The dedication and commitment of two volunteers, Bill and Glenys Chadderton, has resulted in the digitisation of all the Shipping Lists held by Archives New Zealand.
In November the Chaddertons, representing FamilySearch the largest genealogical organisation in the world, completed the job of digitising some 270,000 Shipping List pages.
The couple have spent nearly 15 months away from their home in Kihikihi to digitise the records which from early next year will be available online to people worldwide. Having the documents online means anyone with an interest in people immigrating to New Zealand can do their research from their own homes.
Digitising the lists had been an opportunity to see the history of New Zealand revealed and they particularly enjoyed finding out information about their own families, the pair said. There were some sad stories, some touching ones and some exciting ones.
The pair acknowledged departmental staff for their support and gave special thanks to conservator Steve Williams who also gave up his own time to prepare the lists for digitisation.
Acting Chief Executive Greg Goulding said the significance of the project will be its impact of those outside Archives New Zealand. He thanked the couple for their generosity of spirit saying they had provided the department with a platform for providing access to these valuable archives.
Until the mid 1970s, most people living in New Zealand were either born here or arrived by ship so the records are of particularly significance and value. Some eight million names appear on the shipping lists which span 132 years from 1840 to 1972. The lists record the names and details of people who came to New Zealand on assisted passages.
Currently the lists are being transcribed and indexed by a pool of 2000,000 volunteers worldwide. From early next year they will start to be available on both the FamilySearch and Archives New Zealand websites.
The relocation details of the National Library’s Wellington building, including to Archives New Zealand, have just been publicly released. The following link at www.natlib.govt.nz/building provides detailed information about the redevelopment, collection access and questions and answers.
The National Library is also rolling out a communications plan that includes media advertising, letters to key stakeholders, and an information flyer, which will be available next week in the Wellington office.
Archives New Zealand’s new website has several improvements aimed to make it easier and quicker for you to find information.
We have organised the site based on how people search for information, which should make it easier for you to navigate through the site to find what you need. For example to find out how to look after your archives you would go to ‘Advice on Records and Archiving’. This section has resources to help you create and maintain your records and archives as well as tools to help you manage your information.
Our online services can now be accessed directly from the homepage. We’ve also added an area where you can go directly to information useful to the type of work or research you are doing. If you are a teacher, this link would take you directly to resources for schools or, if you are a family historian, to information on accessing genealogical records.
We’ve also installed a new search engine which will return results quicker and more accurately than before.
We will continue to review the site and look at ways we can make it easier for you to use as well as improve the services we offer online.
The military details of some former All Blacks who died in World War One are contained in the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel records now available on Archives New Zealand’s online search engine Archway.
Thirteen former All Blacks were killed in World War One — four of them within a fortnight in June 1917 when the New Zealand Division took part in the assault on the Messines ridge.
The most famous former All Black to lose his life during the war was Dave Gallaher, who captained the All Black Originals on their 1905-06 tour of Britain, France and North America. Gallaher was mortally wounded during the attack on Gravenstafel Spur and died a few hours later. He is buried at Nine Elms Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium.
The Gallaher Shield, awarded to the winner of Auckland’s premier club competition since 1922 and the Dave Gallaher Cup, awarded to the winner of the first rugby test between New Zealand and France in each calendar year since 2000, were both named in his honour.
The personnel records contain such information as next of kin, a summary of the date of enlistment, embarkation and discharge dates and length of service spent at home and overseas. They also record an individual’s postings to military units as well as promotions, medal entitlements, decorations and any gratuity payments made to them or their families after the war. Marriage and children’s details are also often recorded.
Archives Support Assistant (ASA) Norm Gough is in charge of the daily process of digitising the files. He says there are approximately 4600 of the 128,000 files now online.
“This has been a good learning curve for the staff involved in the project. It’s been a great effort and we have had good feedback. It means the department will provide a much improved customer service for people wanting to access these files,” said Norm.
To view NZDF personnel records go to Archway and enter ‘digitised record (surname)’ into the search function.
The NZDF personnel records available to view on Archway are for the following former All Blacks:
Albert Downing died 8 August 1915 at Gallipoli, aged 29 (26 matches for the All Blacks)
Henry Dewar, died 19 August 1915 at Gallipoli, aged 31 (16 matches for the All Blacks)
Frank Wilson, died 19 September 1916 at Somme, aged 31 (2 matches for the All Blacks)
Robert Black, died 21 September 1916 at Somme, aged 23 (6 matches for the All Blacks)
George Sellars, died 7 June 1917, at Messines, aged 31 (15 matches for the All Blacks)
James Baird, died 7 June 1917, in France aged 23 (1 match for the All Blacks)
Reginald Taylor, died 20 June 1917, at Messines, aged 28 (2 matches for the All Blacks)
James McNeece, died 21 June 1917, at Messines, aged 31 (11 matches for the All Blacks)
Dave Gallaher, died 4 October 1917, at Passchendaele, aged 43 (36 matches for the All Blacks)
‘Jum’ Turtill, died 9 April 1918, in France, aged 38 (1 match for the All Blacks)
Eric Harper, died 30 April 1918, in Palestine, aged 40 (11 matches for the All Blacks)
Ernest Dodd, died 11 September 1918, in France, aged 38 (3 matches for the All Blacks)
Alex Ridland, died 5 November 1918, in France, aged 36 (6 matches for the All Blacks)
Archives New Zealand's Digital Continuity team are raising awareness of the Digital Continuity Action Plan among public sector agencies based in the regions.
Dunedin Regional Archivist, Peter Miller says he was delighted that the first Digital Continuity Action Plan Roadshow was held in Dunedin at the University of Otago’s Centre for Innovation (on Monday 28 September).
“A group of fourteen people attended from the University, local government, and public offices to hear Digital Continuity Manager Evelyn Wareham and Adviser Mick Crouch outline what has been achieved so far, future plans, and expectations for managing digital information efficiently in the future,” Peter Miller said.
Two of the biggest public sector agencies in Dunedin are the University of Otago and the Dunedin City Council. Evelyn met with them separately before the forum and says they both have a strong understanding of the work Archives New Zealand is doing with the Digital Continuity Action Plan. They have been assessing their current standards and policies around managing digital information she says but still had a few issues they needed to talk through.
“One of the big issues for the council is property records. With their current resources they anticipate it would take about 80 years to digitise what they hold. They are also worried about small councils and local authorities, whether managing their own digital records, from creation to archiving, may be too much for them without the resources the larger councils have.
“Otago University on the other hand has to think about how to manage data and records from academic research as well as the huge amounts of records they accumulate during the day-to-day administration of the university.
“Members of the record keeping community who attended the forum were also very interested in what we had to say. Some of them hadn’t really been thinking about it so it was all new information for them,” said Evelyn Wareham.
Feedback from the forum was positive with attendees saying it was “…very interesting and very impressive to hear of these developments…excellent, practical/demystifying/useful – made you feel you could do something” and that they "…Found the hints on how to deal with digital material in a practical way very helpful. It reinforced knowledge of practices we are doing, as well as giving us some further ideas to take this forward – setting polices, forming communities of practice."
The Roadshow will be in Christchurch 21 October, with visits to Auckland planned for November.