On Sunday afternoon Stephanie gave us an entertaining and visually delightful introduction to ten of her favourite items from the archives and rare books collections of Tauranga City Libraries.
The items range from the gorgeous and glamorous (Volume I of Buller's lavish History of the Birds of New Zealand, 1888, in gold-stamped green leather) to the deceptively drab (a tiny battered diary that accompanied its owner through the hardships of army life in the Middle East in 1919).
|Image © and courtesy of Tauranga City Libraries Ref. 05-294|
They are not all books, either. Horatio Gordon Robley's lively watercolour of a waka race on Tauranga Harbour on Boxing Day 1865 shows the people of Tauranga out enjoying themselves, after the tense times of the land wars.
The contents of one box came as a surprise to some in the audience, as you might not expect to find a collection of embroidered tablecloths in an archive which looks after the documentary heritage of the Bay of Plenty. However, it all depends on context: the tablecloths form part of a donation from the Tauranga South Women's Institute, which went into recess a few years ago and recently gave the linen, along with other material, to Research Collections.