New Zealand’s relationship with Russia during World War Two brought a Russian film crew to Archives New Zealand’s Wellington office on Wednesday 12 January.
The crew: Kirill Kiryanov, correspondent for Russian State TV – channel Rossiya-1, and cameraman Igor Nikulin, were interested in material for a special documentary on Russian’s ties with other countries during the war. The programme, destined to be screened on Russian TV later this year, will include an episode on New Zealand.
Archives New Zealand holds records pertaining to the government’s correspondence with European countries including Russia during the time of war. One of these documents, New Zealand’s Declaration of War against Germany, signed by acting Prime Minister Peter Fraser on 3 September 1939, was of great interest to the crew.
Access Services archivist Uili Fectau showed the pair the papers and film footage and in turn was filmed explaining what the records were. The Declaration and other documents are listed on Archway, Archives New Zealand’s online search engine.
The crew were accompanied on their visit to the Archives’ office by Russian Embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission Andrey Kornykukhin and three members of the Russian Convoy Club of New Zealand who are veterans of the Arctic Campaign 1941-45. The trio, Pen Moore aged 90, Chris King, 88, and Derek Whitwam, 85, were also interviewed.
The documentary will also feature the story of New Zealander Wing Commander Henry Ramsbottom-Isherwood who was awarded the Order of Lenin medal by the former Soviet Union. He was one of only four non-Russians to receive this prestigious medal.
Born in Petone, Mr Ramsbottom-Isherwood served in the RAF during the war, training Russian pilots and ground crew to fly and maintain British Hurricane aircraft. He led an RAF fighter wing from inside the Arctic Circle at Murmansk after Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. He died in 1950.
Mr Kornykukhin thanked Archives New Zealand for helping the film crew. He said the Russian Ambassador was thrilled with the assistance and support from the department.
Before returning home Kirill and Igor are this weekend filming the Russian rugby team in New Plymouth where they are playing against a Taranaki side.
The film crew’s visit to Archives New Zealand attracted the local media, with the Dominion Post featuring a story in Thursday’s edition, and TVNZ running an item during its evening news.
Current news items refer to the release of information from New Zealand Defence Force files documenting New Zealand UAS reports over the last five decades.
The Defence Force has made copies of the relevant files in Archives New Zealand’s custody, as well as its own more recent files. These copies are available from the Defence Force Library at Defence House in Wellington.
You are asked to contact the library in advance of your visit by telephoning 64 4 496 0842. Copies are also being made available at the Wellington Public Library.
The fact that Archives New Zealand’s Community Archive website attracts interest from all parts of the globe was verified when Ericka Chemko, Project Manager, Inuit Heritage Trust, situated in the Arctic Circle, visited the department’s trade stand at the recent National Digital Forum in Wellington. Read about Ericka's visit and the National Digital Forum feature in the December issue of Ngā Tapuwae, Archives New Zealand's stakeholder newsletter.
Rarely viewed photographs from the National Publicity Studios (NPS) collection held by Archives New Zealand are brought to life in a new contemporary art form through an exhibition by Auckland-based artist and writer Emil McAvoy.
Mr McAvoy was the recipient of the Archives New Zealand Scholarship awarded in 2007 to commemorate 50 years of archival legislation in New Zealand.
Archives New Zealand’s acting Chief Executive Greg Goulding says the scholarship encouraged the innovative use of Archives New Zealand's collections.
“Many of the archives held in our repositories are rarely viewed because their condition requires them to be kept in a climate controlled environment. We are delighted Emil’s exhibition brings to life these rarely seen images in a way that can be enjoyed by the wider community,” Mr Goulding said.
Issues & Returns: Borrowings from the National Publicity Studios Archive features a unique selection of 20 photographic prints taken from original NPS negatives for which no prints previously existed.
“I hope they will be both celebrated for their contribution to our national self image, along with the NPS wider contribution to our visual and material culture,” Mr McAvoy said.
The images document NPS display products promoting trade, tourism and public relations in the post World War Two period, and were shot in the studios themselves.
The NPS was established in 1945 as part of the Information Section of the Prime Minister's Department. The studios remained the official documenters and publicists of New Zealand from the 1920s through to the late 1980s.
The exhibition debuts at the Elam School of Fine Arts Graduate Show, 20-21 November at the University of Auckland, and is free and open to the public. Mr McAvoy intends touring the exhibition at a later date. For more information: www.emilmcavoy.com
Further Information on the salvage of damaged archives and records can be found on the Disaster recovery of archives and records page
Ngā Tapuwae September 2010, Archives New Zealand's newsletter for stakeholders and staff is online.
Stuart Strachan was one of the first to register as a user of ALF, Archives New Zealand’s new archives locator finder when the system went live in the Dunedin office on Tuesday 17 August.
The former Hocken Librarian, and current member of the Archives Council, Mr Strachan said that the new system was ‘’a great step forward, making things much easier for staff and users alike.’’
Archives New Zealand’s Repository Replacement Project manager Mike Heron says, “ALF is a modern, robust system that replaces the department’s older systems.
“ALF brings about some changes to Archives New Zealand’s main online search system Archway to improve the way customers can search for and request records they want to view in one of the department’s reading rooms,” he says.
“Our customers will notice several immediate improvements. For example, once they have visited an Archives New Zealand office register as an ALF user, they can order records through Archway before coming into the reading room to view them.”
The system was piloted in Archives New Zealand’s Christchurch office last month, before going live in Dunedin. It is destined to be introduced into the Wellington and Auckland offices next month.
When the changes have been rolled out to all four of Archives New Zealand’s offices, customers will only have to register once, no matter which office they are in. They will also be able to order items to view in the reading rooms directly from Archway, including from home. When they are registered they will receive new reader cards.
“ALF will also improve the way staff process the orders which will result in more efficient customer service,” Mike Heron says.
Nga Tapuwae July 2010 is now online.
It can be viewed here: Ngā Tapuwae July 2010
This exhibition illustrates aspects of the history of Seacliff Lunatic Asylum (later known as the Seacliff Mental Hospital) using the archives held by Archives New Zealand Dunedin Regional Office.
The photographs and images show the buildings and grounds of the asylum and aspects of the administration, particularly the work of the medical superintendent. Examples of case records for selected patients show the legal process for committing a person to the asylum, their medical treatment and discharge, although some patients remained at the institution until their death.
The exhibition includes a digitised copy of the published report of the 1891 Committee of Inquiry into Frederic Truby King's management of the asylum. Frederic Truby King was the medical superintendent from 1889 to 1921. The Report highlights the reforms Truby King made in the care of the mentally ill.
The Seacliff Lunatic Asylum Exhibition can be seen here: Seacliff Lunatic Asylum Exhibition
Archives New Zealand has made some changes to our online search system Archway to improve the way you search for and request records that you wish to view in our reading rooms.
The changes will let you place your order for records through Archway before you come into the reading rooms to view them.
From Tuesday 13 July, we will be piloting the changes in our Christchurch office for approximately four weeks. For all records based in Christchurch, you will see an ‘order’ button on the order details page for an item in Archway.
If you are wanting to view records in the Christchurch office, you will need to visit the office and register as a reader with a staff member. Once you have done this, you will be able to place your order through Archway for records that are based there. When you register you will be given a new reader card that will enable you to place orders from home to view in the Reading Room.
If you are not based in Christchurch, and want to view records in that office, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The changes will be implemented in our other offices in Dunedin, Auckland and Wellington later in the year. We will let you know when this will happen through notices on our website and in our Reading Rooms. Until these changes are implemented in the office that you would normally visit, the existing process will remain.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact:
Ph: 04 931 6982