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UNESCO honour for University of Otago heritage collection


Wednesday 29 November 2017 5:14pm

The interior of the State Insurance Building, now part of the Southern Cross Hotel, Princes Street. Photo: Hocken Library Salmond Anderson collection.

A University of Otago architectural collection spanning 150 years has been recognised for its significance to New Zealand history.

The Salmond Anderson Architecture records at the Hocken Collections, Uare Taoka o Hākena has today been listed on the UNESCO Memory of the World New Zealand documentary heritage register.

UNESCO recognition draws attention to the significance of documentary heritage and the institutions that care for it.

One of R.A. Lawson’s designs for First Church from the 1860s.

Hocken Head Curator, Archives, Anna Blackman says the Salmond Anderson Architecture records document architectural development in southern New Zealand from 1862 to 2008.

"The extensive collection charts the broad development of architectural style and the technology of design and draughting representative of architectural history in New Zealand.’’

Architects represented include R.A. Lawson, James Louis Salmond, Robert Vanes, Arthur Louis Salmond (son of the founder), Henry Burt, Arthur John Salmond (grandson of the founder), Donald Anderson, and Timothy Heath.

Category 1 historic places include First Church of Otago, Knox Presbyterian Church, Larnach Castle, Bank of New South Wales (Oamaru), Otago Boys’ High School, Dunedin Municipal Chambers, and the Seacliff Lunatic Asylum (demolished).
Numerous Category 2 places are represented as well as smaller ordinary domestic buildings. Many of the finely drawn architectural drawings are of outstanding aesthetic value.

"For the Hocken, Memory of the World registration is a wonderful and lasting way we can recognise the significance of these records to the history of architecture and the built environment in New Zealand,’’ she says.

The Memory of the World New Zealand Trust Chair Dianne Macaskill says the trust is "delighted’’ to welcome the records onto the register and congratulated the Hocken for their care of the taonga.

“The Salmond Anderson Architecture records is a first of its kind for the register. It includes some excellent examples that show the development of architectural trends and practices in New Zealand.”

This latest inscription brings the Hocken Library’s total on the register to five. Other collections inscribed are: Charles Brasch Personal Papers (2011), Hocken Church Missionary Society Collection (2013) Pickerill Papers on Plastic Surgery (2015) and Lance Richdale Papers on ornithology (2016).

Other new inscriptions to the Memory of the World New Zealand register are: The Ng New Zealand Chinese Heritage Collection (Presbyterian Research Centre, Dunedin); John A Lee’s Collection and J. T. Diamond Collection (Auckland Libraries); the World War 1 Official New Zealand photographs (Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington); an iconic TV documentary Kaleidoscope (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, Wellington); and the Tyree Studio Photographic Collection (Nelson Provincial Museum and Alexander Turnbull Library).

For more information, please contact:

Anna Blackman
Head Curator Archives
Hocken Collections, Uare Taoka o Hākena
Phone: +64 3 479 8867

UNESCO Memory of the World New Zealand

UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992. It sits alongside UNESCO’s World Heritage List and Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The Memory of the World register is the programme’s flagship and promotes heritage stories at three levels, international, regional and national. 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
Inscription on the register raises awareness of the institution’s holdings and ensures they are protected and supported.

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

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