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From Memory to collect veterans’ stories

13 June 2005 Media Statement

From Memory to collect veterans’ stories

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Judith Tizard today announced a new oral history programme and website, From Memory, that will collect the stories of New Zealand’s war veterans and preserve them in a collection in the Alexander Turnbull Library.

Run by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the From Memory website offers guidance and assistance to those wanting to record the memories of New Zealanders who served in the Second World War. Over time, the programme will broaden to include interviews with those who served in the later wars of the twentieth century.

“This year marks 60 years since the end of the Second World War. The men and women who served this country then are getting older and we need to collect these stories now,” said Judith Tizard.

“Oral history allows us to learn the day-to-day reality of the experience of war and can often lead to veterans revealing things they have never talked about before – things that would never be known without their oral history.

“We need people in the community to help us preserve the stories of our veterans and the From Memory website has been designed by oral historians to enable anyone to get involved from scratch. People who record veterans' stories can offer their material to the From Memory collection in the Alexander Turnbull Library where it will become available to listen to.

“Best practice in oral history is detailed on the site, with advice on techniques, equipment and ethics, along with information on the various campaigns that New Zealanders took part in and some suggested questions,” Judith Tizard said.

The From Memory website contains information on the different theatres of the Second World War involving New Zealanders, such as North Africa and Italy. There are also sections on Prisoners of War (POWs) and those who served with the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. A short background summary is also included, followed by a comprehensive list of questions that could be used in an oral history interview.

Visit From Memory at


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