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Have you thought about giving to the Hocken?

Charles Brasch, a benefactor of the Hocken.

For over 100 years the Hocken's collections have been built on the generosity of donors.

Every year well over a hundred people donate books, magazines, newspapers, pictures, photographs, maps, archives and personal papers to the Hocken Collections. They represent things that individuals, families and organisations value and want to make available for present and future generations of researchers.

Many people who appreciate the Hocken arrange to leave the library something in their will, either material for the collection, a sum of money or both. You can specify how you would like us to spend your donation. Money that is given can be placed in an acquisition fund, used to care for our collections or enhance our programmes of exhibitions, events and publications.

Charles Brasch gave many paintings to the Hocken during his life time and as part of his bequest after his untimely death in 1973. He gifted twenty-five linear metres of papers that document his personal life and his work as a poet and as editor of Landfall. He also left money to support the University of Otago's arts fellowships and to the Hocken Endowment Trust which continues to purchase new works for the collection.

The gifts of other individuals have created the Molly Morpeth Canady Trust and the Special Purposes Trust that continue to assist the Hocken in promoting scholarship and the collections through wonderful exhibitions, catalogues and the Hocken Lecture.

To find out what kind of legacy you could leave to the next generation of New Zealanders please talk to the acting Hocken Librarian, Kelly-Ann Tahitahi.

Giving your archives & manuscripts to the Hocken Collections (PDF)

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

Friends of the Hocken membership options

For more information, please visit the Friends' website.

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


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

Meetings and annual events

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

In addition, the Friends hold a commemorative event 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 some of the staff from the Hocken Collections.


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


Membership and Donations (PDF)

Contact Friends of the Hocken Collections

Friends of the Hocken Collections
P O Box 6336
Dunedin North
Dunedin 9059

Mob +64 21 611 776 (Secretary of the Friends' Committee)


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