, look at some of the many published family histories in our NZ Collection and , like these:

Virtue leads, fortune follows : a short history of the Shand family from Scotland to New Zealand / compiled and edited by Ann Green.

Syndetics book coverPassageways : the story of a New Zealand family / Ann Thwaite.
“Thwaite, a biographer, offers a history of her family that is drawn from family papers and unpublished memoirs, chronicling the story of both sides of her family, from her great grandparents who settled in New Zealand between 1858 and 1868 to her family’s move to London, where she was born. Her parents founded and ran the New Zealand News there. She also recounts her childhood in England and schooling in New Zealand. Photos and documents are included. Distributed in the US by ISBS. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)” (Syndetics summary)

Family History Month – Part 3

As Family History month continues so does the list of genealogy resources available at Wellington City Libraries. For this post we feature a handy hint from our Local History Specialist, Gábor, that you can use when using the historic ‘Birth, Death and Marriage’ database in order to get a specific date for the event you are searching for. Also some help in finding passenger lists for ships that came to New Zealand, World War 1 service records and the type of information you can find searching through the NZ Gazette. You can find a display of these genealogical resources from this series of blogs on the second floor of Wellington Central Library.

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PASSENGER LISTS
When did your ancestors arrive in New Zealand? How did they get here? Where did they come from? Passenger lists can help you answer all these questions.
If you already know the name of the ship, or which port they might have arrived at in NZ, or roughly when, you can find many passenger lists on:

Denise and Peter’s
Over 1000 passenger lists, which can be searched by the name of the ship or port of arrival.

New Zealand Bound
Passenger lists arranged by port of arrival. Excellent tips on calculating year of arrival and other details, and many links to other sites containing passenger lists and all sorts of information related to shipping.

If you’re starting from scratch, without any immigration details, you can search by your ancestor’s name to find a passenger list on:
Family Search – Archives NZ Passenger Lists, 1839-1973
Search by the name of your ancestor, or browse the collection by port of arrival, year and ship. There are good tips for searching the lists.

Papers Past
Ships’ arrivals were usually reported in the newspapers, sometimes with a list of the passengers and often with interesting details about the sailing.

WORLD WAR 1 RECORDS ON ARCHWAY
If you had a relative serving in WW1 their military record will give a thorough description their military service – from when they enlisted, through wartime and beyond. Besides valuable information like birthdate and place, and next of kin, you can find out all sorts of interesting details about them, like the colour of their eyes and condition of their teeth!
Personnel files of WW1 servicemen are held at Archives NZ. The files are made up of numerous documents (attestation papers, medical history, casualty forms etc) that have been compiled into one file for each soldier. The files have been digitised and can be searched by name on ARCHWAY

PAPERS PAST
For adding depth and fascinating detail to your family history research, you can’t go past Papers Past.
This website of digitised newspapers from the National Library’s collection of NZ (including Maori) and Pacific newspapers is continuously being extended – both date ranges and titles. You can search for specific people, places, events etc, or browse through papers – what you find will provide insights into the social, economic and political times in which your ancestors lived.
The new version of the website was launched recently and has more than just newspapers. It is divided into 4 sections – Newspapers, Magazines and Journals, Letters and Diaries, and Parliamentary Papers. Searching is easier, with “a cleaner, more modern interface…and search tools have been improved, making it easier to search groups of papers, pick date ranges, and scan results”.

BIRTH, DEATH and MARRIAGE: Obtaining specific dates

After a change in legislation in the mid-2000’s, tighter restrictions on accessing birth, death and marriage (BDM) data were introduced which saw the end of the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) providing annual datasets. These had been published on microfiche up to 1990 (which the central library continues to hold) and as computer files from 1991 onwards. However this change also saw the DIA make “historic” BDM data available and searchable online providing the following conditions are met:

1. The birth occurred more than 100 years ago
2. The marriage occurred more than 80 years ago
3. The death occurred more than 50 years ago OR the deceased was (or would have been had they still been alive today) at least 80 years of age. For example, the registration of someone who passed away in 1995 aged 60 can now be searched for as they would have been over 80 today.

