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Campus Photographs: Celebrating 50 years

In 2001 R.B. (Bob) Grant retired from the position of Manager of the Facilities Management Division (F.M.D.) of the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. Over 35 years with a series of different job titles, he had supervised the development of the University Campus including the construction of many buildings and the setting out of the gardens. During this time, Grant commissioned photographers to record events as they happened and gradually accumulated a set of photographs. To begin with, he used local commercial photographers but once the University established its own photography unit they assumed responsibility.

At his retirement, Grant donated his collection of several hundred photographs to the New Zealand Collection of the University Library. These photographs were mainly in albums but a few were loose; some were annotated with dates, etc while some had no clues as to when they were taken.

The collection provides a snapshot of the history of the campus though some periods, events or buildings are better represented than others and often it is the earlier events that are covered better.

The commercial photographers used in the 1960s and 1970s were A.C. Lemmens (Studio One), A.E. Graham and Lindberg Photo Productions, all Hamilton companies. Local newspapers, the Waikato Times and the Auckland Star have also contributed, especially covering events such as Graduations and the formal openings of buildings.

A sample set of approximately 100 photographs has been selected to showcase the history of the Hillcrest Campus of the University of Waikato from its beginnings in 1964. They have been chosen to cover as many aspects of the history as possible: students and academics are represented at work and at leisure; buildings are shown being constructed and in use; and aerial and campus views show how the campus has grown and matured over the years.

It is hoped that as photographs come to light more can be added to this database to highlight more aspects of the University’s history.

Hamilton. February 2014.

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