Private lives and public records
Archival materials can end up in a lot of different places: these places are sometimes private institutions and sometimes public. The purpose of this exhibition is to showcase the interconnected roles of the University of Canterbury's Macmillan Brown Library - Te Puna Rakahau o Macmillan Brown, and Archives New Zealand's Christchurch office. By bringing together the public and private records of each institution, we are able to show how our collections relate to each other and contribute to a more complete picture of our shared heritage. Utilising resources from different institutions enables researchers to build an holistic view of their subject that more accurately reflects the reality of lived experiences.
To illustrate this we have chosen to feature one of Canterbury’s foremost high country sheep farming families, the Aclands. The records from Archives New Zealand relate to the business of running Mt Peel Station and the public lives of members of the Acland family. These are complemented by the archives from Macmillan Brown Library which portray their domestic and family lives. This exhibition will continue to develop over time and as we add new material we hope more connections will emerge that flesh out the story of our colonial past.
BACKGROUND TO THE FAMILY
John Barton Arundel Acland arrived in Lyttelton on 4 January 1855, on the Royal Stuart, with friend Charles George Tripp. Together they established the first high country sheep station in the Province of Canterbury in May 1856, around the area of Mount Peel and Orari Gorge. In 1865 a house was built at Mount Peel which Acland named Holnicote, after his favourite ancestral home in the England.
Acland and Tripp both married daughters of the Bishop of Christchurch, Henry Harper. J.B.A. married Emily Weddell Harper in 1860 and together they had 11 children of whom three boys and six girls survived. Acland died on 18 May 1904 and is buried in the Mt Peel churchyard.
J.B.A. Acland and his descendants were to go on to play significant roles in the young colony. The Aclands became prominent in many arenas including business, politics and education, and were a pivotal influence in the formation of many of Canterbury’s institutions and social structures.
Size: 19 items
(175 items total)