Sketch of Jonathan Dennis Library by Tony De Goldi 2017

TAUTUA (Samoan word for ‘service’ )

- By Mishelle Muagututi’a (Documentation Team Leader, Kaiārahi Tira Pūranga ā-Tuhi, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)
This blog has been written in support of National Volunteer Week: 18-24 June 2017

Over the last few years Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision has benefited from the input of volunteers and interns as they help support our documentation collection staff care for and share our New Zealand audio-visual history and culture. Our volunteers are entrusted with processing collection items, from rehousing to cataloguing unpublished collections and, as a charitable trust, their support is invaluable.

Some of these volunteers stay for quite a while – over the past three years we’ve been particularly fortunate to have had four special volunteers work with us. The ‘Fantastic Four’ – Gema Ibanez, Shona Fretwell, Jill Goodwin and Daisy Wang have now all embarked on exciting personal journeys but we didn’t want to see them go without publically acknowledging their selfless and engaging service to the archive.

In May 2016, we had our first Intern – artist, Jasmine Te Hira, from the CNZ Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Internship programme. The programme allows potential arts managers and leaders to develop their arts management skills. Jasmine worked across teams, firstly learning about archival principles, rehousing, arrangement and descriptions; secondly as part of the production crew for the Siapo Cinema: Oceania Film Festival programme. Her three-month internship was shared with the Auckland Art Gallery. Jasmine has moved on to archiving work at the Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts archives as well as being an award-winning artist.

Jasmine Te Hira presents her rehousing skills in our Jonathan Dennis Library. Photo by Mishelle Muagututi’a
Jasmine Te Hira presents her rehousing skills in our Jonathan Dennis Library. Photo by Mishelle Muagututi’a

Erolia Ifopo working alongside Senior Archivist, Tracy White in the workroom. Photo by Mishelle Muagututi’a.
Erolia Ifopo working alongside Senior Archivist, Tracy White in the workroom. Photo by Mishelle Muagututi’a.

Fat Freddy’s Drop Management donated Erolia Ifopo’s time to volunteer within the community, and she chose Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision and the Sisters of Compassion Soup Kitchen. Here at Ngā Taonga she learnt more about handling complex unpublished collections, arrangement and descriptions and she will take her new found knowledge back to Fat Freddy’s Drop Management’s own archives. Erolia also helped as Production Manager for the Moana Symposium 2016.

Recently we welcomed two new volunteers to the archive. To’aga Alefosio’s three month internship through the Pacific Studies programme at Victoria University is part of her study towards her Honours degree. To’aga’s time here will consist of research into Pacific related material in the collection, providing additional information and descriptions for photographic material, scanning of photographic material, cataloguing and descriptions.

Volunteer, graduate/artist, Kowhai Wheeler will be with us for 12 months as a photographic assistant. She is tasked with scanning photographs, slide transparencies, ephemera, posters and providing arrangement and descriptions.

To’aga Alefosio in the Jonathan Dennis Library. Photo by Mishelle Muagututi’a.
To’aga Alefosio in the Jonathan Dennis Library. Photo by Mishelle Muagututi’a.

The contribution and help of all our volunteers is immensely important, effectively increasing the number of documentation collection items processed and making more of our material available for all New Zealanders.
Kōwhai Wheeler in the Jonathan Dennis Library. Photo by Mishelle Muagututi’a
Kōwhai Wheeler in the Jonathan Dennis Library. Photo by Mishelle Muagututi’a

You can find out more about our documentation collection work in our website:
http://www.ngataonga.org.nz/collections/what-do-we-hold/documentation-and-artefacts.

One of the very special document collection items is the Charlie Chilcott album which you can view here.

The documentation collection team also worked on aspects featured in our Sellebration Exhibition, such as the animation cels used for the 1950s Shell Oil cinema advertisements.

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