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Five History students receive Auckland Museum grants

Five History students receive Auckland Museum grants

Five University of Auckland History students are delighted to have received research grants from Auckland War Memorial Museum in a recent round of awards.

Six students in all, five from the Faculty of Arts and one from the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries (NICAI), will share $20,000 in Auckland Museum Nancy Bamford Research Grants.

One of this year’s successful applicants, doctoral student Petra Smith will use her grant to investigate the history of New Zealand drinking culture between 1917 and 1967. Smith will use all sorts of heritage material in her research: the Corban Family Papers, which document the history of one of New Zealand’s most famous winemaking dynasties; photographic collections depicting hotel interiors, winemaking, hop-picking and breweries; ephemera such as liquor bottle labels, advertisements, posters, flyers, price lists and menus; and the pamphlet collection, which holds several tracts, speeches and pamphlets published by members of the temperance movement and its opponents.

Other grant awardees will conduct similarly in-depth research using the Museum’s library collections. Master of Arts (MA) student Ross Webb will use the library’s holdings to inform his thesis, entitled; “Your livelihood is on the Line: Working in the Auckland and Hawke’s Bay Freezing Works, 1973-1994.” Daniel Millar will write his MA thesis on “New Zealanders in the British Colonial Service 1920-1950”, while fellow MA student Jenny Sutton will use her grant to research “Child health and welfare in Auckland 1891-1912”. Ross Burdon, Honours student, will investigate the historical “demonization or lionisation” of Maori leader Te Kooti and Poata Alvie McCree will draw on historic photographs of early missionaries and Maori in the Whangaroa Harbour in her final project for her Master of Fine Arts (MFA).

Professor Linda Bryder, head of History at the University, says, “We are delighted for our students. It is a real boost to the discipline and particularly to the study of New Zealand history. The awards provide the opportunity to showcase the valuable resources which the Museum holds and help to foster closer relations between the University and the Museum.”

The Auckland Museum Nancy Bamford Research Grants are open to applicants from all University of Auckland faculties. Grants assist students or staff with research at the Auckland Museum Library, providing access to the library’s extensive range of documents including manuscripts and archives, photographs, ephemera, and maps and publications, including early newspapers. The Museum also has a wide and very diverse range of primary sources – significant physical collections and their associated information – which can be the focus of, or support for, research projects in very different disciplines. These resources are particularly strong in areas such as Auckland studies, New Zealand flora and fauna, cultural development, human history and New Zealanders at war.

“It was a very difficult decision to award this year’s grants, given the high calibre of the candidates and the original topics chosen for their research projects”, says Auckland Museum’s Head of Museum Library & Enquiry Services, Michaela O’Donovan.

“The successful applicants impressed the judging panel by showing they had used the richness of our encyclopaedic collections to identify material, including some quite non-traditional approaches, to support their themes. We look forward to working with the students over the coming year to see what else they uncover.”

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