Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

A Bibliography of Printed Maori to 1900


page break


The publication of Dr. Hocken's Bibliography in 1909 placed in the hands of those interested in the subject a reference list of works printed in Maori; but the use of it not infrequently leads to disappointment. The peculiar method of arrangement—partly by subject-matter, partly by date — causes grave inconvenience, which is increased by the fact that the sorting according to subject is not always carefully carried out, and in one or two cases the main entry is in the English portion of the Bibliography. It would appear that, with the exception of Kendall's Korao, he did not admit into his list any work of which he did not himself possess a copy. At any rate, he omits items which are accurately described by Bleek in his catalogue of Sir G. Grey's library at Cape Town, and he takes no notice of others which he might easily have inspected in the Grey Collection in Auckland. On the other hand, there are not a few leaflets and pamphlets in his own collection which are also omitted.

These deficiencies, and others, the present writer had, from time to time, supplied by Ms. annotations in his own copy of Hocken. But, as time went on, these annotations became so numerous that the conviction was unavoidable that the use of them should be made available to others. But before this could be done the whole subject demanded thorough and systematic treatment.

In attempting such treatment the writer has received much kind assistance from those who had books to be inspected or knowledge to impart. Foremost among these was the late Mr. A. H. Turnbull, without whose encouragement this attempt would never have been made. His library was always open to inspection, and he himself always ready with information and advice. Mr. J. C. Andersen, now in charge of the library, has done his utmost to carry on Mr. Turnbull's policy in this respect. The Hocken Collection was ransacked, every assistance being afforded by the librarian, Mr. H. D. Skinner. The writer's notes of the Grey Collection at Cape Town were again consulted and supplemented with information kindly supplied by the librarian, Mr. A. C. Lloyd. The Maori books and pamphlets in the Auckland Public Library were thoroughly examined, a task which was considerably lightened by the help of Mr. J. Barr. Useful information has also been given by Mr. H. Wright, of the Mitchell Library, in Sydney. None of these gentlemen seemed ever to tire of answering importunate questions on points which must frequently have seemed trivial.

page iv

It was necessary on entering upon the work to assign to it definite limits. It was, therefore, in the first place decided not to carry the work beyond 1900. It appeared to the writer that he might be considered to have special facilities for dealing with the earlier periods, but that the continuation from that date should offer no insuperable obstacles to any one who might be tempted to take it in hand.

As to matter, any work, however small, printed wholly in Maori, or in Maori with a translation, has been admitted; so also any work dealing wholly with the Maori language—as, for example, a dictionary. Bat it has been thought better to exclude works of wider scope, a portion only of which is in Maori or deals with the Maori language, except in cases where such portions are found issued separately. This method shuts out the linguistic portions of the works of Savage, Nicholas, and Dieffenbach; but if these were to be admitted it is difficult to see where the line should be drawn.

In order to make the enumeration as complete as possible, entries have been made based not only on the actual examination of a copy of the work, but also upon information gathered from any reliable source which was available. No efforts have been spared in checking such information, and in obtaining, if possible, an exact description of an existing copy of the work referred to. If it has not been found possible to trace a copy of any item, the fact has been mentioned, and the authority generally given for the inclusion of the entry. In this connexion use has been made, among other documents, of Colenso's "Day Book," now in the Alexander Turnbull Library, of reports made to the Church Missionary Society, and of diaries and letters of early missionaries and settlers. The value of the method adopted has been established as the work proceeded. For example, Colenso recorded the printing in 1839 of. He Kupu Ui, Bishop Pompallier referred to Ko nga tahi Pono, while the Rev. J. Hobbs mentioned in a letter the Maramatakahaere (1844), and all were recorded with such meagre details as were available; but only recently have copies of these been found which have allowed of an accurate description being given. Similar references have been found to an early Catechism issued by the Wesleyan Mission, and to "Scripture Extracts" printed by Bishop Pompallier, but these have, so far, eluded discovery.

