Sydney Report

‘It’s beautiful!’ Sue Needham is looking at the first plate of her great-great-aunt Emily Harris’s hand-coloured New Zealand Flowers, Berries and Ferns at the Mitchell Library in Sydney. She hasn’t seen the books before. The rich yellows of Ranunculus pinguis, the native buttercup, leap from the page. ‘And look how carefully she’s modelled those leaves,’ Read More…

Edwin’s sketches of Nelson

Edwin Harris sketched his Nelson environs for over thirty years after settling there with his family in 1861. Nelson Provincial Museum holds a number of Edwin’s oil and watercolour landscapes, and Harris descendants hold two sketchbooks likely to contain studies for some of his finished paintings. We present below a preview of pages from the Read More…

Kākābeak: Spring update

Michele and I are heading to Australia soon to check out hand-coloured sets of Emily Harris’s New Zealand Flowers, Berries and Ferns. In Sydney we’ll visit the Mitchell Library / State Library of New South Wales. Then we’ll continue on to Adelaide, where the University also has a complete, hand-coloured set of Flowers, Berries and Read More…

Sue Needham Writes

Sue Needham contacted us earlier this week, excited to find that our project and her Emily Harris research are a perfect fit. Michele and Betty will be in Sydney at the Mitchell Library in a few weeks’ time. With luck, Sue will fly from Brisbane to meet us and examine Emily’s handcoloured New Zealand Flowers, Read More…

On the ground at Nile St

We’ve been thinking about 34 Nile St, Nelson for a long time now, consulting street plans, Post Office Directories and electoral rolls in our efforts to trace the movement of Harris family members on the site 1862-1925. We know that the family arrived in Nelson in three instalments. Sarah Harris sailed 11 April 1860 from Read More…

Nile Street again

Last week Michele and I contacted our Nelson correspondents/field researchers Belinda Fletcher and Iain Sharp with a small photo from the Harris family album. The photo is a street view with a row of three houses to the right behind a picket fence, a big tree after the second house, 8 figures on the road Read More…

Flames and archives

In her diaries from the 1880s Emily Harris tells two stories about burning. The first concerns the destruction of a diary when she was a young woman in Taranaki in the late 1850s. She is painfully conscious of the loss her action imposed at the time and regrets it still: Well, long ago, some seven Read More…