Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Turbine 12 is live

This year’s issue of literary journal Turbine is now online and can be viewed here.

Published by Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) and guest-edited by Master’s students Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle, M. Doyle Corcoran and Gregory Kan, Turbine 12 includes work by emerging and established writers from New Zealand and beyond.

A highlight of the journal is an excerpt and audio recording from Lamplighter, the enthralling novel by newly announced Adam Foundation Prize 2012 winner Kerry Donovan-Brown, but the literary riches don’t stop there.

A generous selection of new fiction and poetry offers grit, surprise and delight. Seed-clouds ripple inside the blood, music falls from back pockets, and a heart turns to mud. Stories about children provoke second thoughts on procreation, and times spent on the Jersey shore or the jellyfish-rich waters off Japan might provide readers with an early summer vacation. Back in the nonfictional world, Ashleigh Young attends a conference on boredom.

The issue also features an interview with prize-winning Young Adult writer Bernard Beckett, this year’s Victoria University Writer in Residence, where he provides an inside scoop on his upcoming work. Another highlight is the long, poignant sequence of poems from former poet laureate Michele Leggott, who tells us ‘there is language for everything but the cost is unspeakable’. And there’s a German translation of James Brown’s poem, ‘I come from Palmerston North’— an unexpected by-product of New Zealand’s closer literary relations with Germany in 2012, the result of our guest-of-honour status at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The ‘Reading Room’ offers insight into the rigours of the IIML’s Master of Arts in Creative Writing via excerpts from student reading journals—one writer likes to procrastinate by reading about Mt Everest; another notes the implausible good looks of a visiting poet. Twenty of this year’s IIML Master’s students have work on display, along with a scattering of graduates and a handful of rising stars from the United States and Australia.

Senior Lecturer Chris Price says, “Turbine has frequently introduced exciting new writers who have gone on to publish acclaimed books and I’m sure this year is no exception. We’ll be hearing a lot more from many of these writers in years to come.”

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Pamphlets Galore!

We have recently started to add texts for one of our larger projects: the digitisation of The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout. We have already added a couple of hundred pamphlets and there are plenty more to come.
Sir Robert Stout
The pamphlets range between 1840 and 1920. The subjects they cover are surprisingly diverse. Here is just a small sample that recently caught our attention:

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Vacancy at Victoria University of Wellington Library

Victoria University of Wellington Library is seeking a new Associate Director - Library Technology Services. The successful applicant will be responsible for managing, developing and administering all library-based technology services and activities. The Associate Director would also be a member of the Library Leadership Team and actively contribute to the strategic direction of the Library. For more information please see the full job advertisement here:

The closing date for applications is the 5th of November 2012.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The NZETC has a new look

Victoria University of Wellington Library is happy to announce that the NZETC website has been rebranded. The change of name reflects the change from a centre to a collection now maintained by the Library. The redesign intends to make the NZETC more identifiable as part of the Victoria University of Wellington. We have also endeavoured to make it easier to connect with the NZETC and to share our content.

Users will also notice that the Authors, Projects, and Works pages have been redirected to our Solr search page. It is still possible to visit a Project, Author, or Work page by clicking on the small arrow in the left-hand sidebar next to the name you wish to view. This change has resulted in a faster and more stable website.

Monday, 17 September 2012

The Conquest of Mount Cook and Other Climbs by Freda Du Faur

Recently Radio New Zealand featured a reading of a NZETC text The Conquest of Mount Cook and Other Climbs by Freda Du Faur. If you missed the programme and would like to listen to it you can do so on the Radio New Zealand Website.

Freda Du Faur was the first women to successfully climb Mt. Cook in 1910. She also climbed several other peaks of over 3000 metres in the Southern Alps. Du Faur was known for her strong determination, high level of fitness and climbing skill. She also experienced criticism for being an unmarried women climbing with men. While Du Faur was born in Australia and lived most of her life there she is celebrated for her climbing feats here in New Zealand. Du Faur Peak in the South Island is also named after her.

Du Faur's 1915 account of her time mountaineering in the Southern Alps can be accessed in full here.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

NZETC Site experiencing intermittent problems

The NZETC is currently experiencing a period of instability which we are working to fix. We are very sorry about this and hope to have the website working as it should as soon as possible.

NZETC staff are happy to provide researchers with epub copies of works that cannot be accessed. To do so please contact us here.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Katherine Mansfield texts added to the collection

We've recently added to the collection The Journal of Katherine Mansfield and Volume II of The Letters of Katherine Mansfield, both edited by John Middleton Murry. When introducing the Journal, Murry suggests that Mansfield intended to publish “a kind of minute note-book” based on her journal entries. You can see why, as there are some fascinating entries inside.

