Thursday, 20 December 2007

New texts for Xmas!

Just in time for Christmas ... the NZETC has added several new texts to our collection. A bit of a mixed bag this time; something for everyone I hope.

In collaboration with the University of Waikato Library we're especially pleased to be able to make the six volumes of John White's 1888 "The Ancient History of the Maori" accessible online. In 2002 the University of Waikato Library created PDF versions on CD-ROM and new print editions of the documents. Earlier this year they generously gave us permission to produce new versions for the web. This is massive!

Botanists are going to love the Plantarum Novarum Ex Herbario Sprengelii Centuriam by Johann Friedrich Theodor Biehler. (Well ... when we say "novarum" ... these plants aren't as new as they were in 1807). Seventeen species and one genus of plants from New Zealand and the South Pacific were first described and named in this Latin text published in 1807. Professor Phil Garnock-Jones from the School of Biology at Victoria University who has written about the significance of this work, reset the text and kindly agreed to allow us to publish it as part of the NZETC collection.

Bird Life on Island and Shore By H. Guthrie-Smith is a good quick read for those interested in NZ bird life - "should be swallowed at a single gulp" according to the author. Some good photos there too.

Another natural history addition is A Leaf from the Natural History of New Zealand by Richard Taylor, from 1848.

Infantry Brigadier by Sir Howard Kippenberger, from 1949, is a worthy addition to our substantial World War II collection.
In 1949 Kippenberger’s own account of the war, Infantry Brigadier, was published to wide acclaim. The book is a detailed and well-written account of his part in the Second World War, and shows much of its author’s modesty, reflectiveness, soundness of judgement, humane concern for his men, and dry sense of humour. It has been translated into seven languages, and is still used as a textbook of infantry tactics.
Harper, Glyn. 'Kippenberger, Howard Karl 1897 - 1957'.
Dictionary of New Zealand Biography
, updated 22 June 2007

Aucklanders should find something of interest in Some Interesting Occurrences in Early Auckland By E. Earle Vaile:
In those days anything might happen to folk in the streets. Judge Munro told me that on one occasion he was walking up Queen Street with a “new chum” when a tattooed Maori chief spoke to him. The new chum asked “What does this curious looking old savage want with us?” The Maori asked “What the Pakeha say, e hoa”? Judge Munro replied “He is admiring your tattoo”. The Maori responded by exposing his rump saying “my moko (facial tattoo) is nothing, let him see this”. Maori men were often so closely tattooed from the waist to the knees as to appear clad in knickerbockers.
(from Chapter 11)
Last but not least, the fabulous War Economy Recipe Book will surely provide one or two (perhaps as many as 3) recipes suitable for your Yuletide feasting! In all seriousness, some of the recipes in this book (mostly named after battles and military leaders) are not for the faint-hearted:

A Very Good Home-Made Coffee.

5 cups of bran, 2 cups of treacle.

Put in a piedish and heat in oven, continually stirring. Care must be taken not to leave too long without stirring, as it will burn. Cook till dry—may take an hour—in a moderate oven. When cool put in airtight tin. Similar in flavour to “Instant Postum.”

Oh yeah ... Instant Postum ... look out for that in the shops eh?

Other recipes are definitely worth a try. I've tried and I can recommend the Tripoli Biscuits (you may know them as ANZACs), and I have a 5-year plan to try out Stalin Gingerbread. Because of war-time rationing, many of the recipes are egg-free.

From all of us here at the NZ Electronic Text Centre, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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