Bayfield High School Exhibition @ City Library Teenspace

September 21, 2009 at 10:16 am | Posted in City Library, Display, Exhibition, Library_News, New Zealand, Suggestions, Teenspace, Young Adult | Leave a comment

Originally uploaded by Dunedin Public Libraries

The latest art displayed at the City Library Teenspace comes to us from year 10 students at Bayfield High School.

The artwork of Reuben Paterson was used as inspiration with each cape reflecting the cultural heritage of the artist.

‘Inspire Me’ Careers Showcase – May 11th – 17th 2009

April 20, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Posted in City Library, Display, Events, Free Event, Library_News | Leave a comment

image - careers expo logo 2009If you are looking for inspirational reading material about careers, training and business, then visit Dunedin Public Libraries during the Careers Festival to locate a diverse collection of material bound to please.

We’ll offer a special display of resources so do pay us a visit today – it’s free!

  • Inspire Me Showcase
  • May 11th – 17th 2009
  • Dunedin City Library
  • Free

Charles Darwin turns 200 this month!

February 3, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Posted in City Library, Display, Library_News, Non-Fiction, Recent Updates, Suggestions, Website | Leave a comment

image - charles darwin at Dunedin Public LibrariesCharles Robert Darwin (1809-82) was an English naturalist who has had an enormous influence on current scientific, and especially evolutionary, thinking.

2009 is the 200 year anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin (12 February 1809) and 150 years since the publication of the ground-breaking work “On the origin of species: by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life” (24 November 1859).

We’ve published a page on our website that features some of the Darwin resources available to you – follow the link below..

How We Began: the First Six Years of the Dunedin Public Library

September 18, 2008 at 11:01 am | Posted in Books, Centenary, City Library, Display, Events, Exhibition, Free Event, Heritage, Library_News, New Zealand, Reed Gallery, Suggestions, Tours | Leave a comment

Anthony Tedeschi Rare Books Librarian discusses the latest Reed Gallery exhibition celebrating our centennial year at Dunedin Public Library

Library patrons will no doubt be aware that 2008 is the centennial year of the Dunedin Public Library.

The current Reed Gallery exhibition How We Began: the First Six Years of the Dunedin Public Library commemorates the event by highlighting the early years of the Library’s history.

I initially planned this exhibition to focus on just the first year of the Library.  When research began, however, this expanded to six years.  Why the change, you might wonder?

These first few years were pivotal for the Library, which was growing by leaps and bounds.  By the time the Library had been open for seven years, it had developed to include a large reference collection, a children’s library, an adult lending library, and housed a fine collection of New Zealand material donated by Dr Robert McNab.  How We Began features books from each of these milestones.

The Library collection was comprised mainly of newspapers, magazines and a reference collection of perhaps 1,000 volumes when the doors opened in December of 1908. The reference collection steadily increased as Dunedin’s first public librarian, William Barker McEwan, brought the number of titles to 2,698 by November of 1909.

A highlight among the reference books on exhibit is the very first book purchased by the fledgling Library – a four-volume edition of poetry by Robert Burns.  This was a most fitting first purchase given Dunedin’s Scottish roots, and the fact that McEwan was born in Edinburgh and was working in Stirling before taking up his position in the Edinburgh of the South.

The majority of books on exhibit, such as the edition of Burns poetry, are the very same copies borrowed and consulted by adults and children.  Many still proudly bear their original bookplate and accession number, written in ink upon the front endpaper.

McEwan bought in multiple subjects from Literature to Natural Science, and History to the Fine and Useful Arts.  A selection from these categories is on display, offering visitors a sample of the types of titles patrons were reading.

One treasure on display is a first edition of William Morris’s Some Hints on Pattern-Designing (1899) printed at the Chiswick Press.  Morris was an influential founder of the British Arts and Crafts movement, and his Kelmscott Press produced some of the most exquisite hand-printed books of the nineteenth century.  This book will soon find a new home among the Reed collections.

