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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 1, Issue 4, December 1959


page Five

"What use are these historical collections?" was a question he had been asked once again only that evening at the hotel dinner table, Mr C. R. H. Taylor, Chief Librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library, told a Nelson audience. He was speaking at a Nelson Historical Society function on the Bett historical collection. He had had to think quickly, Mr Taylor said, but found no difficulty in giving the enquirer some illustrations of the practical value of historical research.

One good example was provided by the recent discussions as to whether an aeroplane had been flown in New Zealand, at Timaru, soon after the turn of the century. The enquiry had been handed over to the Turnbull Library, and from all sorts of old records it held, such as diaries, letters and newspapers, there might be produced valuable historical aviation information which would make New Zealand better known to the world.