Thursday 26 November 2015 8:40am
The UNESCO Memory of the World New Zealand Trust has announced the inscription of He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni (the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand) and the Hocken Library’s Pickerill Papers on Plastic Surgery onto the New Zealand documentary heritage register for 2015.
UNESCO recognition draws attention to the significance of documentary heritage and the institutions that are its custodians. Inscription on the register raises awareness of the custodian’s institutions and promotes the importance of caring for our documentary heritage.
The Hocken Collections Curator Anna Blackman says the Hocken Library was “absolutely delighted” to have been successful in its application for the inscription of the Pickerill Papers on Plastic Surgery.
“The inscription is especially timely as one of the University’s WW1 projects this year has been to digitise a portion of the collection relating to Dr Henry Percival Pickerill’s WW1 work on the treatment of wounded NZ soldiers,” she says.
Doctors Henry Percival (1879-1956) and Cecily Pickerill (1903-1988) pioneered significant developments in facial plastic surgery especially for soldiers wounded in warfare, and for children with cleft palate and hare lip deformities.
This important medical archive charts the history of the modern specialty of plastic surgery and the pioneering work of the surgeons involved. It is the only collection documenting the history of plastic surgery in a public collection in New Zealand and has been used also by international researchers.
It contains many case files, illustrated with watercolours and photographs that were used both as a medical record and for teaching purposes and now have significance for the families of patients. There is additional aesthetic value in the watercolours of the NZ artist Herbert R. Cole recording the progress of the treatment of WW1 patients.
“These two new inscriptions onto the New Zealand register and the inscription of the Sir Edmund Hillary Archive onto the UNESCO Memory of the World International register make 2015 a significant year for the recognition of the importance of documentary heritage in New Zealand,” says Memory of the World New Zealand Trust Chairperson, Dianne Macaskill.
He Whakaputanga is housed at Archives New Zealand in Wellington. The document is two sheets of medium-weight cream laid paper with different watermarks on each sheet. Sheet 1 has written information on both sides, while Sheet 2 is a single-sided codicil added after the initial signings on 28 October 1835.
Held in high cultural esteem the document was signed by 52 Māori rangatira. Beside each name is a signature, a tohu (mark), or a simplified part of their moko (facial tattoo, often from the nose).
UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992. It sits alongside UNESCO’s better-known World Heritage List and Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Memory of the World register is the Programme’s flagship and promotes the value and safekeeping of documentary heritage. The New Zealand Programme was established in 2010. Further information about Memory of the World and the inscriptions on the register can be viewed on www.unescomow.org.nz.
For more information, contact:
UNESCO Memory of the World Programme and Register
Mob: 021 317 060
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