From time to time, you might see a book in the catalogue listed as Stack. These are books which are housed behind the scenes in the Central Library - items that the Library definitely wants to keep, but for some reason (e.g. older condition, or not in as high demand) the open shelf is not the right place for them. Most can be borrowed.

Please ask at the enquiries counter on the Second Floor and staff will be happy to retrieve them.

This webpage will highlight some of these nearly forgotten treasures - note that the author's selections and recommendations of these golden oldies are entirely idiosyncratic!

Last updated 23 December 2004

Early shipping

(The best early book source is still Henry Brett's White Wings : immigrant ships to New Zealand, 1840-1902, (1924) but the selection below also contains a wealth of information for anyone interested in shipping or history.)

The colonial clippers, by A. Basil Lubbock. (1943)
Part IV is likely to be of most interest to readers entitled "the New Zealand trade". Key ships of the Shaw, Savill and Albion Companies are mentioned individually. There is quite a bit of cross-over with Brett (see above) but also some different information. An extensive index.

The ocean in English history, by James Williamson. (1941)
Based on a series of lectures, this begins the history with the discovery of America, with much interest in the Atlantic exploration during Tudor times. But there is also a chapter on the Opening of the Pacific, sketching Cook's endeavours. Such a wide sweep places England's interest in the South Pacific within a long-term national view.

Pen and pencil sketches of shipping and craft all round the world, by R. T. Pritchett. (1899)
Pritchett was Marine Painter to the Royal Thames Yacht Club. The South Pacific representatives are the Fijian Lekuva and Australian Flying Squadron. The author's intent was to capture a wide cross-section of 'the grand canvas period of history'. Each example is accompanied by about a page of text definitely of its time (e.g. the brown fibre and mat sails of the craft in savage countries are being supplanted by our well-beloved white canvas...) but nevertheless an interesting selection of sailing designs for local conditions and interests.

Merchant ships of the world, by Frank Bowen. (1929)
Ships are arranged in order of country, then owning company. This is a descriptive register of all seagoing merchant ships over 1,000 tons gross at the time. Find NZ ships under the section entitled British Dominions and colonies.
Also by this author is The flag of the Southern Cross, 1939-1945, published in 1947 by the Shaw Savill & Albion Co. Ltd as a "permanent record of the activities of the Company during the Second World War."

Steam in the Southern Pacific, by Will Lawson. (1909)
The sub-title "The story of merchant steam navigation in the Australasian coastal and intercolonial trades, and on the ocean lines of the Southern Pacific" says it all.
Also by this author is Pacific steamers, which contains a lot of information about early steamers visiting NZ (although hampered by a scant index.)

Indian shipping : a history of the sea-borne trade and maritime activity of the Indians from the earliest times, by Radhakumud Mookerji. (1912).
The frontispiece is a photo of a sculpture of Indian adventurers sailing out to colonise Java. An interesting counterpoint about a nation not widely known here for its oceanic exploration.

Transatlantic paddle steamers, by Philip Spratt. (1951).
The paddle era of the Atlantic falls naturally into three main periods, and each has a chapter devoted to it.

Pamir, the story of a sailing ship, by Sydney Waters. (1949).
The Pamir first sailed into Wellington harbour (from the Seychelles) in 1941. She had been "seized in prize" during the war and hence became the property of the NZ government. This four-masted large square rigged sailing vessel was definitely a curiosity from yesteryear. This book was written as a tribute when in 1948 she was restored by the government to Finland and hence was unlikely to be seen again in these waters.

Express steamers of Cook Strait, by Allan Kirk. (1968).
The history of regular inter-Island passengar shipping services really began in 1895 between Wellington, Picton, Nelson and Lyttelton. Before the advent of air travel this was the only link between the Islands for many NZers. The book was finished and in final proofing stage in 1968 when the tragedy of the Wahine occurred, and "it was with a heavy heart" that the author added a final note on this disaster.

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