Searches on the BDM website normally produces a year and a reference number of an event which can be used to obtain a full print-out or certificate. However by manipulating the search parameters, you can force the database to produce the actual date (day, month and year) that the event took place. Start by running a search that produces a BDM result of the name of someone you are interested in. Then gradually start to narrow the time-frame being searched for in the “Search from date” and the “Search to date” options. Start by narrowing the year; if the name suddenly disappears you will know the event is outside of the date parameters you have set. When a year is isolated, start to narrow the range of months being searched, again making sure the name you seek continues to result from a search, then do the same for the day within the month. When the “search from” and “search to” dates are exactly the same and the name you are looking for still results when a search is run, you know that you have isolated the exact date of the birth, death or marriage. Try it at BDM – Historical Records online

The NZ GAZETTE

The New Zealand Gazette is a weekly publication of government proclamations and is a massive source of genealogical information. Published since the earliest days of the colony, the gazette holds information about land transfers, bankruptcy notices & business liquidations, military call-up lists, local council information and a huge wealth of other information. One of the most useful areas of the gazette for the family historian are the lists of names (and often addresses) of individuals applying for formal registration within certain occupations. Occupations which required registration include doctors, nurses, teachers, electricians, boilermakers, engine drivers, architects and any number of other roles including positions such as Justices of Peace. One of the issues with the NZ Gazette was that until recently it was very difficult to find any information about an individual without knowing the date a gazette “notice” was published. Today we have access to a searchable database containing all copies of the NZ Gazette from 1841 through to 2014. As the database is a commercial product, it is not available online but rather must be used on a computer set aside for family history purposes at the Central Library. Ask at the reference desk on the 2nd floor for details.

Family History Month: Part 2

It’s week two of Family History month so time to introduce a few more resources that the researcher may be able to use to discover useful information to find another piece of the family history jigsaw puzzle. This post features ‘Zinio Online Magazines’ to access Family History magazines, information on searching “Iwi Histories and Māori Births and Deaths database, and three other useful information sources, the city archives, the Cyclopaedia of New Zealand and Stone’s directories. There is also a Wellington based genealogy events. You can find a display of these genealogical resources on the second floor of Wellington Central Library.

Zinio Online Magazines
With Zinio you can access family history magazines online including ‘Who do you think you are?’ and ‘Inside History’.
zinioZinio - inside history

Zinio is easy to use – you can view magazines via streaming on desktop/laptops or download them to tablets or smartphones for offline reading using the free Zinio for Libraries app. Added features in both versions allow magazine content to be printed, shared or emailed – and you can easily bookmark a magazine to save where you’re up to. Link here to the full set of titles available.

To use the Wellington City Libraries’ Zinio collection link here to create a new account. Have your library card number ready

Iwi Histories
Apart from key “tribal” histories – many of which were published from early last century, there are many books in our collection which will assist you in understanding the background to (your) iwi and hapū. Here is a link to the whakapapa page from the Māori Resources section on the library website.

Māori Births, Deaths & Marriages
Available at the 2nd floor information desk at Wellington Central Library
The information in this database is gathered from the same source as the microfiche, and the historical online records i.e. the official records held by New Zealand Dept of Internal Affairs.
However, additional material lies behind the record for each name, allowing you to search extra fields and retrieve much more detail than the microfiches or the historical online record allow:
Keep your search(es) as simple as possible, to avoid “knocking out” entries which may be beneficial to your end result.

