Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Western Pacific Archives Guide

The Western Pacific Archives (WPA) at the University of Auckland Library contains the records of the British colonial administration in the Western Pacific from 1877-1978. Containing more than 760 linear metres (about 2,800 archive boxes), the WPA was transferred to Special Collections at the university library in 2002.

The WPA offers great a whole wealth of research opportunities for historians, anthropologists, archaeologists and researchers in many other fields. Previously research was hindered by the sheer size and complexity of this collection, which has 87 separate finding aids. The Guide to the Western Pacific Archives is a new resource offering easier points of access to this rich collection.

Recent research and publications which have drawn on the WPA include:
  • The history of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony
  • The interface between native medical practitioners and the colonial administration
  • German migrants in Tonga
  • Coastwatching
  • The legal status of indigenous peoples
  • Numerous family history projects.
The guide is a work in progress, and will be updated in the future with additional background on the administration of the WPHC, and the progress of finding aids and indexing activities

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