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Showing posts from May, 2018

Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa: Samoan birth, death and marriage collections at Central Library

Sāmoan Language Week (Sunday 27 May to Saturday 2 June) is an opportunity to acknowledge and support the Sāmoan language and its use in New Zealand. 

We celebrate the languages and cultures of our diverse nation, to connect people back to their roots but also to teach other people about a different culture.

In the Central Auckland Research Centre, on Level 2 in Central City Library we are proud of the diversity of our international family history collection. Our Pacific Island collection is big part of this - and the Samoan collection is very strong.

People use our family history collections to trace their family, but also to reconnect with their culture and their heritage.

If you search our catalogue by typing: 3 SAM BDM in the search box for example you will find a whole host of resources on microfilm for births, deaths and marriages in Samoa:
Birth registers for Savai'i, Western Samoa, 1905-1993 Death registers for Savai'i, Western Samoa, 1923-1992 Death registers for Upolu, Wes…

Pacific's triple star

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Those three words are sung before every test match that the All Blacks play—in grounds throughout the rugby-playing world. Many New Zealanders have sung them more than once themselves. What exactly do they refer to? Let’s begin with their author.

Born in County Meath, Ireland, in 1841, Thomas Bracken spent most of his life in New Zealand, where he became a Member of Parliament and the popular poet who wrote the verses that are now our national anthem, ‘God Defend New Zealand’. The Auckland Central City Library’s Sir George Grey Special Collections contains the only manuscript in Bracken’s own handwriting of this ‘National Hymn’, as he entitled it. It is dated 9 July 1876. Also in the Grey Collection is the sole surviving autograph manuscript of John Joseph Wood’s musical setting of the anthem. Bracken's manuscript and Wood's sheet music, held by Auckland Libraries, are inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World New Zealand register.


The history of ‘God Defend New Zealand’ is …
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If you haven’t had a chance to see the exhibition Don’t leave town till you’ve seen the country on Level 2 of Tāmaki Ngā Pātaka Kōrero Central City Library, we recommend you go to enjoy its visual richness. In the meantime, we offer you an opportunity to listen to a selection of exhibition interviews in the comfort of your favourite chair, or on your commute.

The first track is an interview with Principal Curator Georgia Prince giving a background to the exhibition content and selection process.

Georgia shares with interviewer Haunui Royal a couple of highlights including Cecil Burleigh’s diary. The diary begins in 1932 when he was 22, and records his regular holiday trips around New Zealand. The hand drawn map charts three road trips he took with his mother in 1948 and 1949. In March 1949 they travelled from Auckland to Waiouru and back, before he returned to sea as a chief engineer.

‘The whole trip was pleasant and interesting.’  Cecil Burleigh. Diary. 1932-1987. NZMS 1450.


The second…

Wesley Primary School students gather scientific data

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“Plans were laid and one sunny morning we set off to walk to the top. It is quite a climb to the summit and we were puffed and glad to sit down for a bit and have a look round at the view. From our school down below, the mount doesn’t look very exciting but from here the city lay spread out on every side making a patchwork of coloured roofs, and the waters of the Waitemata Habour to the north really do sparkle… Standing here with Auckland at our feet we felt like kings of the castle.”

This excerpt was written by a primary school student at Wesley Primary School, in Mt Roskill, Auckland. It is taken from a school project report titled 'Life on an extinct volcano' created in 1966. J.F. Hopkins, a former teacher at Wesley Primary School, compiled these school project reports. Filled with photographs, they are a delight.

Three natural science projects form the Wesley Primary School Projects Collection, NZMS 2165, now held in Sir George Grey Special Collections. This manuscript wa…