The City Archives
Did your ancestors live in Wellington? The Wellington City Archive is a huge repository for Council records going back to the early 1860s which can reveal fascinating information about earlier residents. Anyone who has owned a property or run a business within the city is likely to have had some sort of relationship with the City Council and much of that information is kept in perpetuity. Records include house plans, street histories, rating information (who owned a property and what it was worth), cemetery and cremation information, complaints to the council on all manner of subjects, staff records and dozens of other sources information contained within eight linear kilometres of shelving. You can access a basic file index on-line but staff archivists are happy to help you navigate your way through to potential sources of genealogical information. Just to note that archives staff require at least a day’s notice to get requested material ready for you to research in their reading room in Barker Street, so make sure you contact them before visiting. Contact & location details and a link to their index database can be found here.

The Cyclopaedia of New Zealand
120 years ago, a Wellington-based publishing company was established to produce one of the first “vanity” publications to be printed in New Zealand. Issued in six volumes (broken down into provinces) over ten years, the Cyclopaedia offers an extraordinary insight into colonial New Zealand at the turn of the 20th Century. The first, largest and most detailed volume was dedicated to Wellington and was released in 1897. It’s 1300+ pages contains a wealth of information about a huge number of different areas such as schools and school teachers, hotels and pubs, central and local body politicians, businesses and their owners, tradesmen, sports clubs, boarding houses and restaurants. As people often paid a fee to be included (and also provided the material), personal biographies are invariably flattering but this doesn’t greatly detract from it being a wonderful source of genealogical information. The publishers also made use of what was then highly advanced printing technology to reproduce half-tone photographs on semi-gloss paper. The result is that the Cyclopaedia contains the only known photographs of many early pioneers. As original copies of the Cyclopaedia of New Zealand are now rare and fragile, Wellington City Libraries worked with the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre to assist them to digitise a complete set of the volumes. These can be searched or browsed here.

Stones Directories
Before there were phonebooks there were directories. These publications are now usual for finding people, where they lived and what occupations they held.
From the early 1870’s to the mid 1950’s saw three major publishers of directories including Wises’ and Stones’ directories which we have in various forms at the Central Library An entry would usually consist of the name, occupation and residence of the house owner. 1869 saw the first householder lists for all provincial centres and included many of the smaller towns. The main sections of the business and residential directories were obtained by canvassing house to house. The head of the household was listed, as well as any male lodgers. Woman were included only if they owned property in their own name.

Recommended event coming up next week

Publishing your family stories
Weds 17th August 5:30pm
Connolly Hall – Guildford Terrace, Thorndon.
Suzanne Sutton: Getting all your family stories written down and out there to be enjoyed now and in the future.
Hosted by Hutt Branch of the NZ Society of Genealogists

Family History Month is here

It’s August so it must be Family History Month 2016. Here in Wellington it’s a busy month as the Wellington Branch of the Society of Genealogists collaborate with the National Library of NZ to bring a number of events to the region. At Wellington City Libraries we will be featuring these events in blog posts and on our social media channels and highlighting a months worth of genealogy resources available at our libraries and linked to from our website. This post features ‘Probate Searches’, the “Who Do You Think You Are” DVD’s and the ‘Online Cenotaph’ as well as a couple of Wellington based genealogy events. On the second floor of Wellington Central Library you will also find a display of these genealogical resources.

Who Do You Think You Are?
Syndetics book coverWho do you think you are? : the essential guide to tracing your family history / Dan Waddell. “Published against a big multimedia TV event, this book is a jargon-free idiot’s guide to tracing your family history. Light in tone, sometimes funny, often moving, and aimed at absolutely everyone, the book combines both stats and pub facts, with very real emotions as people discover the heroes and villains in their family’s past. Rather than a dry ‘how to’ guide though, this book is inclusive, non-patronising and lively, and emphasises the human and emotional side to this popular pastime.” (Abridged syndetics summary)

In the long-running television series on DVD you can follow celebrities as they trace their family history – and along the way pick up lots of tips on genealogy research techniques and sources. As well as the original UK series, there are also versions from other countries including the USA and Australia. Drive through Yorkshire with Jeremy Clarkson as he investigates his roots, or share Nigella Lawson’s surprise at what she uncovers about her ancestors – each episode is both entertaining and instructive.

