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Friends of the Hocken Collections

Join the Friends of the Hocken Collections

Join the Friends to support the Hocken Collections, a world-class institution situated in Dunedin, a UNESCO Creative City of Literature. As a Friend you have the opportunity to participate in regular talks and discussions on topics relating to the Collections, receive invitations to Hocken Library exhibition openings and attend the annual Hocken dinner, commemorating the anniversary of the date on which Dr Hocken signed the Deed of Trust presenting his library to the people of New Zealand.

Your support and involvement enables the Friends to contribute to the Hocken Collections by:

  • producing special publications
  • enhancing the Collections and
  • being an independent voice on matters relating to the Collections

Application to join Friends of the Hocken Collections Inc (405kb, PDF)

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Establishment of The Friends

The Friends were established in 1991 to:

  • Promote public awareness of, and support for, the various collections, services and publications of the Hocken Collections
  • Encourage financial support of the Library and
  • Provide an umbrella organisation for all persons having an interest in the Hocken Collection

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Major projects the Society has funded include:

  • Purchase of a special microfilm reader-printer
  • Microfilming records of the Otago Provincial Council and Southland Provincial Council
  • Microfilming the files of the Mataura Ensign
  • Publication of A Journal of Their Own: An Index to "Art in New Zealand," 1928-1946
  • Microfilming and digitisation of the Cromwell Argus, from its inception to 1948
  • Digitisation of the Otago Daily Times headline indexes for the period 1946-1980

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Meetings and annual dinner

Annual meetings are held each August and a management committee meets ten times a year.

In addition, the Friends hold a commemorative dinner each year on 2 September, the anniversary of the date on which Dr Hocken signed the Deed of Trust presenting his library to the people of New Zealand. A different historical theme and venue are selected each year, and the Society uses this annual occasion to promote the Hocken Collections.

Talk series

A talk series occurs each year, beginning in March, scheduled every two months or so. Talks are held at the Hocken Library seminar room and also provide an opportunity to socialise with other Friends and talk with staff from the Hocken Library.

In 2015 the talks are:

  • 18 March – Mining for Marsden: stories from the sites of the Church Missionary Society’s first New Zealand settlements
  • 13 May – The ANZAC experience: the origins and observance of ANZAC Day
  • 15 July – Forgotten Gold: a talk on some of the digitised treasures of the Hocken
  • 2 September – Dunedin’s next 150 years: a talk in the anniversary year of Dunedin becoming New Zealand’s first borough (this talk is part of the Hocken Anniversary Dinner occasion)
  • 11 November – Music Hall history in New Zealand: 19th century travelling musicians in New Zealand

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The Friends publishes a newsletter for its members: Flotsam and Jetsam. This is published several times a year and is devoted to news and information about exhibitions, publications, acquisitions and other activities, and to occasional articles relating to Dr Hocken, the establishment of the Library and the different uses of the Collections.

Between 1991 and 2010, the Friends produced informative four-page bulletins which feature various aspects of the Library's holdings: Welcome to the Hocken - Bulletins of the Friends of the Hocken Collections. New ways of accessing the Collections such as Snapshop mean the need for such bulletins has reduced.

Recently several more substantial Occasional Publications have been published: (these can be purchased at the Hocken Library and the University Bookshop, for example, or ordered by emailing

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Membership and Donations (405kb, PDF)

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By mail

Friends of the Hocken Collections
P O Box 6336
Dunedin North

By email

By phone

021 611 776 (Secretary of the Friends’ Committee)

On Facebook

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