Documentary heritage celebrated at National Library Auditorium

9 March 2021: Documentary heritage celebrated at National Library Auditorium

Significant taonga held by Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o Te Kawanatanga and the Alexander Turnbull Library were two of five inscriptions entered onto the UNESCO Memory of the World Register at a well-attended event at the National Library Auditorium.

Crown Purchase Deeds

The Crown Purchase Deeds Collection documents the original alienation of Māori land and customary title by the Crown, which by the mid-1860s included two-thirds of Aotearoa New Zealand and virtually the whole of Te Waipounamu, the South Island.

The inscription was received by Archives New Zealand Senior Archivist, Jared Davidson, and presented by National Librarian Te Pouhuaki, Rachel Esson.

Robin Hyde literary and personal papers

The Robin Hyde literary and personal papers are held by the Alexander Turnbull Library and Special Collections at the University of Auckland.

Iris Guiver Wilkinson (1906–1939), better known as Robin Hyde, is recognised in New Zealand as the author of The Godwits Fly (1938), Passport to Hell (1936), and Nor the Years Condemn (1938). She was also a poet, journalist, political commentator, war correspondent, editor, mother, feminist, and socialist.

The papers illustrate many facets of Hyde’s short but fierce life.

The inscription was presented to National Library Assistant Curator Manuscripts, Sean McMahon, and Nigel Bond from the University of Auckland, by Chief Archivist Kaipupiri Matua, Stephen Clarke.

National Librarian Rachel Esson says, “This is important work — it’s legacy work that will outlive us all”.

Images and other items from the collection in a glass display cabinaet
Selection of items from the Robin Hyde Collection on display at the event.

Other inscriptions

Other inscriptions presented were:

  • the Olaf Petersen Collection — Aotearoa New Zealand’s pre-eminent 20th-century nature photographer, held by the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira
  • Colin and Anne McCahon Papers — documenting their life and work from 1918 to 1987, held in the Hocken Collections
  • Suzanne Aubert’s ‘Manuscript of Māori Conversation’ — the Sister/Mother Mary Joseph, scholar, health innovator and founder of the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion, held by the Sisters of Compassion.

UNESCO Memory of the World

More information about the UNESCO Memory of the World and the successful nominations to the New Zealand Memory of the World Register.


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