This afternoon we were lucky enough to get a talk and tour around the Hocken library. Our tour guide was Anna Blackman who is responsible for Archives and Manuscripts. The collection is sooo cool. If you think ANZC’s got some treasures (and it does) Hocken blows it out of the water. With 8500 linear metres of archives of mostly Otago-related material you’d better believe there are some gems in there. I wanted to fossick but that sort of thing is frowned on, I’m sure.
As well as having a nosey in the stacks/archives we had a look at the pictorial collection, and were shown the gallery, currently hosting a Ralph Hotere exhibition. Hotere was a Frances Hodgkins fellow at the University of Otago forty years ago in 1969 and it was interesting to see see the original artworks that were previously only familiar as art from the books of various writers such as Hone Tuwhare.
Anna also gave us a presentation looking at what of the Hocken is available online, particularly looking at their He Taonga Mokemoke project which involves around fifty photographic images of Māori people who are unidentified. The idea is that by pointing these images online members of the public may be able to help in, not only identifying the tupuna pictured but thereby also allowing whanau to have some input in how the images are used/displayed.
Anna also talked about Hakena, which is the online “catalogue” of what is held by Hocken and is something that I’ve found really useful in MLIS projects and in helping ANZC customers.