The unconventional Oscar T. J. Alpers (1867–1927), an autodidact who became a teacher, writer, poet, lawyer, and judge, penned numerous literary works including The Jubilee Book of Canterbury Rhymes (1900), College Rhymes (1923), and his lively memoirs Cheerful Yesterdays , which was published posthumously, with all proceeds going to his family. The earlier and less literary The Man and the State (1891) concerns land tax, labour legislation, socialism and individualism. The pamphlet is part of the large collection of books and manuscripts gifted to Dunedin Public Library in 1914 by Robert McNab.
[O. T. J. Alpers], The Man and the State. Christchurch: Press Companys Office, 1891. Z040 PAM. McNab Pamphlets, Heritage Collection, Dunedin Public Library.
Lawyer and politician Robert McNab (1864-1917) compiled four books dealing with the history of Southland (Murihiku), and the early history of New Zealand and the South Pacific, particularly with records of exploration, trading, sealing, and whaling. On 9 March 1914 he donated his collection of over 4,000 books to the Dunedin City Council. It has since grown to over 83,000 items. McNab collected the works of pamphleteer James Gordon Stuart Grant (1838-1902), whose shout of Buy a Copy! Buy a Copy! was often heard on Dunedin streets. For a mere shilling (10 cents), a reader could purchase directly from the malicious viper, as someone called Grant. The Golden Casket is but one of his eighty or so outpourings.
J. G. S. Grant, The Golden Casket. Dunedin: John Mackay, 1877. Z040 Gra. McNab Pamphlets, Heritage Collection, Dunedin Public Library.
While in Wellington during his parliamentary sessions, McNab no doubt took time out to mix with fellow collectors: Alexander Turnbull, Horace Fildes, C. A. Ewen, S. Percy Smith, Charles Wilson (librarian of the General Assembly Library) and fellow member of parliament George Fowlds; each collectors of pamphlets in their own right and each given to swap or exchange duplicate copies of pamphlets. At some stage, McNab was able to secure this temperance pamphlet, which once belonged to the Wellington accountancy firm of Dalrymple & Gibbes.
The State Control League, The State Control of the Liquor Traffic. Nelson: State Control League . Z040 Gra. McNab Pamphlets, Heritage Collection, Dunedin Public Library.