The Library saw the addition of a new wing 1910, and the opening of the children’s reading room in March followed by the children’s lending library in June of that year. This collection must have been in demand.  A letter on display dated 2 July 1908 by McEwan states that a children’s library can only be established after an adult lending library.

In fact, Evening Star editor Mark Cohen agitated so vigorously for the establishment of a service to young people that it took priority.  It was difficult for us to find material from that early children’s collection – children are not the gentlest of library patrons, and tend to read their books to death.

Two cases of children’s books are on display nonetheless, including a first edition of Edith Howes’s Maoriland Fairy Tales (1913).  Howes was the first children’s author in New Zealand, pioneering the use of traditional Maori lore for children.

Dunedin’s adult population was finally allowed to borrow books to read in the home when the adult lending collection opened in 1911.  The subjects covered did not vary greatly from the reference collection.  The main difference was that historical biographies made up a large portion of the lending collection, and were considered popular reading.

These biographies and tales of exotic exploration were popular among Dunedin’s reading public.  For example, few stories have linked both subjects so well and captured the imagination like that of Henry Stanley finding Dr David Livingstone. Livingstone went missing for six years in the African interior during the 1860s.  The New York Herald commissioned Stanley in 1869 to find him, which he did on 10 November 1871.  How I Found Livingstone (1872) was a huge success, and a first edition of Stanley’s account is on display.

A milestone for the Library came in 1913 when historian, lawyer and Member of Parliament Dr Robert McNab decided to donate his collection of 4,200 books on the history of New Zealand and European exploration of the Pacific.

McNab was connected to Dunedin through his university days when he earned a BA in 1883, an MA in 1885 and an LLD in 1891 from the University of Otago.

The McNab New Zealand Department opened in 1914, forming the basis of a collection that numbers over 90,000 items today.  A selection of books from McNab’s donation is on display, among them first editions of Buller’s Birds of New Zealand (1873) and Edward Wakefield’s Adventures in New Zealand (1845), the first published Maori grammar (1820) and an early description of northern New Zealand and the Maori people during the turbulent times of intertribal wars brought about by the introduction of the musket in Richard Cruise’s Journal of a Ten Months’ Residence in New Zealand (1825).

Archival material from the Dunedin City Council Archives is also on display.  Some of these documents date to 1891 when the debates over whether or not to establish a public library in Dunedin were being carried on in the Town Hall.

The original letter books in McEwan’s handwriting and letters related to the McNab donation are available for viewing, including the original telegram from then mayor William Downie Stewart to Wellington book collector Alexander Turnbull asking if the McNab collection is ‘sufficiently valuable’ for the Dunedin Public Library.  In addition to these letters, the original desk (sadly minus its lovely roll-top) used by a succession of City Librarians has been moved into the Reed Gallery as part of the exhibition.

Many of the books purchased for the Library between 1908 and 1914 are no longer in the collection.  Some were weeded out when their information became outdated or a new edition published; others could not stand the physical demands of an eager public.

A surprising number, however, have survived.  Those still held by the Library provide a window into the lives and interests of Dunedin’s residents during the early-twentieth century.  The books and archival material on display in How We Began offer a glimpse of the readership during this time, and I cannot help but wonder – what will the Rare Books Librarian exhibit for the bicentennial celebrations in 2108?

This exhibition is free and open to the public.

  • Reed Gallery, Floor 3
  • 19 September to 31 December 2008
  • Dunedin City Library

† McEwan bought in other categories as well (e.g. Religion and Philosophy). Examples from every collecting area, however, could not be exhibited due to space limitations

Reed Gallery Exhibition – How we began: the first six years of the Dunedin Public Library

September 16, 2008 at 1:27 pm | Posted in Books, Centenary, City Library, Display, Events, Free Event, Heritage, Library_News, New Zealand, Reed Gallery, Suggestions | Leave a comment

2008 marks the centennial year of the Dunedin Public Library.

As part of the celebrations, this Reed Gallery exhibition commemorates the Library’s rapid development during its first six years from the time its doors opening in 1980 to the generous donation of Dr Robert McNab in 1913.

