#WW100: Remembering World War One with Wellington City Libraries

Story of a crime croppedThe New Zealand Government has developed the WW100 programme to mark the First World War centenary. From 2014 to 2018, New Zealanders will be able to attend official state ceremonies and participate in community initiatives and personal projects.
On the eve of this year’s ANZAC day celebrations, Wellington City Libraries’ multi-faceted librarians are launching a series of contributions highlighting various aspects of our collection where you can find resources related to this major historical event.

We hope you enjoy those articles and that you discover some unusual facts with a local flavour, unknown parts of our collection and get to explore our resources further, for your information, education and entertainment.

Did you know for instance that the images used for the newspaper collage above were sourced from one of our many online databases?

Many of you may be already familiar with Papers Past, a database containing more than three million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals from doing family genealogy research. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1945 and includes 83 publications from all regions of New Zealand, including searchable full text of the Evening Post from 1865-1945.

On the second floor of the Central library, you may also find The Dominion and The Evening Post on reel to reel microfilms.Microfilm readers on 2nd floorMicrofilms cabinet drawer

We hold archives of Wellington super-paper The Dominion Post from its inception in 2002 and its well-loved predecessor’s The Dominion from 1907 to 2002, and The Evening Post from 1865 to 2002.

Whether you are doing family history research or a history assignment, these are resources worth investigating. The microfilm readers are available on the 2nd floor of the Central library, by the enquiries desk. A member of staff can show you how to use them.

Finally, did you know that we have an entire room full to the brim with periodicals that you can consult on the second floor of the library by asking a member of staff?

Magazine stacksYou will be brought a box of magazines or newspapers for your perusal.
It is an amazing collection of historical periodicals, among which you can find for example The Illustrated London News.
It was the publication of choice for the Victorian middle classes and revolutionised the use of illustrations as news reporting tools for the first time. It developed a fast and cheap method of using woodcut prints, making it the multimedia of the time.

London Illustrated NewsThese are fragile copies that we keep tucked away for occasional perusal.
You won’t be able to take copies home but you are more than welcome to have a gentle browse at the desk.

Here is a sample from the 4 July 1914 issue, relating to the assassination on June 28, 1914, of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, the event that many consider to have precipitated the First World War.

Front page of The London Illustrated News 4 July 1914 copy

Front page of The London Illustrated News 4 July 1914 copy

Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro Hungarian Emperor, with his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg and their three children.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro Hungarian Emperor, with his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg and their three children.

Double-page spread with photographs of Sarajevo

Double-page spread with photographs of Sarajevo.

What better way to research history than delving into some quality publication of the time?