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

Access tools

Access tools

Access tools are the means by which information relating to print culture can be identified and located. New Zealand has a wide range of these tools to access the wide range of print culture items. The most important of these are bibliographies and indexes (including resources such as library or publishers' catalogues and listings of books in print). General reference sources (without a specific print culture purpose) may be useful starting points for either general background or specific types of information, e.g. biographical.

Bibliographies and indexes

A useful overview of these, though now rather dated, can be found in J.E. Traue's New Zealand Studies: A Guide to Bibliographic Resources (1985). As well as general guides, it very briefly covers the following formats: printed monographs, printed serials, theses, manuscripts, music, Māori music, oral history, film, visual images and maps.

Bibliographies may be comprehensive in scope, such as a national bibliography, or limited by format such as theses, newspapers or Māori printed material. Bibliographies on specific subject areas are outside the scope of this section.

The most significant New Zealand bibliography is the six-volume New Zealand National Bibliography to the Year 1960 (1969-85) compiled by A.G. Bagnall. As well as being a listing of New Zealand imprints it includes books and pamphlets published overseas with New Zealand content. This replaces earlier attempts at comprehensive bibliography, in particular the work of T.M. Hocken (1909) supplemented by A.H. Johnstone (1927) and L.J.B. Chapple (1938) and also that of A.S. Thomson (1859) and J. Collier (1889). Although heavily inclusive, some categories of material are excluded—these are listed fully in the introduction to volume 2—such as school textbooks, local election leaflets and parliamentary papers. Volume 1 (in two physical parts) covering the period to 1889 has full bibliographic description, annotations, and the library symbol where the copy was seen. Indexes contain subject entries, titles, added entries for joint authors, illustrators and other types of responsibility, and a chronological index. Volume 5 contains addenda, and an index to the 1890-1960 volumes.

Material after 1960 can be found in the annual 'Current National Bibliography', issued by the National Library Service until the formation of the National Library of New Zealand (in 1965) which continued to produce the New Zealand National Bibliography (NZNB). It appeared in print form until 1983 and is now available in microfiche or online through the New Zealand Bibliographic Network (NZBN). In addition to monographs NZNB lists new, changed and ceased serial titles, as well as maps, music, art prints and sound recordings.

Works currently available for sale are listed in New Zealand Books in Print (1957- ), published irregularly at first, but now annual, and complemented by the specialist New Zealand Children's Books in Print (1988- ). Individual publishers' catalogues may also be useful.

The New Zealand Library Association (NZLA) published a number of useful items including John Harris's Guide to New Zealand Reference Material and other Sources of Information (2nd ed. 1950, with supplements in 1951 and 1957). An attempt was made by Massey University Library in the 1970s to update this, but after eight subject parts had appeared the project was abandoned. Another NZLA venture, A Bibliography of New Zealand Bibliographies (1967) compiled by Simon Cauchi, is still a good starting point for early material. A useful annual production for information on recent and current work, compiled by Tony Millett and published by Waikato University since 1980, is Bibliographical Work in New Zealand: Work in Progress and Work Published.

A bird's-eye view of material up to the late 1970s can be found in the New Zealand volume of the World Bibliographic Series (1980) compiled by Ray Grover. This useful volume contains 878 annotated entries arranged in 40 broad subject groupings covering aspects of both the people and the country designed to express the culture. Most of the items are monographs, though some periodical articles are included when they are more topical. This publication is currently being updated.

There is no comprehensive listing of New Zealand serials though details of recently published titles can be found on NZBN, and Nielsen Publishing's biannual Media Directory (founded in 1976 as the Advertising Directory and Media Planner) is a useful source of information on current periodicals (by subject) and newspapers, including community newspapers. The Union List of Serials in New Zealand Libraries (1970 and 1975 supplement) contains full bibliographic information for earlier titles and also where they are held.

