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Auckland treasures on show at Auckland Libraries

Media release

22 August 2011

Auckland treasures on show at Auckland Libraries


A new exhibition on show at Central City Library is a fascinating insight in to how the Auckland region was developed.

The ‘Auckland Akarana the wonderful isthmus’ exhibition was recently opened by Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, who remarked on the central part libraries play in preserving the region’s history and the stories of our communities.

”Libraries are lifelong learning centres and, in large part, the lifeblood of our communities,” she said.

The exhibition displays items from the Sir George Grey Special Collections housed at the Central City Library and is an overview of the development of Auckland from its early beginnings through to the 21st century.

Ever since its founding in 1840, Auckland, known as Akarana to early settlers, has been growing constantly. Just last year Auckland’s official boundaries were widened to take in the surrounding cities and towns.

Governor Hobson chose this place as the site of his capital in 1840 and named it Auckland after his patron the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Auckland. It was John Logan Campbell, an early businessman and later donor of Cornwall Park, who describe it as “the wonderful isthmus”.

The Sir George Grey Special Collections Manager and exhibition curator, Georgia Prince says the exhibition displays a number of gems from the Auckland Libraries’ internationally recognised Sir George Grey Special Collections.

“One of the unique items on display is a letter from William Hobson dated 10 October 1840.

“He writes to an Emma Hamilton Smith and describes the Auckland site as "the very point of junction between natural water communications which extend right and left through three quarters of the island".

“Back in 1840, communication via sea was critical,” says Prince.

“Auckland would have been viewed positively because it is an isthmus with easy access to two harbours. Hobson’s letter brings that reality alive for us in our age of the internet”.

Find out more about Auckland Akarana the wonderful isthmus, at Auckland Libraries.

From Wednesday 24 August, people will be able to view the virtual exhibition online.

What: Auckland Akarana the wonderful isthmus

When: 13 August – 13 November

Viewing times

Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm

Saturday – Sunday: 10am – 4pm

Where: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Level 2, Central City Library, 44 – 46 Lorne St.

Guided tours of the exhibition

Every Tuesday at 12 noon – 1pm, commencing 6 September


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