Katherine Mansfield 1921
Katherine Mansfield 1921

Also added recently:

The New Zealand journal, 1842-1844 of John B. Williams of Salem, Massachussett. Williams was based in the Bay of Island from 1842-44. Editor of the text, Robert W. Kenny, describes Willams as "a somewhat chauvinistic Yankee, strongly anti-British, and an ardent believer in using the United States Navy to further the commercial interests of her citizens."
Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II. By Dr. Robert McNab. This text compiles significant records relating to early European visitors to New Zealand, including those of Tasman, Cook and De Surville.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Problems with the NZETC Works page

We are currently experiencing some difficulty with the NZETC Works page. Users trying to reach this page will get an error message. We are sorry about this and are working to fix this problem.

Users can view our works by accessing the advanced search page and then selecting the option 'show more' next to the heading 'Works' at the top of the screen. Users can continue to browse by author, projects or subject. We are happy to help you locate a text if you are having difficulty doing so, please contact us.

We will also be working to improve the functionality of the Works page in the near future.

Monday, 2 July 2012

New Texts to Celebrate Samoan Independence

The NZETC is proud to announce 8 new texts in our Tidal Pools Pacific collection. 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of Samoan Independence from New Zealand administration and this addition to the collection provides an account of important events prior to independence.

Readers interested in the Samoan language will also find a French and English Samoan dictionary and Thomas William Whitson's account of life in Tonga, Samoa and Fiji.

Reverend John Hunt's specimen book of native paper contains excellent examples of Pacific Tapa cloth and art.

  * The Samoan Massacre: December 28th, 1929
  * The Truth About Samoa by Olaf Frederick Nelson
  * Samoa at Geneva : Misleading the League of Nations : A Commentary on the Proceedings of the Permanent Mandates Commission at its Thirteenth Session held at Geneva in June, 1928 by Olaf Frederick Nelson 
  * The Revolt of the Samoans by Henry Edmund Holland
  * Samoa: A Story That Teems With Tragedy by Henry Edmund Holland
  * Dictionnaire Samoa-Francais-Anglais et Francais-Samoa-anglais : precede d'une grammaire de la langue samoa by Louis Violette
  * A Cruise In The Islands: Tonga, Samoa, Fiji by Thomas William Whitson
  * Specimens of Native Paper from Tongo [sic] and Fiji by Reverend John Hunt

The aim of the collection is to provide texts of interest to researchers investigating Pacific history, language, culture and politics.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Pacific Corpus is back online.

We are happy to announce that our collection of Pacific texts is back online. We are working to add new texts to this collection to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Samoan independence.

Please visit the collection here: Tidal Pools

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Pacific Corpus is currently down

Unfortunately due to a technical fault the NZETC Pacific Corpus is currently down. Library staff are aware of the issue and working to restore service, but it may take several days.

Other NZETC corpora are available. If you need access to a particular text, email us at and we can provide you with an epub version of the text.

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Additions to the collection

We are happy to announce the addition of new texts to the collection.

•    SMAD Magazine. SMAD magazine was a student publication at VUW that rivalled Spike.
•    Report on the Geology and Goldfields of Otago by F.W. Hutton
•    King Country ; or, Explorations in New Zealand; a narrative of 600 miles of travel through Maoriland by J. H. Kerry-Nicholls
•    The Life and Times of Sir George Grey, KCB by William Lee Rees & Lily Rees
•    The Life and Times of D. M. Stuart by C. Stuart Ross
•    The Journal of Edward Ward
•    A Bibliography of Printed Maori to 1900 by Herbert W. Williams
•    New Zealand 1826-1827: From the French of Dumont D'Urville

We are making some changes to the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre.

The domain name for the NZETC will change from to We are planning on making that change on the 28th of May.  We will be maintaining the old Domain URL as a secondary domain name and putting redirects in place so no links should be broken in the changeover.

The name of the NZETC will change from The New Zealand Electronic Text Centre to The New Zealand Electronic Text Collection. This is a small change being made to reflect that the Centre as a separate entity no longer exists.

The Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) Library continues to maintain its commitment to open access resources, to maintaining the NZETC content and to building new content.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

New Zealand music month

To celebrate the first day of New Zealand music month, here are some NZETC music highlights.

The first are sections in "New Zealand Studies: A Guide to Bibliographic Resources" on Music and Māori Music respectively. These are a little dated, but good places to start for those interested in the roots of New Zealand music.

