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Come along to our Public History talk on Wed 04 Oct

Join the Ministry and the National Library of New Zealand for our October public history talk by Professor Charlotte Macdonald and Dr Rebecca Lenihan. Takes place at the National Library on 04 October 2017 at 12.15pm

At least 12,000 imperial soldiers served in New Zealand in the wars of the 1860s. Who were the faces behind the uniforms serving Queen and government in this pivotal moment in New Zealand’s history? Where did the soldiers come from? Where did they go to?  Many men had served in the Crimea, India or Australia. Some women and children also travelled with the regiments. What did they bring to New Zealand? And how might the wars on these soils be understood within the broader history of the British Empire in the mid-nineteenth century?

These are some of the questions the Soldiers of Empire project seeks to address ( In this talk Charlotte Macdonald and Rebecca Lenihan will discuss the development of a database of men serving in the imperial regiments in New Zealand, the nature of the ‘big data’ generated by the War Office, issues, limitations and possibilities to date, and goals for the database’s continuing development, along with some preliminary analysis. An initial release of the database is planned ahead of Rā Maumahara – the National Day of Commemoration on 28 October.

Professor Macdonald is Professor of History at Victoria University of Wellington Te Whare Wānanga o te Ūpoko o Te Ika a Maui.

Dr Lenihan is a post-doctoral fellow at Victoria University of Wellington Te Whare Wānanga o te Ūpoko o Te Ika a Maui, working with Charlotte Macdonald on the Soldiers of Empire project. She is the author of From Alba to Aotearoa: Profiling New Zealand’s Scots 1840-1920 (Otago University Press, 2015).

Drawing of the Albert Barracks, 1860s, Auckland, Thomas Matravers Album, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

Please join us on Wednesday 4 October at the National Library of New Zealand from 12.15pm to 1.15pm. 

Come to Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library Building, corner of Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Thorndon, Wellington. 

These free public history talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

We look forward to seeing you at the Library.  

Updated on 4th October 2017