Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Sheep

Sheep, the cornerstone of the agricultural industry in New Zealand since the 1850s and a very important part of the economy. Sheep have shaped the farming environment throughout the country and spawned many a joke. Where would we be without NZ lamb and merino clothing?

When refrigeration on ships became available in 1882, meat was able to be shipped around the world including to Britain and the industry flourished. The population peaked in 1982 at 70 million but has steadily reduced over the years as other industries have come to the fore such as dairy farming and the timber industry. With around 40 million sheep, that is still a whopping 10 sheep per person. Over half the sheep in NZ are Romney, which is a English breed used for both meat and wool.

What to find out more?
Now you are all set to wander through the sheep of yesteryear, drawn from the heritage collections at Auckland Libraries, enjoy!

Rural scenes:
Ref: James D Richardson, Man with sheep, location and date unknown, e, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-7054
Ref: Photographer unknown, Jack Bethell with sheep, Te Henga, 1914, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, JTD-02G-05043
Ref: JT Diamon, Bach and pet sheep, Huia, 1971, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, JTD-07A-04424
Ref:  Photographer unknown, the Kelsey children, Howick, c. 1902, South Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, Footprints 01980 
Political satire:

Ref:  Photogrpaher unknown, the New Hand Culling the Flock, location unknown, c. 1890s, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 661-129
Prize winning sheep:

Ref: C Reid and Windshaw, Scotch champion black-faced ram, 1898, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-18981223-4-1
Ref: CF Bell, First and Champion Lincoln Ewe, Auckland Agricultural Show, 1899, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-18991124-5-5
Sheep farming:
Ref: Photographer unknown, Sheep mustering, Muriwai, 1922, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, JTD-01G-04374
Ref: John Manson Barr, Drovers with sheep, near Kakanui, c. 1920s, North Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, JMB0005
Ref: GW Wyman, Shearing sheep, Mangere, c. 1905, South Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, Footprints 05692

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