Friday, 24 October 2014

Auckland's Town Hall

The Heritage Images database has a marvelous feature called ‘Through the decades’ that shows how a building and its surroundings change over time. Some of the significant places featured include Albert Park, the Ferry Building and in its prominent Queen Street location, the Auckland Town Hall -- a building of cultural significance noted for its unusual shape. It has been described as “a wedge of cheese or a decrepit flat iron.”

The dozen photographs in the 'Through the decades' section document significant aspects of the Hall's history from its construction in 1910, to the creation of Aotea Square in the 1970s.

Ref: Hubert Vaile, The Auckland Town Hall under construction,
1910, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 2-V1409
Ref: Henry Winkelmann, Auckland Town Hall from the corner of Wakefield Street, with
the Grey statue, 28 January 1921, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1-W1746

Monday, 20 October 2014

For the love of books

'For the love of books: an exhibition of contemporary fine press and artists' books' is now open at Sir George Grey Special Collections. The 25 books on show are a selection of the best international and national examples of fine book making held by this collection.

A short film showing seven of the books exhibited with their pages turning or unfolding is showing in the exhibition and online. The exhibition coincides with the Association of Book Crafts International Conference in Auckland from 24-26 October.

Below are a selection of views of some of the exhibited books.

Ref: Julie Chen. A guide to higher learning. California: Flying Fish Press, 2009.

Ref: Ronald King and Roy Fisher. Anansi Company: a collection of thirteen
hand-made wire and card rod-puppets.
London: Circle Press, 1992.




Ref: Joseph Guy Lubbock. From the snows to the seas: original prints and text. London, Bertram Rota Limited; Cambridge: Rampant Lions Press, 1986.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Point Chevalier's Liverpool Estate

A few months back we took a look at the Victory Estate in Mt Roskill, an area named in commemoration of First World War military men. A few years earlier, just across the way in Point Chevalier, there was an equally interesting parcel of lots known as the Liverpool Estate. This piece of land is bordered at one end by Great North and Point Chevalier Roads. Besides housing, it now contains a supermarket, assorted shops and the Point Chevalier Community Library.

Ref: A map of allotments for sale in Point Chevalier, about 1915,
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, NZ Map 1298
The estate was created in 1913 by a group known as the Liverpool Estate Syndicate and was marketed as a “last opportunity” to acquire main road frontage close to the city. It was only a fifteen minute walk to the Arch Hill terminus and a significant selling point was that a motorbus passed by. The Point Chevalier Motor Bus Company ran from 1915-1920 and was owned by prominent locals, including a member of the Dignan family. Following the First World War with the rising price of oil, it went in to voluntary liquidation. Estate land was also connected to sewerage and drainage, gas and water were available on the boundary and a school was nearby. Another factor was that it was not far from the “beautiful Point Chevalier beach.” 

Ref: Auckland Weekly News, On the beach at Point Chevalier, 30 January 1919,
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19190130-32-1 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Incunabula

The item in the image below belongs to a group of books collectively referred to as incunabula -- items which were printed (not handwritten) before the year 1501 in Europe.

There are 106 incunabula in Sir George Grey Special Collections.

Ref: Saint Birgitta. Revelationes. Nuremberg: Printed by Anton Koberger, 1500.
Sir George Grey  Special Collections.
Revelationes was printed in 1500 in Nuremberg. Auckland Libraries' copy was a donation from Sir George Grey. Iain Sharp in Real Gold describes Revelationes as 'a blend of theological meditation, biblical lore and spiritual autobiography'. Revelationes was dictated to the confessors of Saint Birgitta, a Swedish mystic, over a period of twenty years. It is generally accepted that Albrecht Dürer designed the woodcuts, even if someone else did the physical cutting of the blocks.