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

Sources and resources

Sources and resources

This section describes the major local collections of Pacific Island language material and the most useful bibliographic sources relating to New Zealand's publishing history, together with a brief summary of the development of library services in the islands.

Major collections

While most libraries report their current holdings of books and serials to the New Zealand Bibliographic Network (NZBN) database, and its predecessors, this is not always the case with Pacific Island language publications. It is important for researchers to approach libraries individually with enquiries about such material as some holdings are only available as in-house listings, and many other catalogue entries are too brief to be informative. There is no comprehensive listing of national holdings of official publications.

The major local collections of Pacific Island language material produced in New Zealand and its island territories are:

  • Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand: large historical collection including religious works, ethnology, and language, also more recent educational readers, serials and newspapers
  • Auckland Public Library: strong in religious publications
  • Auckland Institute and Museum Library: Oceanic languages collection, strongest in Samoan and Cook Islands publications
  • University of Auckland Library, New Zealand and Pacific Collection: significant holdings of Pacific official publications and current materials. It compiles the South Pacific Official Publications database
  • University of Canterbury, Macmillan Brown Library: strongest in holdings of post-1970 official publications

Some public libraries have developed services specifically for Pacific Islanders—Manukau Library and Information Services has separate reference-only Polynesian collections in its branch libraries at Otara and Mangere, as does Porirua Public Library.

Bibliographies and indexes

No single bibliography covers New Zealand's print culture in Pacific Island languages, and relevant items must be sought from general listings for New Zealand or the four island territories. Many bibliographies are not annotated, so items must be examined in order to identify the language. There is a need for annotated bibliographies with comprehensive subject access and which also note the language used.

General bibliographic reference tools such as Bagnall's New Zealand National Bibliography to 1960 and its successor the annual current National Bibliography are useful starting points for Pacific Island language material, together with (for periodical articles) the Index to New Zealand Periodicals and associated electronic databases.

Significant specialist bibliographies and indexes include:

W.G. Coppell, 'A bibliography of the Cook Islands' (1971). More comprehensive than James, but the only identified copy in New Zealand is at Victoria University of Wellington

——, 'Bibliographies of the Kermadec Islands, Niue, Swains Island and the Tokelau Islands' (1975): Appendix A: 61 items in Niuean.

Hawaii Pacific Journal Index (database): indexes over fifty journals, including the Polynesian Society Journal from 1892 onwards. Available on the Internet at: http://www2.hawaii.edu/lib/

Lowell D. Holmes (ed.), Samoan Islands Bibliography (1984): American and Western Samoan works, including unpublished items; subject access but no annotations or index

H. Bond James, A Bibliography of Publications in Cook Islands Maori (1953): incomplete listing; 134 annotated entries. More readily available than Coppell

Polynesian Society, Journal (1892- ): three main indexes: Centennial Index 1892-1991: author and subject index; previous indexes, to vols.1-75 (1892-1966) and vols.76-90 (1967-81) include additional title information

H. Roth, South Pacific Government Serials (1973) notes items not in English, or bilingual. Updated by South Pacific Official Publications database at University of Auckland Library

Samoa: A National Bibliography (1996) approx 2,500 published and unpublished items, including serial articles; no subject index or annotations. Based on holdings of a number of Western Samoan libraries and organisations, it omits many items held elsewhere

C.R.H. Taylor, A Pacific Bibliography, 2nd ed. 1965: chiefly ethnographic and historical works; indigenous language items mainly grammars and dictionaries

Tokelau National Bibliography (1992): 228 items; books and unpublished typescripts published in/about Tokelau, by Tokelauan authors, or in Tokelauan, no date restriction; indexed. Also available on NZBN database with items published since 1992.

Library services and education

The 1950s and 1960s saw the beginning of public library services for residents in the island territories. By 1955 the Cook Islands had a small public library built by volunteers, supplied with a regular exchange of books by the New Zealand Country Library Service. In Apia, Western Samoa, a public lending and reference service was established in 1957 in temporary accommodation. The New Zealand government assisted with funding for a new building constructed in 1959. A library opened in Niue in 1923, with donated materials. In the 1950s the Country Library Service provided the circulating library in Niue with books, then in 1962 assisted with setting up a small public library. Tokelau has small libraries in its schools, but no public library.

The National Library of New Zealand is a member of several Pacific Island library and archives networks. It offers bibliographic support to the University of the South Pacific Library and the Cook Islands and has provided professional assistance in a conservation workshop and with collection organisation. Major bibliographical publications relating to Pacific Island countries include the Tokelau National Bibliography (1992) and Sally Edridge's Solomon Islands Bibliography (1985).

Although only one person (a Cook Islander in 1965) is known to have studied in New Zealand under the then Government Training Scheme, the National Library has hosted some Pacific Islanders in training placements over the last decade.

black and white reprint

Pukapukan is a distinct language spoken on the Northern Cook Islands atoll of Pukapuka (1996 population 780) where Johnny Frisbie Hebenstreit, the author of this story ('A Quiet Night'), was born. Up to 2,000 Pukapukans are estimated to live in New Zealand, mainly in Auckland. After Learning Media had published the story in six other Pacific Island languages, the specialist Pukapukan publisher Mataaliki Press in Auckland produced this version Pō Lāwie in the author's mother tongue in 1992. Reproduced with the permission of the Ministry of Education, Wellington (illustration), and Mataaliki Press (text).