Wellington City Libraries

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Oral Histories

Main Heritage

Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interviews.

Ruth Gotlieb Oral History

Ruth Gotlieb

Ruth Gotlieb had a long and remarkable career within local government. On 11 August 2000, the library at Kilbirnie became known as Ruth Gotlieb Library to recognise Mrs Gotlieb's outstanding contribution to library services in Wellington.

Mervyn Kemp Oral History

Mervyn Kemp

Ernest Mervyn Hall Kemp, was Mayor of the Tawa Borough Council for 28 years. During that time he helped Tawa develop from a semi-rural community to a vibrant urbanised township.

Robert Bradford Williams

Robert Bradford Williams

The African-American Mayor of the Wellington Borough of Onslow. He was born in 1860 in the County of Appling in south-east Georgia shortly before the start of the American Civil War.

Ohariu Valley

Ohariu Valley Oral Histories

Ohariu Valley is a rural district on Wellington's urban doorstep. Feeling that the social history of the area deserved to be more widely known, Wellington City Libraries have captured some of the memories of current and former valley dwellers in this oral history project.

Thornton's Confectionary

Thornton's Confectionary

For generations of young Wellingtonian's, one shop in the city stood above all others: Thornton's Confectionary based in Manners Street was Wellington's best known and loved manufacturing confectioner until it closed in 1948.