Archive for February 2010

Guest post: Our digitised New Zealand Card Index

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Contributor: David Verran

We are thrilled to be able to announce the digitisation of our unique card index, known as the New Zealand Card Index and housed in the Auckland Research Centre. What is of particular interest to family historians is that this resource is available online through our website. 

The digital version of the New Zealand Card Index provides vastly improved keyword access to local history, biographical and family history references from sources such as: Auckland scrapbooks 1923 to 1994, New Zealand scrapbooks 1916 to 1975, Obituary scrapbooks 1933 to 1941 and 1949 to 1979, and the New Zealand herald, the Auckland star and Auckland area suburban newspapers before November 1996. Note that music references were at that time included in a different card index, which has now been entered onto Index Auckland.

Material was selected for inclusion in the scrapbooks because of its historical, or potentially historical, value. For the Auckland scrapbooks, this included the opening, demolition or history of any buildings, history or description of industries, suburbs, etc., new subdivisions and articles giving the origin of the name of a suburb or street. The articles selected were comprehensive rather than exhaustive. Those for the New Zealand scrapbooks were more of general historical interest regarding New Zealand as a whole. The Obituary scrapbooks covered any major obituaries from either the New Zealand herald or Auckland star, as well as some death notices which were not indexed.

The availability of microfilm reader printers from the mid 1970s allowed direct reference to issues of the New Zealand herald and the Auckland star and accordingly the various scrapbooks began to cease. The advent of Newsindex in 1979 and Index New Zealand in 1987 led to further refining of what was and wasn't indexed. Further, indexing from the non-Auckland City Council area suburban newspapers ceased from November 1989, the Auckland star ceased 31 July 1991 and increasingly the New Zealand herald left the local stories to the suburban newspapers. Nevertheless, as of November 1996 the New Zealand herald and Auckland City area suburban newspapers were still being comprehensively indexed. 

Index Auckland and the digitised New Zealand Card Index are available through the Digital library (the latter from the first quarter of the new year) on our website


Guest post: Online images from the British Museum

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Guest contributor: Anahera Sadler

The British Museum online photographic collection, which now includes thousands of Pacific (including Maori) images that have just been scanned as part of a long-term research project undertaken by the institution. The database is huge. From my quick search, the Pacific collection appears to be twice as large (3000+ images) than that offered on Matapihi (the NZ archived image database).

There are about 1850 Maori images (there are 11,500 on Matapihi). Many of the images are also available from NZ archives, but some of the British Museum copies are apparantly of a higher quality and there are many images that are not available here. Access to these photographs would once have been through browsing reference images over many days in a large set of ring-binders in the research library of the Museum. This is so much more user-friendly, faster and cheaper, although the larger issues of open access to indigenous images remains a tricky question!

Guest post: Old Colonist membership roll

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Guest contributor: Marie Hickey

A gem of a resource with a remarks column that could have in it:
...first baker to bake bread for sale in Auckland
...born on the night of the High Street fire
...went to Tauranga & was there at the time of the Te Kooti scare
...father living in Sydney aged 85 years

This membership book covers the period 10 October 1919 to 16 November 1934.

It contains the following information:
Date of enrolment, badge no., address at time of enrolment, when & where born, date of arrival in NZ, name of ship, and miscellaneous remarks (examples of which were given above).

Membership was not limited to those who had immigrated as a number of members had been born in New Zealand but to either immigrant parents or grandparents.

All entries in this roll are indexed on to Index Auckland (accessible through our website in the Digital library) and the volume is held in Auckland City Libraries Sir George Grey Special Collections.