Here is the series that started it all:

Who do you think you are? UK series 1 [videorecording].
Ten of Britain’s best-loved celebrities embark on inspiring, emotional and personal journeys, taking us back in time and around the world as we see how their ancestors’ lives have shaped the world they live in. People include Bill Oddie, Amanda Redman,Jeremy Clarkson, Lesley Garrett and Vic Reeves.

Recommended events coming up this week:
Starting your family research: using technology to get it right.
Weds 3rd August 5:30pm
Connolly Hall – Guildford Terrace, Thorndon.
Mary Shadbolt : A case study showing how McDonnell forbears and living extended family were found using a range of electronic and other sources in NZ, Australia and throughout the world, starting with two original documents.
Hosted by Kilbirnie Branch of the NZ Society of Genealogists

Family History at the Turnbull Library
Weds 3rd August 10 am
National Library of NZ, cnr Molesworth and Aitken Streets
Introductory tour of the family history resources.
Bookings required, email ATLOutreach@dia.govt.nz

Probate Searches
To save you a trip to Archives New Zealand offices to view the originals, Family Search has collaborated with Archives to provide digitised images of NZ probates. NZ probate records for 1843-1998 are indexed and images are available for all but the last 50 years.
Probate records contain many types of documents including wills, affidavits, property records and death certificates. They are a goldmine of clues for genealogical research, including the death date and occupation of the person making the will, names of heirs, guardians and executors, relationships, residences, addresses of property owned, an inventory of the estate, and names of witnesses. Click here and then on the search page, click on ‘Learn more’ for tips on searching the NZ Probates collection and things to keep in mind about probates records.

The Online Cenotaph
The Online Cenotaph is a living memorial to those who served this country in times of international conflict. It is a biographical database, and information sources include the official nominal rolls and New Zealand Gazette notices, and in many cases there are links through to digitised personnel files held by Archives New Zealand. While digitised records are an important part of the database there is also the feature of the public being able to submit personal war experience stories, photos and information. There is also the chance to lay a virtual poppy beside the name of the person you are researching.

poppy

For more information on genealogy research, visit our Genealogy Popular Topic page.

The 100th Anzac Day: 25th April 2016

This year New Zealand commemorates the 100th ANZAC day since the first service in 1916. At the first service the Gallipoli campaign was fresh in everyone’s minds as per this quote from the ww100 website but attention was soon to turn to the Western Front.

April this year marks the centenary of Anzac Day itself – a commemoration first held on 25 April 1916. Those first services naturally looked back to the previous year’s Gallipoli campaign, where most of New Zealand’s war dead up to that date had fallen. The nation’s attention, though, was soon to pivot to a new theatre of war. Earlier that month the New Zealand Division had arrived in France, about to embark on a brutal two-and-a-half-year struggle on the Western Front – a campaign of much greater significance and one that would claim almost five times as many New Zealand lives as Gallipoli. Over the following decades Anzac Day would come to embrace New Zealanders’ service and losses during the Second World War, Korea, Vietnam and many other conflicts – yet a century on it remains closely linked to its Gallipoli origins

display

The Anzac Day library display on the 2nd floor of the Central library this year features the brochures of the WW100 website and the Ngā Tapuwae trails from two theaters of war.

Ngā Tapuwae New Zealand First World War Trails is a WW100 legacy project that guides people through historic landscapes and sites of the First World War. These trails can be experienced in three ways. You can download the smartphone or tablet app, explore the trails on your computer, or print off the paper guides. They can be used as a self tour of the actual area or as a virtual online tour.

Ngā Tapuwae Gallipoli
On 25 April 1915, thousands of New Zealand men landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula. For eight long months, New Zealand troops, alongside those from Australia, Great Britain and Ireland, France, India, and Newfoundland battled harsh conditions and Ottoman forces desperately fighting to protect their homeland. Ngā Tapuwae Gallipoli guides you through five trails. Three key trails around Anzac Cove tell the essential Anzac story and include the Anzac landing, Quinn’s Post and Chunuk Bair, while two longer driving trails slightly further out on the Gallipoli peninsula cover the battles at Cape Helles and Hill 60.

