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.

Latest Reed Gallery exhibition opens – ‘Samuel Johnson, 1709–2009: Life & Afterlife’

August 7, 2009 at 9:35 am | Posted in City Library, Events, Exhibition, Heritage, Library_News, Recent Updates, Reed Gallery, Suggestions, Website | Leave a comment

Image - Samuel-Johnson

The latest exhibition of the Dunedin Public Libraries commemorates the birth of critic, poet, lexicographer, and larger-than-life literary personality Dr Samuel Johnson (1709–1784).

The exhibition celebrates not only his achievements, but also his continued legacy that has lasted for centuries.

Johnson, unlike a number of his contemporaries, is not just another dead writer. Three hundred years after his birth in Lichfield, England, on 18 September 1709, Johnson continues to exert a strong pull upon the mind and imagination of people such as founder of Reed Publishing and national folk icon, A. H. Reed (1875–1975).

This exhibition is part of wider Johnsonian events taking place around the world.

Curated by:

  • Anthony Tedeschi, Rare Books Librarian – Dunedin Public Libraries
  • Paul Tankard, Senior Lecturer in English – University of Otago

The Reed Gallery exhibition runs through to 1 November 2009 and is free and open to the public.

  • ‘Samuel Johnson, 1709–2009: Life & Afterlife’
  • On until 1st November 2009
  • Monday – Friday 9.30am – 8.00pm
  • Saturday & Sunday 11.00am – 4.00pm
  • Reed Gallery, Floor 3
  • Dunedin City Library
  • Free

www.dunedinlibraries.govt.nz – samuel johnson, 1709–2009: life & afterlife

O for a Thousand Tongues Hymnbooks from the Colin Gibson Collection – Official Opening Videos

May 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm | Posted in Books, City Library, Events, Exhibition, Free Event, Heritage, Library_News, Reed Gallery, Suggestions | Leave a comment

Dunedin Public Libraries are proud to dedicate the latest Reed Gallery exhibition to Emeritus Professor Colin Gibson.

For over twenty years Professor Gibson has generously donated works relating to the field of hymnology to the Libraries. The first of his donations, which arrived in 1985, numbered sixty items.

From those double-digit, humble beginnings the collection has grown to more than 2,200 volumes and continues to increase in size and scope through purchases and further donations.

We are posting six videos on to our YouTube channel that covers most of the speeches given at the opening event.

If you have yet to visit the Reed Gallery it’s well worth making the trip to the third floor.

A Man’s A Man For A’ That: Celebrating Robert Burns at 250 – Reed Gallery Exhibition

January 26, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Posted in City Library, Events, Exhibition, Free Event, Heritage, Reed Gallery | Leave a comment

Image - robert-burns-web-banner

The latest exhibition of the Dunedin Public Libraries commemorates Scottish poet Robert Burns, born on 25 January 1759.

More than twenty Burns poems and songs form the core of the exhibition.

Especially noteworthy are two volumes of A Selection of Original Scottish Airs (1793-1794) once owned by Gilbert Burns, brother of the poet and father of the early Dunedin settler the Rev. Thomas Burns. An 1897 photograph of the Burns statue dedication in the Octagon and material relating to the Dunedin Burns Club highlight the poet’s association with the Edinburgh of the South.

  • 23 January to 19 April 2009
  • Monday – Friday 9.30am – 8.00pm
  • Saturday & Sunday 11.00am – 4.00pm
  • Reed Gallery, Floor 3
  • Dunedin City Library
  • Free

Of Fairies, Monsters, Ghosts and Creatures

December 8, 2008 at 2:14 pm | Posted in City Library, Events, Exhibition, Free Event, Library_News | Leave a comment

image - fairies, monsters etc. exhibitionOf fairies, monsters, ghosts and creatures – this exhibition showcases the contemporary work of German illustrators and book designers.

Alongside internationally well known artists like Klaus Ensikat, Wolf Erlbruch or Janosch young artists and their work are introduced to the audience.

From water colour and collage to digital experiments, the artists presented cover a wide spectrum of contemporary illustrational art.

  • Thursday 11 December – Friday 23 January 2009
  • First Floor
  • Dunedin City Library

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

Charting the Peaceful Sea – Reed Gallery Exhibition at City Library

June 4, 2008 at 9:41 am | Posted in City Library, Events, Exhibition, Free Event, Heritage, New Zealand, Reed Gallery | Leave a comment

The latest Reed Gallery exhibition, Charting the Peaceful Sea: Maps of the Pacific, 1642-1846, highlights some of the Heritage Collections’ holdings documenting European exploration of the Pacific region from the Bering Strait in the north to the Antarctic coast in the south.

