Real Gold: Treasures of the Auckland City Libraries
Iain Sharp and photographs by Haru Sameshima
Real Gold is a handsome book celebrating the rich variety and depth of the Special Collections of the Auckland City Central Library. These amazing collections are full of rare, valuable and wonderful items that are not widely known. One hundred treasures are featured each pictured in full colour with and an accompanying text written by Iain Sharp and grouped in sections such as Auckland, book arts, travel, literature and science.
Among the treasures shown are a First Folio of Shakespeare, a six-page catechism – the first work printed in New Zealand, illuminated manuscripts, maps of early Auckland, avant garde private press productions, Māori-language manuscripts, Isaac Newton’s Opticks, letters from Florence Nightingale to Sir George Grey, records of Limbs and Mercury Theatre. At the heart of the collection is the Sir George Grey donation which was the foundation of the library in 1887; an iconic item from the Grey Manuscripts, for example, is the score and lyrics of ‘God Defend New Zealand’.
The lively and informative text and the stunning pictures make Real Gold a treasure in itself.
It’s a fine thing – plainly designed, gently written, crisply photographed, redolent with the human spirit and endeavour, and not without a few laughs besides. – Frances Walsh, Metro