Ngā Tapuwae Gallipoli

Ngā Tapuwae Western Front guides you through ten trails located in France, Belgium and the United Kingdom. The five trails in Belgium focus on the battlefields around Passchendaele and Messines, the four trails in France explore the famous Arras tunnels and Somme battlefields, and the trail in the United Kingdom lets you discover the former hospital grounds at Brockenhurst. After their evacuation from Gallipoli, New Zealand troops were sent to the Western Front. They were there from 1916 until after the end of the war, most returning home in 1919. The Gallipoli campaign and the birth of the Anzac legend have captured the imagination of generations of New Zealanders. But it is on the Western Front where they experienced their most devastating losses.

ngā tapuwae Western Front

The other part of the Anzac Day display features a remembrance wall where you can leave a poppy with the name of one of your relatives or someone you want to remember who has served in the armed forces. Just ask at the second floor desk for a poppy and tag.

wall

There is also a scrapbook of memories by the display where you can write down any family members World War one experiences that you may wish to share.

poppy

Dr Ranginui Walker, 1932-2016

New Zealand recently lost a prominent Māori leader when historian, academic and champion of the Māori language and customs Dr Ranginui Walker died aged 83 in Auckland on the 28th February this year.

There is an obituary for Dr Walker displayed by the biographies in the Māori Collection on the 2nd floor at the Central library. A screen showing video footage of some of his interviews and speeches is also situated in the Māori Collection.

A highly esteemed academic who dedicated much of his life to documenting historical events of significance from a uniquely Māori perspective. ‘Ka whawhai tonu mātou: Struggle without end’ is his most well known book and documents two centuries of the Māori struggle for justice, equality and self-determination.

Syndetics book coverKa whawhai tonu mātou = Struggle without end / Ranginui Walker. This is a revised edition of Dr Ranginui Walker’s best-selling history of Aotearoa, New Zealand, from a Māori perspective. Since the mid-nineteenth century, Māori have been involved in an endless struggle for justice, equality and self-determination. In this book Dr Walker provides a uniquely Māori view, not only of the events of the past two centuries but beyond to the very origins of Māori people. In this updated edition Dr Walker has added new chapters covering the years from 1990, the flowering of the Māori culture and the growth of Māori political and economic power. Recent issues such as the foreshore and seabed legislation, the hikoi and Don Brash’s Orewa speech are discussed.

Dr Walker was born on 1 March 1932 into a farming family belonging to the Whakatōhea iwi of Opotiki. He was educated at St Peter’s Māori College in Auckland and trained and worked as a primary school teacher for 10 years. He then studied for
a Bachelor of Arts degree at Auckland University which he completed in 1962. He started lecturing at Auckland University in 1967 and this was the start of his academic career specialising in anthropology, education, and Māori studies. He took his doctorate in 1970, eventually becoming a full professor and head of the department of Māori studies. He retired from the university in 1998, having served at its first Māori pro-vice chancellor.

Dr Walker was a member of the New Zealand Māori Council and a foundation member of the World Council of Indigenous People, secretary and later chairman of the Auckland District Māori Council. In 2001, Ranginui Walker was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and he was appointed to the Waitangi Tribunal in 2003. He received a number of awards for his literary works, which included a Prime Minister’s Literary Award and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland.

Auckland University Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon said Dr Walker would be recognised as one of the greatest Māori academics of his time, and called him an interpreter between Māori and Pakeha.

“He worked between those worlds and was committed to not only to Māori in this country but to the country as a whole and to its furtherance through education, so he was certainly a person who could build bridges, who could interpret between different paths and aspects of New Zealand.”

Ngāpuhi Leader Hone Sadler shared Dr Walker’s love of education.