This exhibition focuses on the expansion in Pacific exploration by Holland, France, England and later the United States, that occurred from the seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth century.

The first map to show any portion of New Zealand was drawn by Able Tasman in 1642, a facsimile of which, from a nineteenth-century edition of Tasman’s journals, is shown in the exhibition.

The earliest British map on display is from the account of Sir John Narborough’s voyage to the Pacific in 1670-71, written by Tancred Robinson and published in 1694.

John Harris’s Navigantium atque Itinerantium Bibliotheca…(1744) exhibits a map of the world drawn by London cartographer Emanuel Bowen. This map includes the circumnavigations of Ferdinand Magellan, Sir Francis Drake and George Anson, and applies the name ‘New Zeeland’ to label the land discovered by Tasman in 1642.

By far the most well-known and accomplished of the eighteenth-century explorers was Captain James Cook, who made three separate voyages to the Pacific in 1768-71, 1772-75 and 1776-79. First and early editions of Cook’s charts and maps form the core of this exhibition.

The exhibition concludes with the mid-nineteenth-century Antarctic explorations of the United States and Great Britain. On exhibit is a colour map produced by the U.S. Exploring Expedition from the early 1840s.

For a quick overview of the exhibit be sure to watch our YouTube clip on the subject.

  • Charting the Peaceful Sea: Maps of the Pacific, 1642-1846,
  • Until 31st August 2008
  • Reed Gallery
  • Floor 3
  • City Library
  • Free Event

Charting The Peaceful Sea – Reed Gallery Exhibition at City Library

May 30, 2008 at 3:24 pm | Posted in City Library, Events, Exhibition, Heritage, New Zealand, Reed Gallery, Tours, Virtual Exhibition | Leave a comment

This short video walk around shows you some of the very cool exhibits on display at Dunedin Public Libraries Reed Gallery.

The gallery is located on the 3rd floor of Dunedin City Library and run by our Heritage Collections staff.

This is a free exhibition on until August 31st 2008 so do come along and have a look at what’s on offer.

Reed Gallery Exhibition – The Happy Wanderer: Walking Around New Zealand with A. H. Reed

February 25, 2008 at 3:27 pm | Posted in City Library, Events, Exhibition, Free Event, Heritage, Library_News, Reed Gallery | Leave a comment

The Happy Wanderer

The Reed Gallery’s latest exhibition The Happy Wanderer: Walking Around New Zealand with A. H. Reed tracks the publisher, author and educationalist’s journeys across the length and breadth of the country that turned him into a national folk hero.

Reed’s treks have strong connections to his publishing practice. Both are based on capturing vernacular “kiwi” experiences: the beauty and wonder of the New Zealand landscape, communing with nature and God, seeking a personal experience of the land, collecting the stories of everyday people, understanding local history, and directing its future.

The Happy Wanderer exhibition combines an array of media into one visual treat. The material on exhibit include: first editions of Reed’s walking books, some inscribed by the author; original photographs, recently discovered typed drafts and personal letters, and an excerpt from an amateur film showing Reed on a walking tour ca 1961. The backpack Reed wore and the suitcase he carried on his treks are also exhibited.

Supplementary material on display include works published by Reed Publishing, such as artist Peter McIntyre’s New Zealand Landscapes (1975) and a selection of the company’s ‘day walks’ series, which carry on A. H. Reed’s tradition of getting out of the car and exploring New Zealand’s natural beauty on foot.

The display is a National Library Gallery touring exhibition, and was part of the exhibition Good Books Make Good Citizens: 100 years of Reed Publishing, held at the National Library Gallery, Wellington, in 2007.

  • 22 February – 18 May 2008
  • Monday to Friday 9.30am to 8.00pm
  • Saturday and Sunday 11.00am to 4.00pm
  • Reed Gallery, Floor 3
  • Dunedin City Library
  • Free Event

Our Stories Photographic Exhibition – Ends Soon

December 6, 2007 at 10:19 am | Posted in Exhibition | Leave a comment






The Our Stories exhibition, part of Celebrate Diversity week, challenges Kiwis to get to know people with disabilities – to see the person first, rather than the disability.

Based on photographs by Hanne Johnsen and Glenn Busch’s book, The Man With No Arms and Other Stories, the exhibition uses photographs, words and film to tell the stories of people with disabilities.

Don’t miss this fantastic exhibition which runs over two weeks:

  • Monday 26 November – Sunday 9 December
  • 4th Floor
  • Dunedin City Library
  • Free Event
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