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Book & Print in New Zealand : A Guide to Print Culture in Aotearoa

The Carnegie Corporation

The Carnegie Corporation

The first mention of the Carnegie Corporation in this essay had to do with the training of librarians. However, most would remember the Carnegie grants for the construction of free libraries. These buildings constituted a topic for a Fulbright Research Scholar who worked at the National Library in 1993, and later for an exhibition shown by the Library. Few of the 18 buildings remain, and few of the survivors are still operated as libraries. Some of them were described in 'Six lost, twelve remain', New Zealand Historic Places (60, Sept. 1996, pp.22-24).

The Carnegie Corporation's more significant investment in New Zealand library development was directed at people, the people who were supported in their studies in Europe and the United States in the 1930s and 1940s and came back to New Zealand to play crucial roles in the development of library service, and the others from outside New Zealand who were sponsored by the Corporation to conduct enquiries into the state of New Zealand library service. The story of the contact between the Carnegie Corporation and New Zealand is told by Rochester (1981, 1990).

With New Zealand's graduation to the status of a 'developed library country' the Carnegie Corporation eventually withdrew. An account of the last general Carnegie contribution is recorded in New Zealand Libraries (1950), but it needs to be noted that Carnegie funding was again in evidence in the surveys conducted by Osborn (1960) and Fenwick (1975).