Recently I attended a workshop on the Treaty of Waitangi as part of my staff training. I have to admit I was floored at how little I actually knew about what is one of the founding documents of New Zealand.
At school in history we learned about the execution of Charles I, the interregnum and then the restoration of the monarchy. I also remember lessons on Israel, Ireland and the World Wars. All of these are worthy subjects but there was little mention of what our own history looked like. I guess as a European New Zealander I was taught that my history was in Ireland and Scotland where my forefathers/mothers came from. The reality though is having visited these places it was made plain to me that I am not Irish or Scottish but a New Zealander – with a history I should know about.
One of our most recent eResource additions to the library is the Treaty of Waitangi Collection, a platform bringing together some of the vital writings on the Treaty and the Waitangi Tribunal. This platform contains multiple electronic reference books that can be read and searched individually or as a group from home or in libraries. We have come a long way from when I was in school when computers were the size of small windowless buildings and New Zealand topics were not discussed. This eResource will help others including myself understand the nation they were born and grew up in.