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1869: The Year That Was

1869: The Year That Was

On 3 June 1869, the University of Otago Ordinance 1869 became law. This meant that the newly established University became a corporate body with power to grant degrees. This was a significant first for New Zealand. Two years later, with a building secured, and three professors appointed, classes began. The first class was on 10 July 1871, with 81 students enrolled.

The University of Otago’s rich history continues today. Its establishment and legacy form part of the current exhibition 1869 The Year That Was, which begins on 20 September 2019 at the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, 1st floor, Central University Library.

Of course, other events occurred in 1869. While the University Council were debating the administrational matters necessary to make the newly formed educational institution work, events were occurring on a local and international level. Each had their own particular impact.

Some of the events of 1869 that feature in the exhibition include the formation of the Otago Institute; the first Fine Arts Exhibition in New Zealand; the first ‘Royal’ visit to New Zealand; the introduction of the New Zealand Cross; the births of Rasputin, Emma Goldman, and Gandhi; the opening of the Suez Canal; and the formation of Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev’s periodic table. Tolstoy’s War and Peace was published in 1869, as was Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

Everyone is welcome to come and visit the exhibition. We are open Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm.

Date Friday, 20 September 2019 - Friday, 31 January 2020
Time All Day Event
Audience Public,All University,Alumni
Event Category Exhibitions
Locationde Beer Gallery, Special Collections, First Floor, Central Library, Dunedin Campus

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