Although there is no comprehensive bibliography of New Zealand newspapers a good substitute is Ross Harvey's Union List of Newspapers Preserved in Libraries, Newspaper Offices and Museums in New Zealand (1987). Newspapers published in New Zealand are arranged by town of publication and then by title. A title index is provided and microform holdings are also noted.

The bibliographic control for theses submitted to New Zealand universities is fairly comprehensive. Originally published in 1965 as the Union List of Theses of the University of New Zealand, 1910-54 there have been nine supplements taking coverage up to 1992, with current theses being catalogued on NZBN. The Union List and supplements are arranged in broad subject groups with author indexes and subject indexes after 1962. All the universities provide some regular form of listing for recently presented theses, some are in the calendar and others are produced more informally.

Bibliographical control of manuscripts and archives is not comprehensive and it is particularly difficult to find the holdings of many small repositories.
Black and white photgraph

This photograph of 78-year old Ella Baker of Hokianga Harbour was taken in 1950 by National Publicity Studios photographer K.V. Bigwood. Mrs Baker, who died in 1966 at the age of 93, was the youngest of 11 children of one of Hokianga's earliest European settlers and traders, Johnny Webster, who carved the fish chair out of a single pūriri log. National Archives: National Publicity Studios Photographic Collection [Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ, reference number F-40183-1/2- (A20,401)])

In volume 1 of the Union Catalogue of New Zealand and Pacific Manuscripts in New Zealand Libraries (1968) is an incomplete listing of the holdings of a number of institutions other than the Alexander Turnbull Library, the holdings of which appear in volume 2 (1969). In 1979 another attempt was made to list this material but this time in a looseleaf format with comprehensive indexes by time, area subject and proper names. The National Register of Archives and Manuscripts in New Zealand appeared irregularly in paper and microfiche form until December 1992, but the publication is currently suspended as there have been difficulties with many smaller institutions being unable to submit information. A working group is currently looking at this and it is hoped it will be possible to provide some online access in a less complex form. Archifacts, the journal of the Archives and Records Association of New Zealand (ARANZ) lists recent collections of archives, and the Alexander Turnbull Library's manuscript acquisitions are listed in the Turnbull Library Record.

Early Māori imprints are listed in H.W. Williams's Bibliography of Printed Maori to 1900 (1924, supplement 1928) was updated by an unpublished typescript which includes material to 1945, prepared by A.D. Sommerville as a library school bibliography. Entries are arranged in chronological order with title pages bibliographically transcribed, and useful notes describing contents. The Alexander Turnbull Library is working on a complete revision incorporating a large amount of new information, including entries for many items unknown to Williams. The new publication, expected within two years, will be in book form.

Although there is no general bibliography of maps, some useful publications dealing with specialised areas have been produced. A notable contribution has been by R.P. Hargreaves who between 1962 and 1971 produced eight compilations, mainly dealing with 19th-century material, including: French Explorers' Maps of New Zealand; Maps of New Zealand Appearing in British Parliamentary Papers and Maps in New Zealand Provincial Council Papers. For older maps the best means of access is through the catalogues of libraries such as Alexander Turnbull Library and the Hocken Library; other map collections can be located through The Directory of New Zealand Map Collections (1989). Maps currently produced have been included in the current New Zealand National Bibliography since 1966 as a continuation of the map section of Copyright Publications (1949-65).

For accessing the contents of New Zealand periodical literature, the most important and useful tool is Index to New Zealand Periodicals (1941-86) and its successor Index New Zealand (INNZ, 1987- ). The coverage of periodicals and the subject headings used have changed over time, with earlier volumes tending to concentrate on the needs of public libraries. The final volume of the Index in 1986 states in the introduction that it includes 186 titles and covers only articles of lasting value. Articles relating to New Zealand in overseas journals are included, as well as some conference proceedings. The emphasis is on humanities and social science particularly after 1980 when New Zealand Science Abstracts was established to cover scientific material.