“His tongue was sharp as a sword and he didn’t mind using it because if there was something good or right that would come out of the conversation, he was prepared he wasn’t someone that would hold back,” said Mr Sadler.

You can read more about his life in the Paul Spoonley biographical Mata toa : the life and times of Ranginui Walker.

Syndetics book coverMata toa : the life and times of Ranginui Walker / Paul Spoonley.
“Author, biographer, historian, academic, commentator, rangatira, activist, leaders… Professor Ranginui Walker has been in the headlines for decades, ever since the beginnings of the Māori political and cultural renaissance in the 1970s. Walker is one of the few Māori leaders to assume the responsibility of crossing the cultural divide and making the Māori world intelligible to Pākehā. Articulate and forthright, he has a major influence on how Pākehā view Māori in the twenty-first century. He has also led many of the debates and developments among Māoridom. His numerous books include the bestselling KA WHAWHAI TONU MATOU: STRUGGLE WITHOUT END and HE TIPUA, his highly acclaimed biography of Sir Apirana Ngata. Paul Spoonley’s fascinating book is in part a biography of one of New Zealand’s most significant social commentators and also a social/political commentary of the huge changes in the position of Māori in modern New Zealand.” (Syndetics review)

Other books written by Dr Ranginui Walker include:

Syndetics book coverOpotiki-Mai-Tawhiti : capital of Whakatohea / Walker, Ranginui.
“This is a tribal history of Māori scholar Ranginui Walker’s own iwi, Whakatohea of Opotiki, with the emphasis on the epic events of the nineteenth century and the tribe’s subsequent struggle for social justice.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTohunga whakairo : Paki Harrison : the story of a master carver / Ranginui Walker.
“Paki Harrison is widely regarded as New Zealand’s greatest living master carver, a man with a huge reputation as a leading tohunga of the art form. He possesses immense knowledge about the traditional arts of the carver, extending way beyond the actual physical arts to include its most ancient aspects – the symbolism contained in Māori art, to its role in transmitting old tribal history. Few know more about the symbolism of the waka taua (war canoe), whare whakairo (carved meeting houses) and kōwhaiwhai patterns. This major biography by Ranginui Walker traces Paki Harrison’s life and work, from his privileged upbringing in the Ngāti Porou household of his grandmother, where he was singled out for special training.” (Adapted from publisher description)

Nga pepa a Ranginui = The Walker Papers / Ranginui Walker.
“Eleven of Dr Walker’s papers are printed. They deal with general issues, such as Taha Māori or tino rangatiratanga, and with specific topical issues such as the fiscal envelope or the fisheries deal. There is a section of photographs in the centre. Dr Walker has written several books, including ‘Struggle without end’, the history of Aotearoa from a Māori perspective.” (Syndetics summary)

Nga tau tohetohe = years of anger / Ranginui Walker.
“A selection of Kōrero columns from the New Zealand listener, edited by Jacqueline Amoamo.” (Syndetics summary)

Pasefika Arts and Crafts

Talofa lava, Kia orana, Malo e lelei, Here are some useful titles of Pacific Art books. These books are available to be borrowed and we also hold a copy of most of them in the New Zealand Collection or Māori Collection on the second floor of Central Library. In addition to books, there is a very useful website Tautai: Guiding Pacific arts whose aim “is to provide Pacific artists with the necessary tools to help them develop their art practices and thrive as individuals in their communities.” This site has useful resources such as links to groups, institutions or organisations dedicated to funding, professional development, awards and competitions. Other useful websites are the Victoria University Pacifc studies pages Pacific Studies, and the University of Canterbury Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies.

