Archives Spotlight

15 August 2013

The UC Library holds one of the most significant archive collections in the South Island, including manuscripts, personal letters, diaries, minute books, photographs and architectural drawings. The archives are used for teaching and study at UC, and by researchers from around the world. This week we introduce you to two UC students who are currently undertaking research in the Macmillan Brown Library, Kimberley Hayes and Ngaio Hughey-Cockerell:

We are both History Honours students from Lyndon Fraser’s class, HIST436, Public and Applied History. As part of this course we complete a Practicum in the form of a Practical Research Project. Our Practicum is to design an exhibition for the Central Library with the assistance of our Project Manager Erin Kimber (University Library Archivist). We both completed a Bachelor of Arts in 2012; Ngaio majoring in History and Anthropology, and Kimberley in History and Media & Communications. Both of us have a passion for libraries, books and history.

We want to create a library exhibition that is relevant to the students of the University of Canterbury and will inform them about one of the traditions that many students take part in. This tradition is Graduation. The history of this specific tradition is fascinating and has changed in various ways to become the tradition of Graduation that students experience today. For example, in the 1930s, Graduation was an event that ran for a week with a variety of events for the students to organise and take part in, namely Conversaziones, tea at Ballyntynes, the Revue, dances, suppers and the Procesh, just to name a few. Graduation is a tradition that has clearly evolved since the late 19th century and is our overall aim to make this exhibition appeal in an interesting way. Currently we are researching the storyline and deciding on which items to include in our glass exhibition cases.

Macmillan Brown Library boasts a large amount of sources about the University of Canterbury, and we are very fortunate to have access to these items. Selecting which items to use will be a challenge because of the variety of items we have looked at thus far, including past editions of CANTA (from 1930s), and an even older student-produced magazine called the Canterbury College Review (from 1897), as well as photographs of graduates and the Procesh event.

The next stage after our research is complete, is to construct the storyline of our exhibition, create labels and address the visual components of our presentation for this exhibition.

This exhibition will be up and running in late September and will be situated at the exhibition area on the second floor of the Central library.

Learn more about the UC Archives collections and how to access them on our website.

For further information, please contact Erin Kimber, University Library Archivist.

MB 444, Bishop Julius Hall Association of Ex-Students records, item 15942, Graduation (date unknown)