The second is the music coverage in "Spike," a Student magazine here at Victoria, which includes the founding of the Music program, the Glee Club and classic advertising material.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Best New Zealand Poems 11 is now available

The latest issue of online anthology Best New Zealand Poems is now available. This issue comes with a South Island perspective and Irish rhythm. This year’s editor is Christchurch poet, playwright and fiction writer Bernadette Hall who sums up her top 25 poems, selected from a vast number published in 2011, with a phrase from an Irish wedding song—“They are the crown of good company,” she says.

To access Best New Zealand Poems 11 please follow this link.

Major events have shaken New Zealand in recent times, says Hall, and it is wonderful to see how strong the voice of poetry has been in response. The tragedies of Pike River mine and the Christchurch earthquakes are here, held in words
that have been allowed to ferment and flow. Hall was struck by an irresistible element in the poems she selected—their “capacity for unsettlement, the thing in a poem that works against the expected, against dogma and rhetoric and convention.”

The work spans poetic generations, from The most beautiful love poem of all time by 2011 Adam Prize winner, 25-year-old Hera Lindsay Bird, to In Dad’s Council House, a nursery rhyme for grown-ups by 77-year-old actor and poet Peter Bland, recipient of a 2011 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement.

Professor Bill Manhire, Director of the International Institute of Modern Letters, has
relinquished his role as overall series editor of Best New Zealand Poems and is now in the happy position of just being a poet. He makes a first-time appearance in the anthology, with an echoing and unsettling poem called The Schoolbus.

The new overall series editor, poet and International Institute of Modern Letters lecturer Chris Price, says “This edition is particularly rich in new voices, poets we can expect to hear more of in future.” A number of the poems are also available as audio recordings. Acclaimed dancer and choreographer Douglas Wright is among the poets who can be heard reading their work on the site.

Monday, 5 March 2012

The Spike Magazine is live

Fifty years of Victoria University of Wellington’s The Spike student magazine is now available online. The Library has digitised the complete run of The Spike: Victoria College Review which ran continuously from 1902 to 1949, then in 1954, 1957 and 1964. Follow this link to access The Spike.

The Spike records the activities of student life at Victoria University. There are regular contributions of poetry, prose, articles by academics and reviews of cultural and sporting events.

The Spike contains pieces published during the World Wars. With the coming centenary of WWI in 2014 approaching these will be invaluable for researchers.

From the October 1916 The Spike in ‘Extracts From Soldiers Letters’;

Wellington, 21st September, 1916.
Dear "Spike,"—
Extracts from Alan MacDougall's letters will be of abiding interest to his old friends.
These will be pardoned for thinking that when he died, Victoria College lost its most perfect student. In tribute to him, will you publish some extracts from certain recent letters of his which tell of the work he was engaged in and how he viewed it, and which unconsciously body forth those qualities of perception, faith, humour, generosity and noble courage which will keep his memory ever green in the hearts of those who loved him. At the end, with his friends in the line stricken down, he was lonely; and we do well to believe that he has passed into an immortal Fellowship.
I am, etc.,
“We are well fed and clad; frequently well housed in billets, as now, and always pretty happy. It's just as well to try and be happy in the face of the ever present possibilities of this life. The way we look at the facts is that if a Jack Johnson or whizz-bang is addressed to you, it will find you. The goods are always delivered—fatalism of a cheery sort. How one finds out the real men in this sort of work! the cool quiet ones, the gasbags, the dare-devils, the paralytic, the shirkers. From what I know of other battalions I conclude that we are to be reckoned fortunate beyond most in our personnel, both officers and men. We trust each other and we shall back each other.”
From the editorial in Issue One:
“We be wayfarers together, O Students, treading the same thorny paths of Studentdom, laughing at the same professorial jokes, grieving in common over the same unpalatable "swot," playing the same games, reading the same indigestible books. Let us also pause for a few moments together and stretch out a hand of welcome to a small white stranger, that has come amongst us with little preliminary under the name of The Spike. Hast thou The Spike, fellow-student? If not, I pray thee make all haste to procure it, less worse things befall thee, and thou art impaled on its venomous point.”

Friday, 6 January 2012

Tuatara article translated into Ukrainian

Around the middle of 2011 we received a request from translator Martha Ruszkowski to translate a Tuatara article into Ukrainian. Initially we were a little surprised by the request, but Martha explained that the article relates to her own professional interests, and that there would be readers interested from Ukraine.

A quick search for Martha's other work reveals she is busy translating content into Ukrainian and Belarusian on various topics from New Zealand gambling to Australian Botanic Gardens and beyond.

Permission was granted and a few weeks later Martha replied with the link to her Ukrainian translation of Plant Pirates by Miriam A Aiken. I think it's great to see NZETC collections reaching new audiences this way.