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Nau mai ki te kawerongo o Ngā Taonga – welcome to our newsletter

Here's our last newsletter for 2020 – what a year it's been! We share a couple more of our top stories from the year and some great parts of the collection you can enjoy over the summer break.

Our next newsletter will be out mid-January. Till then we hope you and those you care about have a fun, safe and relaxing summer. Best wishes from all of us at Ngā Taonga.

Exploring the Online Catalogue

Stack of film cans at the Taupō Pā vault.

Our online catalogue has a huge amount of material to keep you busy this summer. We have plenty of sports coverage, recordings of raranga weaving, and tramping in the outdoors.

We've got a stack of classic ads and some of our favourite music videos.

He maha ā mātou taonga kei tā mātou rārangi taonga ā-rorohiko hei mātakitaki, hei whakarongo hoki māu ā te raumati. He maha ngā kiriata hākinakina, ngā rekoata e pā ana ki te mahi raranga, me ngā rekoata tipi whenua hoki.

Arā anō ngā momo whakatairanga me ētahi whitiāhua waiata e rata ana ki a mātou.

These search tips will help you find items by keyword. You can also have a peek at the year of your birth, or any other significant date – just set the same Start and End years (e.g. 1960 – 1960) under Year.  

The Online Catalogue

Top Stories of the Year

Letter box from 'The Royal Mail', F2449.

Here are a couple more of our favourite stories from the year. Which of our stories did you enjoy the most?

Archbishop Redwood's World Record

Archbishop Francis William Redwood, 1887-88. Courtesy Te Papa.

We took a look into the incredible tenure of Archbishop Francis Redwood, who celebrated 60 years as Bishop of Wellington in 1934. When he was appointed, he was believed to be the youngest bishop in the world – at his death, aged 95, he was the oldest. His Diamond Jubilee that year was captured in a beautiful newsreel with impressively synchronised sound — watch it here. 

Bishop Redwood's Jubilee
The Groove of a Live Recording

Here's a great microscopic image from Sandy Ditchburn, one of our Preservation Archivists. It shows the recording of a New Zealand soldier serving in World War Two – the discs were cut on a lathe live as the person spoke. The wavy line in the middle shows it was probably their first time using a microphone and they spoke quite loudly in some parts.

Sandy adds, 'The nerves can be seen 80 years later. The increased signal gain modulates the cutting stylus to a larger extent causing bigger, wavy grooves. It's the great thing about these analogue discs – you can tell so much about how they'll sound just by looking at them. It's quite magical.'

This disc and others like it were added this year to the UNESCO Memory of the World register.

Microscopic image of a lacquer disc.
The purple section at the bottom is an optical artefact from pointing a camera into a microscope.
New storage facility for our nation’s taonga

Ngā Taonga is pleased that a new regional storage facility will be built as part of Tāhuhu – Preserving the Nation's Memory. It will house low-use collection items for Ngā Taonga, the National Library of New Zealand and Archives New Zealand.

Storage for Taonga
News briefs
  • Wellington was unveiled as a UNESCO City of Film and we supplied footage for a showreel highlighting film in the city.
  • How was your 2020? What would you keep and what would you toss? This (paywalled) article from May looks into how lockdowns and COVID-19 affected New Zealand archives.
  • As the holiday season approaches, keep your eye on our website where we'll shortly have a compilation of film from our collection with a special focus on kai and festive food.
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All images from the collections of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, except where noted:
1. Stack of film cans at the Taupō Pā vault.
2. Letter box from The Royal Mail, F2449.
3. Archbishop Francis William Redwood, 1887-1888, by Connolly and Company. Courtesy Te Papa (D.000055).
4. Microscopic image of a lacquer disc. Courtesy Sandy Ditchburn.
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