  • 19 September to 31 December 2008
  • Monday – Friday 9.30am – 8.00pm
  • Saturday & Sunday 11.00am – 4.00pm
  • Reed Gallery, 3rd Floor
  • Dunedin City Library

Hardwicke Knight display 1st floor – City Library

September 10, 2008 at 9:50 am | Posted in Books, City Library, Display, Library_News, New Zealand, Website | Leave a comment
Hardwicke Knight

Hardwicke Knight - Source: Otago Daily Times/Otago Images.

Hardwicke Knight, long time resident of Broad Bay, passed away on August 25th at the age of 97.

He was born in England in 1911. He traveled extensively through Europe in the 1920s and 1930s working as a journalist and then photographer before meeting Molly Saunders in 1934, whom he later married.

During the second World War he worked with Sir Harold Gillies, the New Zealand plastic surgeon, as a medical photographer, and in 1957 he immigrated to New Zealand to work at the Otago Medical School as head of the Medical Photography Department.

In his retirement he documented the history of photography in New Zealand, particularly the Dunedin and Otago regions.

Check out our catalogue for a selection of his books held by Dunedin Public Libraries, and view his biography at Te Papa on-line.

Logan Park High School Art Exhibition at City Library

August 12, 2008 at 3:25 pm | Posted in City Library, Display, Events, Free Event, Library_News, Teenspace, Virtual Exhibition, Website | Leave a comment

Logan Park High School Art Exhibition @ Dunedin Public Libraries

Originally uploaded by Dunedin Public Libraries

Head up to the second floor of the City Library and take a look at this great exhibition.

The complete photoset is also live on our Flickr photo stream.

First Floor Display – Every Day Science at City Library

July 1, 2008 at 4:26 pm | Posted in Books, City Library, Display, Events, Free Event, NZ Science Festival, Suggestions | Leave a comment

Celebrating the NZ International Science Festival we’ve come up with a nice display of books that link in to the hot subject that is … Science!

Come up to the first floor and take a look.

Don’t forget to send the kids along to check out our hands on craft programme running 8th July – 11th July.

Montana Poetry Day – Friday 18 July

June 23, 2008 at 1:48 pm | Posted in Blueskin Bay, City Library, Display, Events, Free Event, Library_News, Montana Poetry Day, Mosgiel, Port Chalmers, Waikouaiti | Leave a comment

Montana Poetry Da

Help us to create a Fantastic Poetry Curtain! Celebrate Montana Poetry Day with Dunedin Public Libraries

To celebrate Montana Poetry Day and encourage a love of poetry, Dunedin Public Libraries would like to invite you to contribute to our poetry curtain. This curtain will be ‘unveiled’ on Montana Poetry Day, Friday 18 July.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO: (it’s easy)

1) Write your poem on the supplied card.

2) 1 poem per card

3) On the front = poem

4) On the back = your name (if you wish)

5) Place your poem in the poetry box by Friday 4 July

We look forward to displaying your poem on the poetry curtain hearing from you and hope you will be able to take part in this fun literary event!

Storytime and Cloth Nappies at Blueskin Nursery Cafe

April 23, 2008 at 8:49 am | Posted in Blueskin Bay, Books, Children's, Display, Events, Free Event, Library_News, Mosgiel, Storytime | Leave a comment

Waitati’s own Mandy Mayhem read us all stories for Turn Off TV Week at the Blueskin Nursery Cafe. A great group of young and old turned up for hot chocolates, coffees and free fluffies for the kids.

Mandy read

‘The Princess and the White Bear King’ by Tanya Batts

and ‘Bad Jelly the Witch’ by Spike Milligan.

We then got to see and feel lots of different kinds of modern cloth nappies.

Michelle came along from the Nappy Network to show us these and answer any questions. She’ll be at the Mosgiel library on Thursday too!

Michelle highlighted the DCC $20 off nappy starter pack and all the reasons why these nappies are great to use!

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.