CONTACT US: P. 0. Box 12 499 Wellington New Zealand

About us

Illustration from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" drawn by John Tenniel.

The Society

The society which is based in Wellington, New Zealand is associated with The National Library of New Zealand . It was formed in 1983 to support the work of the Dorothy Neal White Collection.
In 2005 it was extended to support the National Children’s and Susan Price Collections.
How to view the collections supported by Friends of DNW

Membership is by annual subscription, the details are on the membership page.

Nicola Daly was the FDNW research scholar 2014-2015 and there is a short piece about her going to Ohio in the last newsletter
Nicola is is off to spend time in the Marantz Picturebook Collection at Kent State University, in Ohio, USA.
She’ll be there for two weeks collecting data about dual language picture books.
Her blog is

With Sadness we note the Death of long time member Mary Hutton


Mary Hutton talks to Peter Ireland after the 2007 Annual General Meeting of the Friends.

Mary Hutton was a founding member, long-time committee member and inspiration for the establishment and continuation of the Dorothy Neal White Collection.

MARY HUTTON said of herself in 2006:

I have been involved with the Dorothy Neal White Collection since its inception. When School Library Service was based on Thorndon Quay organising librarians gathered up pre-1940 books from schools where they were not in use. This nucleus of the Collection was supplemented by the addition of a consignment of withdrawn books from the Dunedin Public Library, many of them selected by Dorothy Neal White. When the School Library Service, under Director Phyllis MacDonald, was relocated to Tawa a room was set aside for the collection of pre-1940 children’s books to be enlarged and developed. The Society of Friends was set up and I became their President from 1984 – 2000. Since then I have remained a committee member.

Most of my working life has been spent in the employment of the National Library, first in the acquisitions and reference sections of adult services, but predominantly in the Head Office of School Library Service where I worked as Co-ordinator of Book Selection, selecting and reviewing children’s and young adult books from around the world – work I thoroughly enjoyed. I was fortunate to be able to attend some overseas conferences about children’s books and reading, in Canada, Japan and Australia, meeting authors and other librarians in the field.

Since I retired in 2000 I have kept busy with voluntary work, walking, gardening, catching up on adult books and assessing an occasional manuscript for a local publisher. This has enabled me to keep my hand in with information about trends in children’s books and reading.

While I regret the relocation of the Dorothy Neal White Collection from its prime position on the top floor of the National Library, it is good to know that it is again accessible on the lower ground floor with a competent and enthusiastic children’s literature research librarian in charge of its promotion and development.

Mary Hutton

Applying for DNW Scholarship
Through its lectures, meetings, research grant and publications the Society helps to foster interest in the general development of children’s literature.
Interested? Download the application form.

Our Current Display at the Turnbull Library in the Dorothy Neal White display case

Celebrating Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday

Beatrix Potter was born in London into a well-to-do family on 28 July, 1866. She was the elder of two children, her brother, Bertram, being six years her junior. She was educated at home by a governess, and opportunities to spend time with children other than her brother were very limited.
From an early age Beatrix showed considerable artistic talent. As a child she spent a lot of time drawing and painting, often making studies of the many animals that she and her brother kept as pets in their nursery. Among her favourite subjects were her rabbits, Peter and Benjamin Bouncer, and a selection of mice. She also developed a keen interest in plants and botanical illustration. Family holidays in the country, in particular the Lake District, provided further inspiration.A fiercely independent young woman who was keen to have an income of her own, she began to sell her drawings as illustrations for books and greetings cards. Then came the idea for a book, which was eventually accepted for publication by Frederick Warne & Co. ‘The tale of Peter Rabbit’ was published in 1902, the first in a series of 23 tales inspired by her love of animals and the countryside. Her last children’s book was ‘Little Pig Robinson’, published in 1930.A final, previously unpublished tale, ‘Kitty-in-Boots’, is due to be published later this year with illustrations by Quentin Blake.The books featured here come from the Dorothy Neal White Collection and the National Children’s Collection.
See stamps marking Beatrix’s 150th … 150th-anniversary

Mary Skarott, Children’s Literature Librarian

Links to this site

Index to Newsletters
AGM 2015 Minutes
Biography Dorothy Neal White
The collection
Membership form
Links to other organisations


Your comments or questions about the Society, the Collection, and this website are welcome
Enquiries about membership of the Friends may be directed to the Secretary, Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection
P0 Box 12-499, Thorndon, Wellington 6144.
Membership form

For research enquiries relating to the collection use the webform

Telephone: 64-4-4704488.
Facsimile:  64-4-474 3035

Charitable Status:

New Zealand law allows non-profit organisations to apply for charitable status. This gives advantages over exemptions from some tax returns and allows members to claim tax exempt status for donations.

Our registration number is CC51738

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