Residents have been helping us record the history of the North Shore for a number of years. Their stories are held in the North Shore Oral History Archive at the Takapuna Library
- access is by appointment Monday to Friday during Takapuna Library
opening hours. Phone 486-8460 and ask for Jacquie Morris
or Colleen Christie.
Or click on their name to send an email.
Oral Histories Listing
Oral Histories - People
Oral Histories - Events
Origins of the North Shore Oral History Archive
1. To establish an archive containing the recorded memories of North Shore citizens.
2. To record the social history of the North Shore.
Prior to North Shore local body amalgamation in 1989 there had been several oral history projects completed on the North Shore:
- 1977-1978 in Devonport Borough
- 1978-1979 in Northcote Borough
- 1982 in East Coast Bays City
- 1983-1989 in Birkenhead City
After amalgamation a sub-committee was set up to further oral history on the North Shore.
Members of the sub-committee were:
- North Shore City Mayor Paul Titchener (Convenor)
- Councillor Helen Ryburn
- Mrs A. Tanner and Mrs. R. Thomas (Birkenhead Historical Society)
- Mr. K. Mills and Mr P. Jackson (North Shore Historical Society)
- Lt. Cdr P. Dennerly (Naval Museum)
- Geoff Chamberlain (City Librarian)
- Jacquie Morris and Colleen Christie (Oral History Librarians)
- Carol Manson (Arts & Cultural Advisor)
1990 Pilot Project
Once an outline for a programme for the oral history of the North Shore had been agreed to the sub-committee was disbanded. Library staff, with members of the North Shore Historical Society, then began the programme by establishing a pilot project.
Members of the pilot project were:
- Recording equipment and filing cabinets bought.
- Initial pilot project completed.
- Oral History Training Manual published.
- Oral histories recorded on the North Shore in the past tracked down and retrieved.
- Oral history workshops held for community groups.
- Volunteers and Community Task Force people trained in theory and practice of oral history recording.
- A number of oral history projects were donated to the collection:
- Patricia Joughin - Devonport Library Associates' Women's Suffrage
- Lenore Truscott - North Shore Women's Suffrage Project
- Beverly Holland and Beachie Haslett - North Shore Federation of University Women
- Talks were given to community groups.
- A team working on a city-wide oral history project was established at Takapuna Library.
- Online index to the collection established through the online catalogue.
- Official opening of the North Shore Oral History Archive.
- The team has been discontinued but oral history recording assignments continue.
- Brian Humberstone gave an address to the 1997 Oral History conference in Hamilton on "Traps for the Amateur Oral Historian".
- The Archive depends on the work of volunteers and Community Task Force workers. It is supervised by librarians at Takapuna Library and supported by the North Shore Historical Society.
- Current projects include:
- Long Bay Oral History Project
- Mayors of North Shore Oral History Project.
- The Archive is now being used by:
- Students from secondary schools
- University students
- Families of people who have been recorded
- Oral Historians from other systems.