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Three books to celebrate the University

Wednesday 3 July 2019 4:06pm

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Michelle Chalklin-Sinclair and Judith Cullen with the special University of Otago anniversary edition Fonebook

Special University of Otago 150th Fonebook

A special 150th University of Otago edition of the Dunedin Fonebook was launched at the University Staff Cub last month.

Produced by Dunedin locals Judith Cullen and Michelle Chalklin-Sinclair, the small-but-perfectly-formed coffee table book in pale blue Otago colours is a celebration of University life in photographs, artwork, poetry and recipes.

Amongst Michelle’s photographs are works by former Frances Hodgkins Fellows Neil Frazer, Heather Straka and Scott Eady, and writing by former Burns Fellows Emma Neale and Peter Olds and current Fellow Emily Duncan.

Judith’s gourmet offerings include takes on some student favourites such as Southern Cheese Rolls, and three of the recipes were shot on location at a Castle Street flat.

You can buy the Fonebook through the Dunedin Fonebook facebook page and Dunedin retailers including the University campus shop and the University Book Shop.

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Otago: 150 Years of New Zealand’s First University
by Alison Clarke

This very readable history took Dr Clarke five years part-time to research and write. To help identify photographs and gather anecdotes she launched a blog, which is still available to read on the 150th website

An experienced author and historian, Dr Clarke says the biggest challenge was dealing with the huge amount of material and keeping it to one volume.

The book is divided into sections on the Humanities, Sciences, Health Sciences and Commerce, and other aspects of university life including the evolving student body, student life at Otago, the founding of the university, the staff and the other campuses in Invercargill, Christchurch and Wellington.

Other areas of focus include women, Māori and Pacific students, international students and technology.

You can purchase the book here:

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Scarfie Flats of Dunedin
by Sarah Gallagher and Ian Chapman

A collaboration between the Head of Otago’s Performing Arts Programme Ian Chapman and former Division of Health Sciences Social Media Adviser Sarah Gallagher, Scarfie Flats of Dunedin shares the stories of how the student flats got their names, who lived in them and what life was like there, right back to the early 1930s.

Mrs Gallagher says the book began as a collection of photos of signs. As the photos were shared the stories behind them began to emerge, and people were transported back to their student days as they recollected their times in the flats.

Scarfie Flats of Dunedin is available at the University Book Shop or contact