Canterbury College

Learning by Design: Building Canterbury College in the City 1873-1973. An illustrated history based on the Armson Collins Architectural Drawings Collection

Future Research

The Macmillan Brown Library collections offer students exciting opportunities for original research.  The Library holds over 4000 linear metres of documentary archives from a wide range of organisations, people and families. This material comes in the form of architectural drawings, minute books, personal diaries, letters, manuscripts, artworks and more.


A sample page from the Armson Collins Contract Ledger, showing the Boys' High School building entry in 1879 for £8,889.

The Armson Collins Architectural Drawings Collection is just one excellent example of future research potential. The Collection represents a wealth of possible research projects, particularly now that the drawings have been digitised and are more easily accessible. Research questions could include: investigating the nature of colonial architects working in Christchurch, the development of architectural firms as businesses, the use of architectural photography for recording purposes, or an examination of the growth of educational architecture in the province. The list is almost endless.

The main function of the Library is to support learning and teaching at the University of Canterbury. Specialist library staff are experienced in working with undergraduate and postgraduate students helping them develop their ideas for research projects based on Macmillan Brown collections. Feedback from students and their lecturers clearly demonstrate the benefits derived from working with unique library materials.

Partnering with academic departments, the library supports College of Arts internships, and UC summer student scholarships, giving students hands on practical experience engaging in a variety of activities related to processing, managing, and interpreting archival collections. UC summer student scholarships are offered across a range of subjects and departments. They provide students with invaluable practical experience of focused research. This helps to develop the skills needed at honours and postgraduate level study.

Next: The Armson Collins Project