Migration, Identity and Scots-New Zealand Print Culture Traditions, 1860-1980

Between 2006-2008 and funded by a British Academy Small Research Grant, Principal Investigators Professor David Finkelstein from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and Dr. Sydney Shep from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, as well as SAPPHIRE team members and Victoria University of Wellington researchers, identified and gathered material on the interlinked networks of Scots-trained print culture specialists whose work from the mid-nineteenth century onwards created the businesses underpinning print culture activity in New Zealand. Initial scoping exercises have uncovered a wealth of material from both primary and secondary sources that will lead to more substantial programmes of research on the subject.

From initial research, the project team has developed several resources that advances general understanding of the place of Scots in the development of New Zealand’s print culture networks and social infrastructure. These include a database of individuals active in the early period of New Zealand colonial history, digital resources of valuable primary and secondary sources, and access to audio-visual resources previously unknown or unused. The results offer an opportunity to offer online access to resources that support research activities on Scottish immigration and the history of print culture in New Zealand.

This pilot study suggests there is scope for undertaking a number of larger projects focusing on the impact of trans-national print culture connections on local communities and regions. The types of material drawn on and examined during this pilot study offer potential expansions in the standard ontology of investigation in book history and print culture studies studies (people, texts, places), to include use of other flexible and dynamic codifications and presentations of relationships.

Pilot project work has been supported by funding from the British Academy

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