May 15, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Foremost Maori Scholar to be first NZ Legacy Library Online

2 min read

The University of Waikato Library has just announced that its Pei te Hurinui Jones book collection has just been listed on Legacy Libraries on Librarything. It is believed it is the first New Zealand Legacy library to be loaded and about our Matua even!

PeiJonesC“Legacy Libraries” records the personal libraries of historical figures. One of its aims is to get this information out on the web and whilst some are based on published bibliographies others have involved original research to track down the information. Another aim is to make them interesting and useful, for example showing what books you might share with these famous people.

Pei te Hurinui Jones was one of the foremost Maori scholars of the twentieth century. Jones joins Alfred Deakin (the second Prime Minister of Australia) in the Antipodean Legacies collection. Mr. Jones was a leading Maori scholar and translator (he’s known for translating three volumes of Maori chants and song-poetry into English, and three Shakespeare plays into Maori).

Apirana Ngata writing about the young people of Ngati Maniapoto in 1928 said of Jones

The torch-bearer will I think be Pei Jones – a good man, with plenty of vision, a first-rate Maori scholar, steeped in West Coast folk lore etc. and a very competent master of English… And he has the fire that kindles hearts.

You can read a more complete biographical sketch on his profile page.

The Pei te Hurinui Jones manuscript and book collection is amongst the most significant of the University of Waikato Librarys holdings. In the future it is hoped that annotations will be added to provide details of the provenance of each of Peis books and information about his research notes within them.

These projects are co-ordinated through the “I See Dead People’s Books” group, which has more information about the process at:

Archival Background

The University of Waikato holds the book collection of Pei te Hurinui Jones and many of his manuscripts. The first instalment of his papers were deposited with the University Library in 1990 and a professional archivist arranged them in 1991. When a further collection of Peis papers along with his book collection and many taonga were deposited in 2003 an experienced highly regardedspecialistMaori curator ofNg?ti T?wharetoa descent Rangiiria Hedley was appointed on contract to undertake to arrange, describe and preserve the collection.

A room was set aside (dedicated)to house the collection, and named He Mahi Mareikura. Itwas blessed by the Tainui elder John Haunui and was opened by Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu in July 2004.


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