Pistols at dawn in 1844 on this day in history


On this day in history it was pistols at dawn between two lawyers resulting in the death of one of them in Thorndon, Wellington.

New Zealand History online is an awesome reputable source of New Zealand historical information as are Papers Past and Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

For more reputable websites for New Zealand information be sure to visit our Aotearoa / New Zealand subject guide.



I also recently visited Canterbury University’s  Macmillan Brown Library which has an extensive range of historical Canterbury resources. The Macmillan Brown Library is a research library, archive, and art gallery.  Check out access to their Digital Library  which is on their Heritage Collections page.

The Architectural Drawing collections contains over 100, ooo items and is one of the largest in New Zealand.

A small portion of their Art Collection has been digitised and can be viewed online also.

So whether its pistols at dawn or something else in New Zealand history you’re wanting to research there are a wealth of electronic resources out there.

Prefer a book or a DVD? Don’t forget to search Primo Library Search   on a particular topic or come in and  browse the shelves in the DU420 section in the General and the Māori Collections downstairs in the Library.

Here’s just a selection of the 1498 titles which are found in Primo from a search on New Zealand history.



The Bad Old Days

library 2

  Students studying at Wellington Public Library. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1958/3627-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23257782

These library rules date from about 1913 – the very early days of CPIT’s library. They’re an interesting insight into a different way of doing things.


  1. Each pupil may have out of the library one book and no more at one time. So, obviously, no assignments calling for ‘at least 10 sources’…
  2. Inclusive of days of delivery and return, one week will be allowed for each book. Such lending may be renewed. One week? What can I read in one week?
  3.  If a book shall not be returned at the proper time, the borrower shall be liable for a fine of one penny per day for each day over date. For comparison, a penny would buy you a sandwich or a cup of tea in 1913 – so about $4 per day in today’s money.
  4. Books are not transferable.
  5. Books cannot be changed twice on the same day. Tough luck if you chose the wrong one.
  6. If a book shall be written in or torn, or otherwise damaged, the borrower may be required to pay the value of the book or to replace it. Some things never change!
  7. Until a pupil shall have paid the School charge, and also all fines and moneys due by him on account of books detained, lost or damaged, he shall not be entitled to use the library.

I’m sure there were also rules about quietness in the library, and about eating and drinking. I hope we’ve moved on a bit now!


CPIT Library, 2012

We try to keep our rules to a minimum, but sometimes we can’t please everyone. To avoid the dreaded late fees, keep an eye on the date your books are due, or try electronic books – they return themselves, always on time.

For a complete run-down of the library’s user regulations, see the library homepage, or pick up an ‘Everything you want to know about borrowing from the library’ pamphlet from the library desk.

ANZAC Day – Wednesday 25th April 2012

Christchurch’s ANZAC Day dawn ceremony will be held in Cranmer Square, and will begin at 6.15am. Traditionally this service has been held in Cathedral Square.

The Returned and Services’ Association  hold the annual service to commemorate New Zealanders killed in war and honours all returned service personnel. It is the anniversary of the landing of Allied Forces at Gallipoli in 1915 during World War I. It became an official holiday in 1921.

The RSA has recently undergone a bit of a make-over. An article in Saturday’s  Press highlighted some of the new ideas aimed at increasing membership, and attracting support from a younger generation. The focus is on community, and the ANZAC spirit of  “compassion, camaraderie, courage, and commitment”

Find out more about ANZAC Day – the history and the traditions 

CPIT Library will be closed on Wednesday 25th April – open again on Thursday 26th at 8am.