The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of ongoing conversations between researchers and librarians. Without such conversations followed by the active purchasing of manuscripts, the important contributions of individual first settlers would likely remain untold. The research review that unfolds here is of one of New Zealand's significant first settlers, William Colenso (1811-1899). Yet, 30 years ago William Colenso was mostly regarded as a local rather than a national figure, renowned and ridiculed for his being dismissed from the Church Missionary Society for moral impropriety in 1852. By 2011, however, a conference dedicated to his life and work attracted both national and international scholars raising awareness and contributing unique knowledge about Colenso as missionary, printer, linguist, explorer, botanist, politician, author and inspector of schools. It is argued that such scholarship was enabled through the purposeful collecting of Colenso's papers over 30 years.
The historical analysis draws from original documents and published papers chronicling the role and the views of one of New Zealand's first inspector of schools. A self-reflective review approach will show how new knowledge can enhance earlier published works and provide opportunities for further analysis.
It will be demonstrated that as a result of ongoing conversations between librarians and researchers purposeful buying of archives and manuscripts have added fresh perspectives to the contributions William Colenso made to education in provincial New Zealand.
This work is perhaps the first critical re-reading and review of one's own scholarship undertaken across 30 years within New Zealand history of education. It offers unique self-reflections on the subject focus and analyses of it over time.
Morris Matthews, K. (2014), "Locating the real William Colenso: reviewing a thirty year research journey", History of Education Review, Vol. 43 No. 2, pp. 231-244. https://doi.org/10.1108/HER-02-2013-0007Download as .RIS
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