Tag Archives: Christchurch earthquake

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Physics and Passchendaele

By Sarah Johnston (Client Services Coordinator – Radio, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

This Tuesday was the 145th birthday of Lord Ernest Rutherford, who was born near Nelson in 1871. He is the man on our $100 note and “the father of nuclear physics” who was awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 1908.

Ernest Rutherford aged 21 (image: Wikimedia Commons).
Ernest Rutherford aged 21 (image: Wikimedia Commons).

Last weekend also saw the re-opening of “Rutherford’s Den,” the cupboard-below-the-stairs where he carried out some of his earliest experiments at Canterbury University College in Christchurch. This is now a fully-fledged interactive science exhibit about the man and his discoveries and it features archival recordings from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s sound collection, including the voice of the man himself. You can hear me talking to RNZ’s Jim Mora about the recordings here or read more and find links to the recordings below.

ChristchurchArtCentre
The Clock Tower building at the Christchurch Arts Centre.

The Rutherford’s Den museum is in the Clock Tower building of the Christchurch Arts Centre, which has been undergoing a massive, multi-million dollar restoration after suffering earthquake damage.  Rutherford attended university there from 1890-94, gaining three degrees before winning a scholarship to study in England.   Continue reading

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: “From one side of the fault line to the other”

The long-term experiences and effects of the Canterbury earthquakes are woven through the many and varied broadcasts on Plains FM – Canterbury’s community access radio station.  An example is captured in ‘Bookenz’ a weekly programme highlighting new books and their authors, from both New Zealand and abroad.

Recently host Morrin Rout talked to Canterbury poets Joanna Preston and James Norcliffe about their anthology of earthquake poems Leaving the Red Zone.

Bookenz, 15/03/2016

You can hear more episodes of Bookenz here

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently.

Audio from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of these items please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Earthquake Exploitation

Dee Morgan from Lexington Legal Barristers and Solicitors is interviewed during “Women in the Rebuild,” about the exploitation of immigrant workers in the Canterbury rebuild (“Women in the Rebuild,” 29 October 2015, Plains FM).

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently.

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Earthquake Ripples

Raelene Rees and Michelle Mac-William from Women in the Rebuild reflect on some of the social issues affecting Cantabrians in the wake of the 2010 / 2011 earthquakes (“Women in the Rebuild,” 12 February 2015, Plains FM).

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

You can hear full episodes of “Women in the Rebuild” here.

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently.

Sounds of Lost Christchurch

Like many Christchurch inhabitants, our sound branch of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision (then known as Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero) was forced out of its home by the earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011. The former premises at Radio New Zealand House, on the corner of Chester Street West and Durham St, were damaged and have now been demolished. The archives moved to temporary premises, where they remain today, while a new permanent home is sought. Learn more about the recovery of the collections after the 2011 earthquakes here.

Within our collection we have many recordings that capture events and everyday moments in Christchurch locations that no longer exist – or have been changed forever by the seismic activity.

ChchRadio
Mr Les Croft, a 3YA entertainer. From radio artists 3YA Christchurch leather photo album.

 

Spectrum – A Kind of Square Programme (1987)

Christchurch Cathedral dominates the Square, but it’s the people who congregate there who make it the living hub of Christchurch. Jack Perkins explores Cathedral Square and the many characters who call it home. This programme won a Mobil Radio Award. Duration: 27′35″, ref. 5318.


 

Christchurch city cinema promotion (1953)

All seven of the inner-city movie theatres mentioned by Cookie Moyle in this 1953 promotional recording have now disappeared from the CBD. Duration: 1′25″, ref. 22138.


 

  Continue reading

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: 35 Hours into a 72 Hour Broadcast!

Field Theory – a collective of artists based in Australia – undertook to broadcast continuously for 72 hours from Lancaster Park, Christchurch in November 2014.  The collective were interested in the narratives that tied people to the stadium and helped shape the enigma of place, memory and history.

This excerpt is taken from approximately 35-hours into the broadcast (Field Theory, 14-17 November 2014).

