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UNESCO honours for Auckland’s founding father

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

UNESCO recognition draws attention to the significance of documentary heritage and the institutions that care for it.

Sir John Logan Campbell

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

Sir John Logan Campbell (1817-1912), Auckland's founding father and most esteemed pioneer remained at the heart of that settlement's commercial and cultural affairs for over 60 years. He is also honoured as the city’s greatest benefactor, his bequests taking their most enduring form in his gift of Cornwall Park to the people of New Zealand.

Philippa Price, Heritage Manager, Cornwall Park Trust Board (Inc) says, “Sir John was a diligent preserver of documents, which bear upon the story of his life and that of Auckland, the city of his adoption. These papers along with those of the Sir John Logan Campbell Residuary Estate reside in the care of Auckland War Memorial Museum.

“The Sir John Logan Campbell Papers remain a treasured part of Auckland’s cultural heritage because of their diverse scope and rich historical worth.”

Three other documentary heritage collections were also inscribed onto the register: the Katherine Mansfield Literary and Personal Papers, held by the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington; the Waipu Scottish Migration Collection, held by Waipu Museum and the Lancelot Eric Richdale Papers (1912-1980) documenting early research into New Zealand seabirds, held at the Hocken Library, Dunedin.

The Memory of the World New Zealand Trust Chair Dianne Macaskill said, “the Trust is delighted to now have 20 inscriptions of significant documentary heritage items onto the register. All greatly contribute to the story of our nation’s history and heritage and are significant to the identity of New Zealanders today.

“The Sir John Logan Campbell Papers are significant to the business and social history of the early days of Auckland, now New Zealand’s biggest city and economic powerhouse.

The Katherine Mansfield papers have a clear significance to the works of the author and the international recognition it receives today.

“The Waipu Scottish Migration Collection tells the story of a significant international migration by the Reverend Norman MacLeod and his followers in the 1800s from Scotland to Nova Scotia, via South Africa to Australia, and to New Zealand, reflecting the spread of the British Empire.

The Lancelot Richdale papers document early research into New Zealand seabirds. They are of great scientific value and include early rare films of albatrosses at the now world- renowned Otago Albatross Sanctuary.

“These documentary heritage collections are excellent sources of research for historians, researchers, educators and many others in the wider community.”

UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 and sits alongside UNESCO’s World Heritage List and Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Memory of the World register is the Programme’s flagship and promotes heritage stories at three levels: international, regional and national. The New Zealand Programme was established in 2010. Further information about Memory of the World and the inscriptions on the register can be viewed on