Blog Archives

Our New Front-of-House Administrator – Bronwyn Wattrus

Bronwyn WattrusBronwyn Wattrus joined the museum team in July 2017 in the role of Front-of-House Administrator/Kaiwhakahaere o te Aroaro o te Whare.  She provides a friendly welcome to visitors to the Museum as well as offering an efficient research service for the many and varied enquiries the Museum receives.  

She holds a Diploma in Arts & Creativity and has held positions including Toy Library Co-ordinator for the Whitby Toy Library, Wellington, committee member and publisher at the Wellington Home Education Network, Business Advisor/Administrator at Metagoo Limited, Bookshop Manager and Foundation Co-ordinator at Cloud 9 Children’s Foundation, a Business Owner/Manager for Docushop in London, and she was a Photolithographer at Republican Press in Durban, South Africa.

Her hobbies include creativity, research, education, psychology, water sports and new learning.  In addition, Bronwyn provides much needed administrative support to the museum team and undertakes research and curatorial duties in her specialist areas.  E: Bronwyn.Wattrus@stdc.govt.nz

 

Historic libraries ransacked

According to the Lebanon Daily Star when ISIS invaded the Central Library of Mosul earlier this month, they were on a mission to destroy a familiar enemy: other people’s ideas. Residents say the extremists smashed the locks that had protected the biggest repository of learning in the northern Iraq town, and loaded around 2,000 books – including children’s stories, poetry, philosophy and tomes on sports, health, culture and science – into six pickup trucks. They left only Islamic texts.

The rest? “These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah. So they will be burned,” a bearded militant in traditional Afghani two-piece clothing told residents, according to one man living nearby who spoke to the AP. The man, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation, said the ISIS official made his impromptu address as others stuffed books into empty flour bags. To read more, click here.

An Iraqi man looks at books on al-Mutanabi Street, home to the city's book market in central Baghdad. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

An Iraqi man looks at books on al-Mutanabi Street, home to the city’s book market in central Baghdad. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

As a librarian the destruction of books for the ideas they contain, disturbs me. As a museum manager, I am horrified at the destruction of a countries history – so much of who we are as people is based on what we know of ourselves from the past. As people in the area try to rebuild their lives, whatever happens with ISIS, the loss of historical documents will be a bitter blow. I just hope their museums are safe, and remain that way, as important storehouses of the nation’s identity.