20 April 2014

Wellington in a snap

21/12/2011 9:46:00 a.m.

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AN earthquake, a Rolling Stones concert and a typical windy day were all it took for local David Colquhoun to publish Wellingtonians, a book that details the history of what he describes as “a neat little capital.”
Colquhoun, who has worked as a curator at the Alexander Turnbull library for the past 20 years says the book illustrates the capital’s “colourful” past through photographs and write ups of the events that have shaped the city - natural disasters including the earthquake of 1885, as well as sporting and political events, and arts and entertainment.
The book highlights a long history.
“It goes right back to the 1840s, and through to the early 2000s, looking at all the things that have in either a big or small way helped shape the city’s identity,” he says.
Colquhoun says the book contains a lot of his favourite photographs. One is of a woman caught in one of Wellington’s wild winds, while another is of a woman climbing onto the stage at a Rolling Stones concert.
He says it’s interesting to look at the transformation of Wellington through a camera lens.
“There have been a lot of changes, but perhaps the biggest would be the introduction of trams, which heavily changed the street life. The streets are less crowded now, which you may be able to recognise in some of the pictures.”
His job at the Alexander Turnbull library meant Colquhoun had easy access to the stories and photographs that eventually made up the book.
“Technically I worked on the book for a year and a half, but working at the library all this time, it’s actually been a 20 year project,” he says.
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