Tailors with a fine line in typography, 1902

This firm, which was one of the first of its kind in Christchurch, was founded by the senior partner in 1860. Mr. Fletcher was born in the centre of the woollen industry in the west of England, at Stroude, Gloucestershire, where he served his apprenticeship. He arrived in Christchurch just after the eighth anniversary of the province, and opened a shop on the site still occupied by the firm, and has seen the growth and development of the city. His son, Mr. H. J. Fletcher, after serving an apprenticeship to the practical part of the business, went to London in 1889 to gain experience in cutting …  Messrs. Fletcher and Son are direct importers, and their experience of the English woollen trade brings them in touch with the best mills. The total number of hands employed by the firm is twenty-five, and none but experienced cutters and workmen are engaged.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District] The Cyclopedia Company, Limited, 1903, Christchurch. NZETC

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We have digitised a rather splendid 1902 publication Tourists’ guide to Canterbury.

I will share some of the interesting ads and pictures from it in a series of posts – there’s lots of information about local businesses and places in 1902.

Merry Christmas from all our bloggers

Our team of bloggers is not quite as big as the Humm family and we will be far apart this Christmas Day but we all join together in wishing our readers a happy day. Keep watching – we’ve got more great blogs and images in the pipeline.

Christchurch – this week in history (24 December – 30 December)

26 December 1863
Opening of the Royal Princess Theatre, the city’s first true theatre. It had been the Canterbury Music Hall.

26 December 1870
First rowing regatta on the Avon. This photo shows a 1921 regatta.

26 December 1879
Serious Catholic/Protestant riot in Manchester Street.

27 December 1850
“Cressy” arrives. These 4 ships brought a total of 773 settlers. Although Cantabrians like to commemorate these “first four ships”, there were actually 8 chartered vessels which brought 1500 Canterbury Association settlers in the first few months. By the following December, 19 ships had brought over 3000 settlers.

More December events in our Christchurch chronology.

Biography and Memoir: picks from our latest newsletter

Some picks from our December Biography and Memoir newsletter:

Cover: Total RecallCover: Mao The Real StoryCover: Dreaming in ColourCover: Country Girl Cover: Operation SnowCover: 100% Official Justin BieberCover: Air Kiss & TellCover: Agent GarboCover: The Open SideCover: Michael Morpurgo War Child to War HorseCover: The Company We KeepCover: Il Duce and His WomenCover: Leonardo and the Last SupperCover: The Wolf and the WatchmanCover: Operation Mincemeat

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Have you read any of these books? If so, we’d love your feedback!

All I want for Christmas

I already have two front teeth, so next on my list of Christmas requests has got to be a whole bunch of book and movie treats.  Admittedly a lot of these are wishful thinking, but hey, you never know …

  • The Twelve – the sequel to Justin Cronin’s giant 2011 bestseller The Passage. I’ve made it all the way to Number 1 on the holds list, but it’s such a huge book, I still think that maybe it won’t arrive in time for the post-Christmas lie-down reading session I have planned.
  • Homeland season 1 – managed to miss this on TV somehow, and I just KNOW I’m going to love it.
  • John Dies at the End – the movie. The book was one of my top picks last year, (and the sequel is very close to the top of this year’s Best Of list). Seems like I’ve been watching movie trailers for this one for aaages, but apparently a DVD release isn’t too far off, even if we miss out on a theatre release.
  • The final of Dean Koontz’s Christopher Snow series. This one is but a distant dream, I think, but I live in hope. Fear Nothing and Seize the Night are my two favourite Koontz books, but it seems I am alone over here – everyone else loves Odd Thomas, and it’s Odd who keeps getting the sequels. Sigh.
  • Tickets to see The Hobbit.  Hmm. Should I be afraid?
  • The latest books by Jim Butcher, Simon Green (either the Nightside or the Drood series, I’m not fussy), and Preston & Child.
  • Anything new by Neil, China, Nick, Lee or Tom

And finally,

  • A surprise!  You know, one of those books that you somehow stumble across and pick up with no expectations at all, and then end up absolutely besotted with.  These are, of course, the hardest ones to find, because you have to have a) no expectations, b) no plan, and c) no helpful pre-loaded recommendations from friends.  I reckon this would be the best Christmas present ever.  (Just so you know …)

Fiction A to Z: picks from our latest newsletter

Some picks from our December Fiction A to Z  newsletter:

Cover: Telegraph AvenueCover: The Lost PrinceCover: One Good Friend Deserves AnotherCover: May We Be ForgivenCover: The Elephant Keepers' ChildrenCover: Zoo TimeCover: MInding FrankieCover: Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour BookstoreCover: This Charming ManCover: Love and SummerCover: Pomegranata Soup

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Have you read any of these books? If so, we’d love your feedback!

Nature and Science covers for December

A selection of covers from our Nature and Science newsletter for December 2012.Subscribe to get the full newsletter in your inbox every month.

covercover cover  covercover

cover  cover

New Brighton Christmas Parade 2006: Picturing Canterbury

2006 New Brighton Christmas Parade

New Brighton staff dressed up for the Christmas Parade, 2006

Hitler’s missing years – new evidence, new insights

Hitler’s early life has long been an inscrutable mystery. Read any book about him and you will discover how little can be pinned down as fact. What does stand out is the paradox that he was clearly an unremarkable drifter who somehow managed to garner significant popular support in the early 1930s and ultimately became Reich Chancellor. All books to date struggle to offer a convincing explanation for this, posing more questions than they answer.

The origin of this problemFind this in our libraries stems from the highly distorted and selective historical record Hitler left us. His book Mein Kampf is his largely invented heroic account of his experiences as a soldier in the First World War and how that crucible forged his world view and ‘calling’ to lead Germany back to greatness. At this time he was becoming a prominent public figure taking pains to suppress, destroy or distort any evidence or any one threatening to contradict his own version of his life. Historians have had to rely unsatisfactorily on Mein Kampf along with the few surviving crumbs of credible historical evidence.

However not all of the credible evidence has been lost to us. Recently the German historian Thomas Weber got lucky when the Bavarian State archives recovered the dusty, previously lost war diary of the regiment Hitler served in during the First World War. It proved a valuable mine of information which contradicts many of the assertions Hitler made about his war service and the war generally. The diary also provided Weber with leads to other previously unknown sources such as descendants of the men who served with Hitler. His book Hitler’s First War at last opens up a window on Hitler’s early life.
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What was new and interactive in 2012?

That fact that 2012 has come and gone fills me with some horror. I was told that as you get older time speeds upBusyThings, but this is ridiculous! I can remember when I was young  it seemed to take years just to get to the May school holidays; now I can’t even remember what happened in May. Actually, I am not sure what happened this morning…  What I am sure of, though,  is that we did have a bumper year at the library when it came to introducing new online resources at the Source! Here is but a sample:

TumbleBookCloud: e-books, chapter books, graphic novels, videos, and audio books for young adults;

BusyThings: colourful and quirky games and activities for ankle biters;National Geographic

National Geographic Virtual Archive: digital archive of the world renowned magazine;

Auto Reference Repair Center: repair and maintenance information for those who drive [subscription ended June 2013];

Road to IELTS : General and Academic: a self-study preparation course to help candidates prepare for the globally recognized IELTS exam;

Mango: language learning online;Mango!

Sunday Times Digital Archive 1822-2006: fully searchable digital archive of the British Sunday Times newspaper.

There really is something for everyone at the Source! Have a peek and a play, as these resources are available in community libraries and from home 24/7 with your library card number and PIN.