Are you a Wonderful Relic? I am. But how do I know? I first came upon the term in one of Johnny Moore’s columns in The Press (Friday 19th August 2016). He had the following to say:
I pay myself less in my business by generating an income elsewhere – writing for the wider Fairfax audience on the Stuff platform and for those wonderful relics who keep the whole boat afloat by continuing to buy and read the physical paper.
As I was sitting up in bed at the time – sipping my morning tea and paging through said newspaper (to which I subscribe), I think we can safely say that I am a Wonderful Relic. And I love it, so much better than being an Old Age Pensioner, a Gold Card holder or a University of the Third Age wannabe.
But don’t assume you have to be old to be a Wonderful Relic. Some people are born that way – and a lot of us seem to end up working in libraries. Check your Wonderful Relic status in this little quiz:
You subscribe to a newspaper or a magazine (1 to 2 points)
You also buy books (1 point per book)
You go to Literary Festivals like WORD Christchurch (1 point)
You read poetry (1), write poetry (1), read your poems in public (off the scale Wonderful Relic – allocate yourself as many points as you like.)
You keep a paper diary (1), you keep a journal (1), you draw in both of them (off the scale Wonderful Relic – see above)
You love stationery shops – after libraries, they are your favourite places (1 point each)
And it’s not that you disdain the use of eResources, you can download eBooks using OverDrive, use PressReader, take courses on Lynda.com and play around on Photoshop with the best of them. But when push comes to shove, at heart Wonderful Relics are aesthetes – we like things to look good, we are tactile in our approach to life and that may be where technology falls short for us.
This morning I heard, yet again, the dull thud of my morning paper hitting the front door. I remembered Johnny Moore and his reference to Wonderful Relics keeping the whole publishing industry afloat and as I took my first sip of tea I thought, it’s OK Johnny because like all the other Wonderful Relics: I will go down with this ship!
Papers Past contains more than three million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1945 and includes 93 publications from all regions of New Zealand.
The latest additions are good for your Christchurch historical explorations. Copies of The Press from 1929 to 1935 have been added. Critical years of The First World War – 1915 to 1917 – have been added to the run of The Star.
Papers Past is a New Zealand taonga . This collection of digitised newspapers is an invaluable resource for students, historians, writers, researchers and anyone who wants to timetravel. Some recent additions will be of particular interest for Christchurch.
The Press now includes the years 1921 to 1928. Coverage is now from 25 May 1861 to 29 December 1928 (20192 issues)
The Star now covers issues from 1910 to 1914. The coverage is now from 4 May 1868 to 31 December 1914 (14589 issues)
Newly added is The Sun 6 February 1914 – 31 December 1915 (595 issues)
In 1912, Edward C Huie resigned from editorship of the Press Company’s Evening News in Christchurch, frustrated that the proprietors were not interested in the young Australian’s ideas about livelier journalism and layout. The Evening News’ primary role was to carry news and advertisements too late for that day’s Press. The 36-year-old Huie announced shortly afterwards his intention to launch a third evening paper, a competitor to the Evening News and the Lyttelton Times’ Star.
Last week I attended the Heritage Forum which was one of the events kicking off the Reconnect Heritage events weekend. There were a number of presentation that brought us up to date with heritage buildings and projects in Christchurch and Waimakariri.
Attendees found out about the progress of the digital earthquake archive Ceismic. This is a great source for anyone looking for first-hand earthquake stories, images and recollections in a variety of formats and from many sources, including Christchurch City Libraries. One (of many) collection of note is the digitised copies of The Press from September 2010 to February 2011 inclusive, plus 14 June 2011 and 22 February 2012.
It was great to hear how work is progressing on the Arts Centre. The project to restore the complex is going very well – keep up to date on their Tumblr page. I was fascinated to hear Brendan and Victoria’s presentation about the restoration of their heritage home in Lyttelton. They had just finished restoring their house when the first earthquake struck and following February and June had to go through the whole process again with additional bureaucracy.
Christchurch now has a unique opportunity to explore its archaeology and Underground Overground Archaeology are making the most of this. Fascinating tales revealed from clues left behind by Christchurch residents can be found on their blog – find out about hotels, life for children and the Canterbury Club, as well as many more. Quake City is Canterbury Museum‘s earthquake attraction, telling the story of the quakes through objects including the cross from the top of the cathedral spire and the Godley statue.
Next we heard about the status of some heritage buildings in the Waimakariri district. Focusing on Kaiapoi and Rangiora, we heard how many heritage buildings have been lost, such as Blackwells and the Rangiora Masonic Lodge, or are likely to go, such as Kaiapoi’s Bank of New Zealand. However, Waimakariri District Council’s Landmarks scheme is being developed to research and celebrate surviving and lost heritage buildings.
I had to leave before I could hear the presentation about post-quake Akaroa, but I really enjoyed hearing about what is being done to preserve the region’s built heritage, remember the earthquakes and uncover more about Christchurch’s past.
What did our local newspaper The Press report about women getting the right to vote on 19 September 1893?
Now that Papers Past has The Press digitised for our pleasure we can find out!
It will be an evil day for New Zealand if the female agitators are alone to vote. Why, when I see some of these voluable persons, whom I have the pleasure of knowing, I involuntarily bolt into the nearest shop for safety. What will happen to the State if these join their votes with the hysterical male women who desire to control this demented colony, I tremble to depict.
It was passed by a House, the majority of whose members are in their hearts opposed to the change. It has been forced upon the colony, the majority of the electors in which are opposed to the revolution. It has, finally, been forced upon the women of New Zealand, although the majority of them do not want the franchise, and have made no claims to obtain the privilege.
A telegram from Premier Richard Seddon to Kate Sheppard and the Executive of the W.C.T.U.:
Electoral Bill assented to by his Excellency the Governor at quarter to twelve. “I trust now that all doubts as to the sincerity of the Government in this very important matter has been effectually resolved”.
We are happy to bring you news of a fantastic resource. The first 50 years of The Press newspaper are now available online on Papers Past. This covers 1861 to 1915.
Material previously only available at our Central Library on microfilm will now be online and accessible to everyone. The project is a collaborative effort between Christchurch City Libraries and the National Library of New Zealand. The Press has also been part of this project, and this allows them to provide access to their archives.
Carolyn Robertson, the Libraries and Information Manager of Christchurch City Libraries says:
Bringing the record of the early years of Christchurch and Canterbury settlement into a fully searchable online collection is such a worthwhile collaboration between The Press, the National Library and ourselves. The Press is an invaluable resource for local history, including commentary and public comment on the events of the day, as well as the detail beloved by social and family historians. The newspaper contains notices of births, deaths and marriages, shipping notices, court reports, and the record of day to day events in the establishment of the Canterbury province. The newly digitised collection covers the early war years, and adds the Canterbury perspective to national events, such as the women’s suffrage campaign led by Kate Sheppard.