MINUTES of the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2011 of the Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection
Training Room, Archives New Zealand, Wellington 6:00pm, Wednesday 27 April 2011

Twenty-five members attended the AGM

Last year’s minutes Minutes of the 2010 meeting)
2012 Minutes


Lynne Jackett, Emma Macdonald, Tania Connelly

2.The Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2010 were circulated and accepted

Mary Skarott ./ Barbara Robertson

3.Matters arising


4.President’s report

David Retter circulated and spoke to the President’s report for 2010-2011. He highlighted the activities held during the year and the publication of two newsletters. David commented on the good service that is being provided to the DNW collection through Archives NZ, but noted that researchers are looking forward to again having access to all the children’s literature collections in one place when the NL building re-opens. The “in-person” enquiries detailed in the statistics do not include queries to staff at Archives NZ as these are not kept at present.

David thanked Lynne Jackett for her work locating and purchasing publications to fill gaps in the DNW collection. He also expressed his appreciation to the members of the Friends for their continuing support, and to the members of the committee for their contributions.

Audrey Cooper / BarbaraRobertson

5.Matters arising from the President’s Report

6.Treasurer’s Financial Report

Janet Blake presented the Financial Report for 2010-2011. She noted that the Friends are in a good financial position at present, with funds recently being re-invested in a term deposit.

Motion: That the membership fee be retained at $20 per annum.

Janet Blake / Joan McCracken


It was suggested by Sheila Williams that the Society’s charity number be included on the subscription form. Janet will do this for the print form and Joan will ask Jeff to also add it to the online form.

7.Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection Research Grant report

David recapped on the change from scholarship, available only to Victoria University of Wellington students, to a research grant available to applicants from across New Zealand, and the increase in value from $500 annually to $2000 biennially. In the past year with the NL research services being delivered from two buildings, the committee decided not to push the grant apart from through the website. There has been some interest and it is hoped the committee will be receiving applications in the near future. Lynne Jackett is currently revising the guidelines for applicants and the application form. The changed documents will be made available through the FDNW website.

Barbara Mabbett suggested that research grant also be advertised through the NZ Reading Association and the Children’s Literature Association

The committee will further discuss advertising the research grant at its next meeting.

Susan Price noted that she had received no applications for her research grant this year. She has had two researchers using her collection intensively.

David invited people to nominate suitable applicants and to provide them with information.

8.Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection website and newsletter report

Joan reported on behalf of the webmaster, Jeff Hunt, that in the last year the website has been updated with the November 2010 and April 2011 newsletters, and with the papers from the 2010 Annual General Meeting. Where possible links are inserted into the newsletters online to take readers to the websites where the original articles have been sourced, and therefore to additional information that may be of interest. As the cost of printing the newsletters in colour is prohibitive we will continue to produce these in black & white, but the online version is in colour so has “added value”.

It is hoped that the texts for N-B-A 10 Willingly to war by Andrew Francis, and N-B-A 11 ….Mrs Molesworth by Beatrice Turner, will be able to be added in the next year.

Joan encouraged members to submit news, original articles, notices of events, links to relevant websites, and other items of interest to both the website and the newsletter.

Sheila Williams requested that the FDNW website address be added to the newletter letterhead. Joan will undertake to do this.

9.Election of Officers for the 2011/2012 Committee

The following officers and committee members were elected unanimously, by acclaim:

Patron: Margaret Mahy

President: David Retter

Treasurer: Janet Blake

Membership Secretary: Trevor Mowbray

Correspondence Secretary: Barbara Robertson

Minutes Secretary: Lynne Jackett

Newsletter: Joan McCracken

Committee: Audrey Cooper, Alison Grant, Emma MacDonald, Mary Hutton, and Mary Skarott representing the NL childrens’ literature collections

10. General Business

a) The National Library re-building project and DNW services

Alison Elliott, Director Content Services, National Library, gave an update on the refurbishment of the National Library building. The project is going well and it is still anticipated that that services will return to the NLB by mid-2012. In the future all research services will be available on level one of the building. This includes browsable reference collections and a secure, supervised reading room to which the Alexander Turnbull Library and Dorothy Neal White collection items will be delivered. The Ground Floor will be more interactive with online offerings and an information commons.

At the end of 2010 the Library received an injection of money from its capital budget that will enable the lower ground and ground floors to also be refreshed. This includes an entry from Aitken Street and a lift connecting the LG, G, and 1st floors. The auditorium and meeting rooms available for hire will be on the lower ground floor.

All ATL collections will now be in environment-controlled rooms, and throughout the building collections will have increased security.

In response to questions Alison explained that, as a principle, staff will no longer be seated in collection areas and the public will not have direct access to collections as in the past with DNW. All requests will be delivered to the secure reading room. School Services and most other NL staff will be housed on level 3.

It was also announced that, in the Alexander Turnbull Library restructuring, Mary Skarott has been confirmed in the permanent position of Children’s Literature Specialist. In this role she will have responsibility for research services from the DNW, NCC and Turnbull juvenile collections.

This news was greeted with acclaim.

b) Suggestions for future meeting topics and for Notes-Books-Authors topics.

David reported that at a meeting later this year Trevor Mowbray would be presenting his research into 1940s books for children. Trevor hopes this will be the first of a series of talks looking at “decades” of writing and encouraged other members to take up the challenge to research and talk about books from their favourite era. He reminded us that we have available collections that date from the early 1800s to the present.

Joan gave advance notice of two other meeting topics

Mary Skarott will follow up her article in the latest newsletter on the NL’s electronic resources on interest to children’s literature researchers with a hands-on session in the TQ reading room

William Main, well-known Wellington photography historian, will present a lantern slide show

David asked members to let the committee know if they had any other suggestions.

The meeting closed at 6:45pm

The meeting was followed by readings by the committee of rabbit stories and poems.

These were:

Read by David Retter

  • “Little Jack Rabbit” from Through the garden gate, by Mabel O’Donnell and Rona Munro, illustrated by Florence and Margaret Hoopes and Christopher Sanders. (London: James Nisbet, [1951]). Janet & John Book 5

Read by Barbara Robertson

  • Tale of Peter Rabbit, written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter (London: Frederick Warne, 1905?)

Read by Mary Skarott

  • “The genuine original Easter rabbit” from Everything about Easter rabbits, written and illustrated by Wiltrud Roser, translated by Eva L Mayer (New York: Crowell [c1972])

Read by Janet Blake

  • Mr Rabbit and the lovely present, by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Maurice Sendak (New York: Harper Collins, 1962)

Read by Joan McCracken

  • The adventures of Velvet, written and illustrated by Hester Wagstaff (London: Faber & Faber, [1940])
  • Market Square from When we were young, by A A Milne, with decorations by E H Shepard (London: Methuen, 1924)

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