A ground-breaking Otago University library project is putting thousands of New Zealand's earliest missionary archives online. This allows researchers for the first time to search the Hocken Library's Samuel Marsden journals and letters with online technological tools. They'll have access to thousands of fragile old missionary papers – including letters and diaries that are nearly two hundred years old – left by the pioneering Australasian missionary which have only ever been held in the stacks at the Library.
The precious journals, letters and documents, detailing life on the nation's first missions, were brought back from London more than a century ago by the library's founder, Thomas Hocken.
Dr Tony Ballantyne is a history professor at the University of Otago.
The allied ‘Whakapono: Faith & Foundations’ exhibition launches tonight at Hocken Collections, featuring a range of art, visual and archival material as well as archaeological evidence.