It’s DINOVEMBER at Shirley Library! Here are some photos.

Large print dinos

Cover of What the dinosaurs did last nightOnce upon a (prehistoric) time parents Refe and Susan Tuma decided to surprise their children with scenes of their plastic toy dinosaurs getting up to mischief in their house at night while they slept … one photo a day for the whole month of November, resulting in DINOVEMBER and a book of the dinosaurs exploits: What the dinosaurs did last night: A very messy adventure.

In the spirit of DINOVEMBER, the dinosaurs have come to life at Shirley Library! Come in and check out our display or see our images on Flickr. Bring in a photo to Shirley Library of your dinosaurs doing stuff (with your contact details) and we’ll put your picture up on display and you’ll go into the competition to win some dino-mo prizes. Prize drawn 1 December.

Check out the What The Dinosaurs Did Last Night book trailer on YouTube:

There’s more dinosaur action too. Dinosaur Footprints: A Story of Discovery is a national touring exhibition brought to you by GNS Science and New Zealand Oil & Gas and supported in Ōtautahi by Christchurch City Libraries is on show at Fendalton Library starting Saturday 14th November.

Find New Zealand dinosaurs stuff (non-fiction) in our collection.

Cover of Lost Worlds of Aotearoa Cover of Dino-birds Cover of Yes! we had dinosaurs Cover of Dinosaur New Zealand Cover of Dinosaurs

Shirley Library

The Amazing New Zealand International Exhibition 1906

The dragon, New Zealand International Exhibition 1906/7, Hagley Park, Christchurch , File Reference CCL PhotoCD 4, IMG0034

Brainchild of Premier Richard Seddon, the New Zealand International Exhibition of Arts and Industries opened in Hagley Park on 1 November 1906. There are heaps of resources on our website about the exhibition, which was designed to showcase New Zealand’s distinctiveness.

For an overview of the ins and outs of the exhibition our online guide is a must. You can find out about the incredible buildings that housed this extensive exhibition, the many display courts – the Tourism Court included a replica and not entirely politically correct Rotorua, and the different entertainments and exhibits, including the strictly non-educational Wonderland.

A view of Wonderland
A view of Wonderland and the rest of the New Zealand International Exhibition 1906-1907 from the top of the waterchute [1906] CCL PhotoCD 12, IMG0003
People came from far and wide to see the exhibition. This lovely photo on Kete Christchurch shows two gentleman visitors who’d come all way the from Kumara in Westland.

New Zealand International Exhibition : southern half of the main avenue. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 4, IMG0013

Hagley Park must have been a sight to behold and we have plenty of photos in our digital images collection to pore over. I’m rather taken with the magnificent dragon pictured above and also this image of the southern half of the main avenue – I’m amazed at the size and detail that’s gone into this construction.

As well as images we’ve also digitised publications and other items about the exhibition. This Certificate of Attendance and exhibition souvenir are just a gorgeous mementos of a fabulous day out.

Certificate of attendance
Certificate of attendance, Mr. and Mrs. Parker of Wellington, 11th April 1907 CCL Archive 818

In terms of reading material The Official Record of the New Zealand International Exhibition of Arts and Industries is nothing if not exhaustive. I haven’t had time to look through it all, but I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the list of awards and prize competitions. There were awards and medals for absolutely everything – some representative samples of West Coast alluvial gold won gold and a James Petrie of Timaru also won gold for his burglar-proof self-locking sash and frame window.

All these resources are a fascinating glimpse into life in New Zealand just over 100 years ago. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall.

More resources

Happy Birthday Douglas Lilburn

Today is 100 years since the birth of NZ composer Douglas Lilburn (1915-2001). Stream some of his music!

LILBURN, D.: Violin and Piano Duos (J. Cormack, M. Houston)LILBURN, D.: String Quartet in E Minor / Phantasy / Canzonettas / Duos / String Trio (New Zealand String Quartet)LILBURN: Electro-Acoustic WorksLILBURN: Orchestral WorksFARQUHAR, D.: Prospero Dreaming / Suite / LILBURN, D.: Pieces for Guitar / 4 Canzonas (New Zealand Guitar Music) (Herbig)LILBURN, D.: String Quartet in E Minor / Violin Sonata / Duo / Canzonettas / String Trio (Riseley, New Zealand School of Music Chamber Players)LILBURN, D.: Piano Music (Houstoun)LILBURN: Complete Piano Music, Vol. 1LILBURN: Complete Piano Music, Vol. 2

Read more on our page on Douglas Lilburn.

Listen to RNZ National’s Douglas: Landscape of a New Zealand composer.

Te Kupu o Te Wiki – Hiamoe (tired/sleepy)

Kia ora. To encourage the use of Te Reo Māori we are publishing weekly kupu (words) and phrases that can be used with children.


E kore te pātiki e hoki ki tōna puehu
The flounder (fish) does not return to his dust

Do not make the same mistake twice.

Kīwaha (idiom)

Wheo kē

Kupu (word)


Kei te hiamoe koe?
Are you tired/sleepy?

Whāngahia te Reo


This week in Christchurch history (2 to 8 November)

2 November 1899
Balloonist Captain Lorraine lost at sea after an ascent from Lancaster Park.

Balloonist Captain Lorraine shown in his first successful ascent in Christchurch [1899]
Balloonist Captain Lorraine shown in his first successful ascent in Christchurch [1899], CCL PhotoCD 6, IMG0077
2 November 1914
Riccarton (Deans) Bush presented to the city by the Deans family.

4 November 1876
Night cycle races held at Lancaster Park. The experiment was not a success – the gas illumination was completely inadequate.

4 November 1989
Record crowd of 60,000 at Lancaster Park to see Irish Rock Band U2.

5 November 1979
Regent Theatre gutted by fire.

6 November 1830
Te Rauparaha‘s war party massacres the inhabitants of Akaroa and returns to Kapiti Island.

6 November 1918
Beginning of the influenza epidemic which was eventually to kill 466 people in Christchurch.

People using the inhalation chamber in the Government Buildings in Cathedral Square, Christchurch [1918]
People using the inhalation chamber in the Government Buildings in Cathedral Square, Christchurch [1918], CCL PhotoCD 2, IMG0052
8 November 8 1956
Last trolley bus runs.

More November events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.