What's on

HeritageTalks 2017 

When: Fortnightly on Wednesdays from February to November, 12pm - 1pm unless otherwise stated.
Where: Whare Wānanga, Level 2, Central City Library, Lorne St, Auckland
Cost: Free
Booking: To secure your place, please contact the Central Auckland Research Centre on 09 307 7771, or complete our online booking form.

Interested in family and local history? The history of this country, as well as the rest of the world?

Then why not come along to one of our fortnightly HeritageTalks and hear more about both our personal and our shared heritage.

Coming up in HeritageTalks:


Selwyn ChurchSelwyn Stories with Christopher Paxton
Wednesday 22 March, 12pm - 1pm

Late last year The church on the corner: a history of Selwyn Church Mangere East, 1863-2012 was published. Author Christopher Paxton tells the general history of Selwyn Church, but also looks at some of the back stories behind Selwyn, some of the social issues that affected the church during its 150-year history and some interesting sidelights that popped up during his research.



DevonportThe Devonport Steam Ferry Company and Auckland with David Verran
Wednesday 5 April, 12pm - 1pm

The regular service offered to Devonport area residents by the Devonport Steam Ferry Company from 1881 was a vital factor in the growth of the North Shore. Nevertheless for those who wished to remain on the city side the ferry service also offered opportunities, including visiting friends and relations in the Devonport and North Shore area, work at the Chelsea sugar works or the naval docks and recreational day trips including those to the Takapuna Races, the ‘strawberry and cream’ outlets and into the 20th century to the ‘Pirate Shippe’ at Milford.

Dominique CooremanLa Basse-Ville 1917: New Zealand Voices from Flanders Fields with Dominique Cooreman
Wednesday 12 April, 12pm - 1pm (extra event)

Retired Belgian judge Dominique Cooreman unearthed an almost forgotten battle in a 12-year quest to bring understanding and closure to the families of the more than 1000 Kiwi men killed in a small hamlet called La Basse-Ville in 1917.

Her unique book sheds light on how the war affected all people. 


A romance novel illustration. You read that trash?: The enduring attraction of the world’s most hated and most loved genre with Joanne Graves
Wednesday 19 April, 12pm - 1pm

Romance is one of the most appealing literary genres in the world, and New Zealand boasts some of its most popular authors, from paranormal writer Nalini Singh to the late Mills & Boon novelist Essie Summers. Joanne Graves discusses the history of this ever-changing genre, and looks at the iconic pop-culture cover art of romance novels throughout the decades.


An Irish harp. A doomed battle: the Easter Rising, Dublin, Ireland, 24-29 April 1916 with Raewynn Robertson
Wednesday 3 May, 12pm - 1pm

The Easter Rising was a doomed battle for Irish independence from Britain. This battle, which lasted six days over Easter 1916, was planned by the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), and had support from the Irish Citizens Army (ICA) and other volunteers. Although ultimately a disaster, as the Volunteers were completely outnumbered ten to one by British troops, the Easter Rising proved to be one of the decisive turning points in Irish history.


Family history magazines. It's all about audience - writing the articles with Bruce Ralston
Wednesday 17 May, 12pm - 1pm

Be inspired to put pen to paper and tell stories from your family history or research expertise. Let go of your inhibitions about writing and let the world know what you have discovered, even if it is really just stories you want to record for your family.

Bruce Ralston is editor of the New Zealand Genealogist. In previous lives he has been a librarian, helping to establish family history centres in Wellington and Auckland Libraries, a library manager, an archivist, and a metadata manipulator.


Special event: Wednesday 31 May

  • 10.30am - 11.30am: Tour of the Central Research Centre with Seonaid Lewis
    Auckland Libraries family history librarian Seonaid Lewis gives a tour of the refurbished Central Auckland Research Centre.
  • 1pm - 5pm: Your British Ancestry – an afternoon with Helen Smith
    Visiting Australian Helen Smith is a professional family historian lecturing, teaching, writing and client research. She has been researching her own family history since 1986, and is researching the surname “Quested” anywhere, anytime and has registered the name with the Guild of One-Name Studies and with the Surname Society.
    We’re lucky enough to have her give us a series of three British family history talks:
  • 1pm - 2pm: The Parish Chest: More than baptisms, marriages and burials Treasures hidden within the Parish Chest include Bastardry bonds, settlement certificates, removal orders and so much more.
  • 2.30pm - 3.30pm: The workhouse
    The 1834 New Poor Law resulted in many changes and the dreaded Union Workhouse. Hear about life in the Workhouse, the records and more.
  • 4pm - 5pm: The English apprentice
    The industrial revolution caused changes to the long history and records of English Apprenticeships.


    The book that changed Europe with Andrew Henry
    Wednesday 14 June, 12pm - 1pm

    Find out how Auckland Libraries ended up with not one, but two sets of this beautifully illustrated, seven-volume, 18th century work.


    Featured events

    New Zealand family history month at Auckland Libraries
    1 to 31 August 2017
    Various library venues around the Auckland region – check with your local library

    Auckland Family History Expo
    11-13 August 2017
    Come and see us at the Fickling Convention Centre, 546 Mount Albert Road, Three Kings, Auckland. Programme in progress, but when published can be viewed from May onwards.

    Auckland Heritage Festival
    30 September to 15 October 2017


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