The arrangement here adopted is chronological, and the date of an item will, in general, be an indication of its place in the book. In some cases, however, a series has for convenience been kept together, and in a few cases the strict chronological order has been inadvertently departed from. But there is a large number of undated papers and pamphlets: these have been assigned to positions by conjecture, sometimes supported by high probability. In a few cases later and fuller information has proved the conjecture to have been seriously at fault. It is too much page vto hope that it will ever be made a criminal offence to issue a book without its date, but the date has often more than a merely bibliographical value. Incidentally it may be mentioned that no small proportion of the undated items were published by Chapman, of Auckland, who seemed almost to make it a matter of conscience never to put a date upon anything but an almanac. The irregularities of order are not relatively high, and it is hoped that reference to the Index will obviate any serious inconvenience therefrom.

The entries have, for convenience of reference, been numbered consecutively. Since the numbering was completed fresh items have come to light, and it has been necessary to interpolate: the interpolation has been indicated by letters. One or two numbers have been omitted, as it was found that entries had been duplicated.

In the case of some items the main entry has been subdivided into sections under roman numeration. It has not always been easy to decide whether such an entry should be so subdivided or should preferably have been broken up into several main entries. If the volume is usually found embracing all the subdivisions, the former treatment has been adopted. The same method has also sometimes been used with a number of works forming a single series. The reader's forbearance is craved for any inconsistency of treatment.

Title-pages and short titles are given when present. If there is no title-page the entry is described under the heading of the first page. A few items have no heading, and have, therefore, a descriptive title assigned to them.

In the title-pages descriptive details, such as "Royal Arms," "Cut," &c., are given in square brackets; otherwise the lettering is as on the title-page.

The size of page is given in millimetres, and is that of the paper in the copy examined. The number of pages is given to the last printed page of the actual work, omitting blanks at the end or pages of advertisement. Subsidiary pagination has been noted. Occasionally it has been thought advisable to specify the size of type. Illustrations are generally noted.

Following the measurements, pagination, &c., will be found a general description of contents, which has, in some cases, been made somewhat detailed. But no attempt has been made to appraise the merits, literary or otherwise, of such contents.

An introductory essay has been prefixed to the actual bibliography. A short review has been made of the sources of the Maori literature dealt with, in which an endeavour has been made to trace the history of the various Mission and other private presses concerned. The most important collections of Maori books and pamphlets are mentioned, and a sketch given of the bibliographical material hitherto available. A few special page viclasses of entries are dealt with, such as Bibles, Prayer Books, and newspapers; and some interesting notes have been added with regard to unfinished works and variations between copies of a single edition.

An alphabetical index has been provided, also a list of authors and translators, and one of printers.

The compilation of this catalogue has, it must be admitted, involved a certain amount of drudgery, but this has been more than set off by the satisfaction of successful' quest; and the monotony of lists of Acts of Parliament and public papers has been outweighed by the interest of problems raised in regard to many of the early publications; while there was always the possibility of some delightful surprise, such as finding Sir George Grey setting type in Bishop Selwyn's printing office at Waimate in 1845 (see No. 126).

It would be lunacy to hope that the list here given is complete—or ever can be complete—and vanity to claim that it is free from errors; but it is hoped that at least it may be useful.

With a view to making a second edition more complete and accurate, the writer will be glad to receive from users of this work any additions or corrections which ought to be made, particularly details of items which have not yet been seen.

In addition to the gentlemen mentioned in earlier paragraphs, thanks are due to Mr. H. S. King, of the Native Department, for information in regard to Maori translations of Acts of Parliament; also to a large number of personal friends and acquaintances for a kindly indulgence in allowing the examination of books and papers, and for open-handed generosity in the bestowal of specimens of the greatest interest and value; and, lastly, to the Government Printer and his staff for their courteous assistance and expedition in putting this work through the press.

Herbert W. Williams.

Naurea, February 20, 1924.