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Anniversary of the 22 February Earthquake

This week in Audio Curios:

Canterbury earthquake audio montage; aired during RadioLIVE’s 15-hour outside broadcast from central Christchurch in 2014. The broadcast marked the third anniversary of the 22 February earthquake.

Click below to listen:

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.

The Day the Earth Moved Under Our Feet

- By Marie O’Connell (Audio Conservator, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

This piece was originally published in IASA journal issue 44, January 2015.

 

This article presents a personal account of a series of natural disasters — namely earthquakes — that my colleagues and I lived and worked through, and how those events affected our archive — Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision (then Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero). In particular, I intend to describe the recovery and relocation process, and our experience of restoring order to the physical archive.

The Sequence of Events

I began working at Sound Archives Ngā  Taonga Kōrero — an archive predominantly focused on collecting and preserving New Zealand’s recorded radio heritage — in 1994. In 2002, I moved to the United States where I would spend five years preserving Civil Rights Era oral histories in Mississippi. When Hurricane Katrina struck the southern United States in August, 2005, I experienced my first encounter with a major disaster.

Clock stopped at the time of the September earthquake, after falling off the wall.
Clock stopped at the time of the September earthquake, after falling off the wall.

Hurricanes are destructive and traumatic, but they do not usually arrive unannounced; earthquakes come without a warning. There is no opportunity to prepare, nor can their magnitude or duration be predicated — this fact was made evident to me three years after I had returned to Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero, when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch on September 4th, 2010, at 4.35am.

Like most people, I was woken when I was thrown out of my bed onto the floor, and — over the top of the earthquake’s rumble — I could hear the sound of things smashing in my house. Owing to the depth and distance of the earthquake’s epicentre, there were no fatalities, and our archive was more disheveled than damaged. When we returned to work after the events of that weekend, we discovered that many of our collections — consisting of open reel tapes, DATs, CD-Rs, cassettes, nitrocellulose discs, and documentation — had been ejected from their shelving. Our disaster plan did not prescribe a particular course of action, but common sense suggested that we should return our collections to their shelves and do what we could to secure them from ongoing aftershocks. On a very limited budget, John Kelcher — a fellow conservator — and I purchased cord and packing tape, which we secured over the front of each shelf as a temporary measure until proper earthquake bracing could be installed. Amazingly, this stopgap solution protected some items throughout the sizeable aftershocks that would continue to rock us over the next four months. On February 22, at 12.51pm, however, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch. It was shallow, relatively close to the centre of the city, and profoundly destructive. Due to building collapse and falling masonry, 185 people would lose their lives.

Graph of the 22 February 2011 earthquake.
Graph of the 22 February 2011 earthquake.

I was just leaving the restroom when the earthquake hit. The force knocked me to the floor, and I could only watch as a solid wall cracked open in front of my eyes. The multi-story building that housed the archive was compromised, but still standing; however, the Methodist Church opposite our building collapsed immediately. The city centre was evacuated, and our building was immediately cordoned within a perimeter known as the ‘Red Zone’ — an area in which civilian access was forbidden. Uniformed army personnel secured every point of thoroughfare through this zone. Continue reading

SANTK Staff on Life Post-Earthquakes

This Saturday will be the three-year anniversary of the February 22, 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero main office was forced to move to new premises following the earthquake, where they remain today. SANTK Preservation Archivists John Kelcher and Marie O’Connell tell us about the effects of the earthquakes on their work and the post-quake recovery efforts.

Photo by John Kelcher.

Photo by John Kelcher.
Photo by John Kelcher.

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Interview with John Kelcher, SANTK Preservation Archivist

Gareth Watkins (SANKT Accessions Archivist) interviews John Kelcher (SANTK Preservation Archivist) about his work for Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero, in Christchurch – where he has been employed for 15 years. John talks about historical uses of sound technologies, sound preservation processes, and some of his favourite collection items (including an oral history about misadventures in the mining town of Denniston).

John Kelcher, SANTK Preservation Archivist.
John Kelcher, SANTK Preservation Archivist.

Continue reading