Chromolithograph published by  A R Hornblow & Son, Wellington, c.1920. Image courtesy of the Alexander Turnbull Library, ref Eph-D-CHRISTMAS-1920-01.

Chromolithograph published by A R Hornblow & Son, Wellington, c.1920. Image courtesy of the Alexander Turnbull Library, ref Eph-D-CHRISTMAS-1920-01.

This blog will now take a short holiday break. I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all of you who have read and contributed to this project in 2013. When I started the blog in May I was uncertain how it would work out – it has been more popular and helpful than I could have imagined! As well as raising people’s interest in the history of the university and giving me some good writing practice, it has helped considerably with my research. Many people have been in touch – some through comments, others via email – with responses to stories and further information. I am enormously grateful to those people who have identified photographs, added details and shared further stories.

My thanks also go to the Department of History and Art History, the Hocken Collections and the Alumni Office, who have helped share the word about the blog. For images, I am indebted to the wonderful collections held by the Alexander Turnbull Library and especially to the Hocken Collections, keeper of the university archive (my thanks go in particular to Richard Munro and Mary Lewis for assistance with copying at the Hocken). Some of the best images have come from the private collections of university people I have interviewed, and I am most grateful to them for their generosity in allowing me to share them.

It has been interesting to see which posts are the most popular. Predictably, those at the top of the list are mostly those of wider public interest. The top 5 posts so far are:

  1. The best prank? (the UFO hoax of 1952)
  2. The vanishing hall of residence (the story of Helensburgh House)
  3. The McCahon hoax (1961 prank involving a McCahon painting)
  4. How to sit an exam (advice from 1913)
  5. A growing campus (aerial view of the central campus in 1955)

Have a great Christmas, and I look forward to sharing more stories of Otago’s intriguing past with you in 2014!

Ali Clarke

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