Syndetics book coverFatu Feu’u on life & art / [by Fatu Feu’u interviewed by Shona Jennings ; photography by Evotia Tamua].
“Fatu Feu’u is an internationally recognised Samoan-New Zealand artist who has been . at the forefront of the contemporary Pacific art movement in NZ over the past 20 years. He has also been forging a worldwide interest in this genre, and has been nurturing a generation of Pacific artists. This is his story from wilful Samoan-village boy to the global art world. His thoughts on art and life are woven into an inspiring tale that helps us understand what drives him, and what’s behind his art.” (based on the cover jacket)

Syndetics book coverPacific art in detail / Jenny Newell.
“Introduces the riches of Oceanic art through astonishing close-up views of rarely seen treasures from behind the scenes at the Oceanic collection at the British Museum. The pieces chosen for the book use a wide range of materials and techniques and illustrate major themes such as creation, land and sea, connections to gods and ancestors, or spiritual power. The author discusses ‘What is Pacific art?’ while short annotations place each individual art work in its cultural context.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverPasefika : the Festival of Pacific Arts / Floyd K. Takeuchi.
“Every four years the Pacific Islands best dancers and performers gather and the result is The Festival of Pacific Arts. This is a celebration showcasing two weeks of the finest dancers, singers, carvers and other cultural masters from across the Pacific. This book tells the story of the 10th Festival that was held in American Samoa, with more than 2,000 artists and performers traveled to Tutuila Island for the occasion together with thousands of local and international visitors. Well illlustrated.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverArt in Oceania : a new history / Peter Brunt, Nicholas Thomas, Sean Mallon, Lissant Bolton, Deidre Brown, Damian Skinner and Susanne Küchler ; edited by Peter Brunt and Nicholas Thomas, assisted by Stella Ramage.
“The arts of Oceania are astonishing: great statues, daunting tattoos, dynamic carving, dazzling woven and painted fabrics, intricately carved weapons, and a bewildering variety of ornaments, ritual objects, and utilitarian but beautiful things. This landmark book breaks new ground by setting the art of Oceania in its full historical context and capturing an up-to-date understanding of the field. From archaeological findings of prehistoric art to the impact of pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial historical processes, it explores influences such as migration, trade, missionaries, pacification, tourism, nationalism and contemporary market factors, offering abundant new interpretations and addressing significant gaps in other publications. … This beautifully illustrated volume will appeal to general readers interested in world art, collectors, university students, scholars and museum professionals in the field.” (publisher’s description)

Syndetics book cover Home AKL : artists of Pacific heritage in Auckland, by Ron Brownson … [et. al].
“Home AKL was a dynamic exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery, presenting works by Pacific artists, most of whom live in Auckland. It reveals the increasingly significant role Pacific art plays in New Zealand’s identity and cultural landscape, and includes work by more than 20 artists whose heritage derives from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu. Artworks include those by prominent Pacific artists – Lonnie Hutchinson, Ioane Ioane, Shigeyuki Kihara, Andy Leleisi’uao, Paul Tangata and Teuane Tibbo – and emerging talents such as Leilani Kake, Janet Lilo and Siliga David Setoga. Artist biographies are detailed.” (adapted from the publisher’s description).

Syndetics book coverTreasured possessions : indigenous interventions into cultural and intellectual property / Haidy Geismar. “Based around Vanuatu and New Zealand, the author examines the different paths each have used to assert intellectual and cultural property rights. The historical and legal contexts are first explored. Cultural intellectual property is a hot topic in asserting indigenous sovereignty, and cultural survival.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverArts of the Pacific Islands / Anne D’Alleva.
“In this comprehensive survey of the art of the Pacific Islands, including the Melanesian, Polynesian, Micronesian, and New Guinean traditions, author Anne DAlleva explains the significance of these artworks by contextualizing them within each islands unique culture and practices. In the process, DAlleva examines the biases of both artists and Western viewers, telling an important history of both people and ideas through a detailed analysis of sculpture, paintings, textiles, dance, jewelry, and architecture. As these nations faced alternating periods of isolation, colonization, and contact with each other and the West, their forms of art were drastically altered to incorporate foreign influences and to develop autonomous identities and cultural independence.” (publisher’s description)