Friday, April 25, 2008


During the VALA Conference as a result of listening to the presentation by Joann Ransom from Horowhenua District Libraries on the use of the 'kete' software, I was thinking about using photographs particularly for the history of international trade. Local History Week at the Palmerston North City Libraries also prompted me to think about the use of images for the history of any country's exporting and importing activities.
The National Library of New Zealand plays a lead role in the management and promotion of Matapihi, which is a digital collection of images from 14 collections around New Zealand. The images are varied: photographs, drawings, paintings and museum objects.
I did searches on 'exports' which retrieved 58 images, 'exporting' six images and 'imports' 47 images. Among the cartoons and photos was an image which really caught my eye of three labels from cans of exported meats:- West Coast Meat & Produce Export Co Ltd (Patea). New Zealand boiled beef, and New Zealand brawn; and, Mitchell & Richards Tinned Meats, Wanganui. Ox tongues. 1890-1920]. A search on the site for 'west coast meat' will retrieve the description and image quickly.
The images can be freely used for study or research purposes, but you need permission for use on a website or intranet, or in a published work. The Matapihi site tells you how to obtain permission.

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