Christmas top tens and favourites

'Tis the season to summarise! There's nothing better than a good ol' Christmas top ten list, right?


Winning athletes on podium during awards ceremony for the six mile event, 1950 British Empire Games, Eden Park, Auckland. Ref: 114/125/34-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Let's get right into the top ten, most viewed, sets of 2013:

1. 'Patched: A History of Gangs in New Zealand' takes out the number one set spot. Put together by the inimitable Donna Robertson, this set was produced alongside the release of the book of the same name about gang history and culture in NZ.

2. Donna Robertson's 'Winds of Wellington' blows into number two. These people are not having a good time.

3. Accomplished set-maker Courtney Johnston makes an appearance at number 3 with 'Portraits of People With Awesome Names'. Includes 'Hopeful Gibbons',' Alpha Bernie Harding' and 'Mabitta Webb'. Awesome indeed.


Mr Alpha Bernie Harding. Harding, William James, 1826-1899 :Negatives of Wanganui district. Ref: 1/4-004261-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

4. Painter Ian Scott sadly passed away this year. A set of his vibrant painted lattices comes in a number four.

5. Another sad milestone. 3 years since the 4 September earthquake in Christchurch. This set brings together items for remembering.

6. Sean McMahon's impressive set about the dance traditions of the Pacific.

Kapa Haka

Kapa Haka group, Glendale School, Wainuiomata - Photograph taken by Ross Giblin. Further negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1995/0752/14A-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

7. Kete Christchurch celebrated the upload of its 10,000th image this year! Aotearoa People's Network pulled together this set of Kete Christchurch images to celebrate this great community digital repository.

8. A significant moment in the history of New Zealand, the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill was made into law, and the National Library put together this set to celebrate the passing of the bill.

9. Sadly, another New Zealand painter passed away this year, Ralph Hotere. This set by Sienna Latham brings together work from across Hotere's career—sketches, minimal abstractions, collaborations with Bill Manhire, and set designs.

10. And just making it by the skin of its teeth at number 10, a set of photographs by Anne Noble.

Now for the most viewed individual items on DigitalNZ in 2013:

1. Moko and beard


Bragge, James, 1833-1908. Bragge, James (Wellington), fl 1865-1875 :Photograph of Kingi Tohunga. Ref: PA2-2215. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

2. Dargaville [Mt Wellesley Cemetery], Northland, 17 April 2003

3. Confrontation with Mogrel Mob, Colombo Street, Christchurch

4. Gang brawl

5. Pupils of Palmerston North High School


The Pupils of Palmerston North High School, 1923. Manawatu Memory Online.

6. Raymond Patterson leans into the wind on Cobham Drive, Wellington


Nicholson, John, fl 1997. Raymond Patterson leans into the wind on Cobham Drive, Wellington - Photograph taken by John Nicholson. Dominion post (Newspaper) :Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post and Dominion newspapers. Ref: EP-Science-Meteorology-Wind and tornadoes-05. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

7. Collapsed Bulls bridge

8. Woman screwing her face up against the wind

9. Men embracing and kissing


Men embracing and kissing. Gant, Robert, 1854?-1936 :Photograph albums. Ref: PA1-q-962-61. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

10. Cook Hospital, Gisborne

Finally, not really a top ten, the DigitalNZ team picked some of their favourite items for 2013:

1. Fiona Fieldsend, Manager DigitalNZ Services, picks Colin McCahon's painting Scared from 1976. Fiona says, "This piece will mean something different to everyone. This year has had its challenges and I'm reminded of this piece every time I need to kick myself back into place."

2. Our Content Coordinator, Ting Sun, plays the cute card with lamb, dog and cat!


"WHO GOES THERE?". Evening Post, Volume CXVII, Issue 111, 12 May 1934, Page 11. Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.

3. Andy Neale, Manager of DigitalNZ, goes with the nostalgia of 'Humpty' from Play School.

4. Thomasin Sleigh (that's me!), Community Manager, really likes the expression on this woman's face in this image from Auckland Libraries.

5. Dan Charles, Content Analyst and harvester extraordinaire, found this dynamic image of the 1947 Ballantynes fire in Christchurch.


Ballantynes fire, Christchurch. New Zealand Free Lance : Photographic prints and negatives. Ref: PAColl-8163-27. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

6. Chris McDowall, Manager of DigitalNZ's Technical Services, selects (appropriately for the next year's WWI centenary) this elegant photograph of soldiers from the Maori Battalion clearing bomb damage in Tripoli.