The Index appeared in annual paper volumes and on microfiche, but was not cumulated, so each year must be searched individually. INNZ is an online database on the National Library's Kiwinet service from which annual microfiche issues have been produced with a cumulation covering 1987-91. In 1994 a CD-ROM version was produced which is now updated quarterly. Some periodicals are comprehensively indexed while others may be covered selectively, as only articles of at least half a page in length are included. Some material is covered from major metropolitan newspapers as well as biographical material from some 20 provincial newspapers. Book reviews are listed under the book title, continuing the practice of including book reviews in the earlier Index.

Scholarly journals in the social sciences, art and humanities are indexed as well as some monographs in series, chapters in books, theses and conferences in these disciplines. All entries for this research-type material include an abstract in a similar fashion to the three annual volumes of New Zealand Social Science Research Abstracts which cover material from 1985 to 1987. Newzindex (1979- ) is a monthly index (also available on Kiwinet) of New Zealand business and trade articles with selected items from magazines, newsletters and newspapers.

Parliamentary papers and other official publications are a rich source of information on a very broad range of topics of print culture interest, referred to throughout this book. Such material can be complex to identify and trace, but J.B. Ringer's Introduction to New Zealand Government (1991) is an invaluable guide to anyone exploring this material.

Access to books printed before 1801 and held in New Zealand libraries has been greatly improved by the publication of Early Imprints in New Zealand Libraries: A Finding List of Books Printed before 1801 held in the Wellington Region (1995). This publication, part of the Australian and New Zealand Early Imprints Project, is intended as a guide to the location of holdings. Individual entries are brief, with reference to authoritative bibliographies. Many of the items are held in the Alexander Turnbull Library, but items from 18 other libraries in the lower North Island are also included. The Alexander Turnbull Library also holds the master file of records of holdings elsewhere in New Zealand, some of which are searchable on the Internet via the British Library's ESTC database.

General reference sources

A good general starting point for any researcher is Studying New Zealand History (2nd ed. 1992) by G.A. Wood and revised by Cauchi. Although the emphasis is on historical research the coverage is broad enough to encompass theatre and music. A third edition is expected shortly. The annual New Zealand Official Yearbook (1893- ) is an essential New Zealand current reference work, providing a vast amount of commentary on virtually every aspect of life in New Zealand. Consulting volumes over a period of time offers a handy means of tracking changes in policy and statistical information. The 1990 sesquicentennial issue is particularly valuable as it was enhanced by historical surveys and extracts from earlier volumes.

The most comprehensive encyclopaedia is still A.H. McLintock's three-volume Encyclopaedia of New Zealand (1966), which includes biographical and subject entries, and is well indexed. Although dated, and articles are of varying quality, no revised edition is planned. The illustrated part-work publication New Zealand's Heritage (1971-73) includes some articles of relevance to New Zealand print culture history.

Now of historic interest, the six-volume Cyclopedia of New Zealand: Industrial, Descriptive, Historical, Biographical, Facts, Figures, Illustrations (1897-1908) is mainly useful for biographical information (arranged by locality) on individuals and businesses, though not entirely trustworthy. Directories (dating from the 1840s onwards) provide some basic information on commercial activities; refer to Hansen's Directory Directory (1992) for further assistance in this area of research.

The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (1990- ) provides the first comprehensive and authoritative approach to biographical information; three of the planned five volumes have been produced so far, covering from 1769 to 1920. The project is due for completion in 2000, with the final volume to cover to 1960, and a major database of information available to researchers has been compiled in the process. The selection policy is broader than similar overseas projects and the Categories Index provides a subject approach to the entries, a number of which are relevant to print culture. The Book of New Zealand Women: Ko Kui ma te Kaupapa (1991) is a biographical dictionary also with a broad approach and a detailed subject index. Oral history archives could also be investigated as a source of unpublished information.

Pictorial material can be approached through major organised institutional collections (such as the Alexander Turnbull Library's, now also available on the Internet through its Timeframes service, or the New Zealand Film Archive), newspaper archives, and commercial photographic libraries.