Britain’s Part in the War pamphlet cover (MB367/115810): Victoria League propaganda pamphlet ‘Britain’s Part in the War’, by Sir Edward Cook, from 1917. The Victoria League wrote and published many of its own pamphlets, which were distributed throughout Britain and the empire, and often to soldiers leaving Britain for the front lines.
This section written by Greg Hynes and Erin Kimber
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 minute books, personal diaries, letters, manuscripts and more.
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 offer students with invaluable practical experience of focussed research. This helps to develop the skills needed at honours and postgraduate level study.
The First World War photograph collection is just one part of the Victoria League collection held by the Macmillan Brown Library. The collection covers the activities of the Canterbury branch from the First World War, to the 1990s. The material includes minute books, correspondence, photographs, pamphlets, postcards, advertisements, and much more. As such, the Victoria League collection is not only an invaluable resource for those interested in studying female imperialism, New Zealand voluntarism, patriotic societies, New Zealand women’s history, transnational history, imperial history, or the Victoria League itself, but is also a fascinating account of Christchurch’s social and cultural history across over eighty years.
The library holds a number of collections that contain material relating specifically to World War I, including but not limited to:
- Alexander Kennedy diaries (MB 581): relating to the Gallipoli campaign in which the author took part.
- Arthur Lush papers (MB 2045): Letters from Arthur Lush to his family in New Zealand written during World War I and transcribed by John Challands.
- Brigadier-General A.W. Andrew papers (MB551): Andrew was the first New Zealander to obtain a direct commission in the British Army. He served in South Africa, the First World War and in India and reached the rank of Brigadier-General. The largest part of the papers is a file of correspondence, consisting of about 170 letters, chiefly written from India to his wife in Christchurch (1905-1924). The remainder of the material consists of notebooks and loose notes on various political and military subjects.
- Condliffe papers (MB 567): Condliffe was involved in Army education work during WWI. Between 1920-1926 he was Professor of Economics at Canterbury College before leaving for overseas appointments in Honolulu, London and California. A renowned economist and consultant, Condliffe authored numerous books and articles. The collection comprises a 1917 diary concerning transport matters, letters to his wife and family (1917-1941) and letters to James Hight written on active service.
- Cooper papers (MB568): Cooper served with the First New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Middle East and France. Cooper's diary covers the period August 19, 1914 to December 15, 1915, then January 3, 1918 to February 1. 1918.
- Jack Nee papers (MB 1351): Papers relating to Jack Nee, who was killed in action in France in 1917. Contains letters to his mother and other correspondence
- Peter Perry diary (MB 481): War Diary (c1916) written while stationed at the Western Front in France.
- D. W. Beaven papers (MB 449): World War I photograph album c1914-1918.
As well as these collections mentioned above, the letters and papers of most people alive during this period mention the war. Find out more about our collections and how to access them on our webpage.
Many of the themes relating to the collection are strongly represented in a number of papers offered by the history department. Those including research elements, both undergraduate and graduate papers, provide uses for the collection in research and analysis. Any students interested in the themes and issues presented by this exhibition, or the collection, should consider investigating them further in any of the following courses: