The Wright Collection was bequeathed to the Alexander Turnbull Library in 1937 on the death of Henry Charles Clarke Wright (1844–1936). The collection is made up of 550 titles that relate to comparative religion, philosophy, theology, ethics, morality and health. Many of the works are extensively annotated by Wright. It is part of the Turnbull Named Collections.
About Henry Wright
Henry Wright was a well-known Wellington figure. Before coming to Wellington he had previously worked as a business man; variously managing a store, a mining company and acting as advisory accountant to Auckland City Council. Wright came to Wellington in 1877, and in 1879 became a certified debt-collector.
In 1880 he became the secretary of the Gear Meat Company and was appointed secretary of the Wellington Meant Export Company, and would later found the Wellington Meat Preserving Company.
"Henry of the town belt", New Zealand Free Lance8 June, 1907.
In his private life, Wright was a man of many interests. He is remembered as a ‘personality’ who dressed exotically. He was a keen gardener, and once caused a stir in Wellington by attempting to lease a section of the town belt. He was also a photographer, and during Lord Onslow’s term as governor of New Zealand was appointed landscape photographer to him.
Wright also cultivated an interest in comparative religion, secularism, in sexuality and health. His collection includes a number of anti-Christian and anti-Catholic works. There are also a number of titles relating to food and diet, general health, and sexual deviations. Perhaps best known of Wright’s views is his opposition to ‘epicene women’: women soliciting votes.
Henry Wright, "Notice to epicene women", 1902. Ref: Eph-B-WOMEN-1902.
Access items in this collection
Original items in this collection can be requested through the Library’s catalogue and consulted in the Katherine Mansfield Reading Room.
This collection is catalogued online and may be called up as a list on the National Library catalogue by searching ‘Wright’ using the ‘in call number’ search option in the NLNZ catalogue advanced search.