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.

NEXT EVENT – “From Aeniad to Bromeliad: Terry Pratchett’s Nomes trilogy as comic epic”

bromeliadOur next event will be a talk about Terry Pratchett’s Nomes trilogy given by Victoria University senior lecturer Geoff Miles.  By way of introduction Geoff says: “Terry Pratchett’s Nomes trilogy tells the story of a race of 4-inch high nomes who are driven out of their cosy existence under the floorboards of a big English department store and forced to search for a new home. The titles of the original three booaeneidks (Truckers, 1989; Diggers and Wings, 1990) characterise them as adventurous comic romps, focusing on the nomes’ increasingly absurd feats in highjacking gigantic pieces of human technology, from a delivery van to a supersonic plane. But when the trilogy was assembled in a single volume Pratchett retitled it The Bromeliad – a title which suggests its status as a comic epic. I will argue that the story of The Bromeliad is in fact based on one of the greatest classical epics, Virgil’s ‘Aeneid’; and that, as well as exploiting the connection for effects of mock-epic humour, Pratchett is also responding quite seriously to some of Virgil’s serious epic themes.”

Members might remember that we included an obituary for Terry Pratchett in our June 2016 newsletter so we are particularly delighted to have Geoff come and share some of his insights into the writing of this fascinating author. Dr Geoff Miles is a Senior Lecturer at the School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington.  His current research focuses on the classical tradition in English literature and in particular on the uses of classical mythology. He the co-author (with Paul Millar and John Davidson) of ‘The snake-haired muse: James K Baxter and classical myth’ (VUP, 2011) and the editor of ‘Classical mythology in English literature: a critical anthology’ (Routledge, 1999).

We hope to see you at the National Library on Tuesday 27 September 2016 starting at 5:30pm with drinks and nibbles.

Read the flyer about the event. If you have a place to put this on display that would be appreciated.


As many of you will know one of our founding members Mary Hutton died on 5 August 2016. At the September meeting, our first meeting since her death, Lynne Jackett will pay tribute to an influential colleague and friend.


At the October 2015 meeting of the Friends Dr Tatjana Schaefer of Victoria University’s English Programme gave a wonderfully lively and informative presentation on Alice “in and out of Wonderland”. If you would like to hear more from Tatjana there is the opportunity to attend a VUW Continuing Education short course from 31 October 2016. Over 5 weeks she will explore “Wolves in girls’ clothing: when girl characters enter fantasy worlds”. For further information about the course see


The Wellington Children’s Book Association is hosting a presentation by Margaret Mahy Award winner Barbara Else on Monday 19 September 2016. Barbara was named the 2016 winner of New Zealand’s top award for children’s writers and illustrators in March. The Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal is awarded annually for lifetime achievement and an outstanding contribution to New Zealand children’s literature. As part of the award Barbara was invited to present a public lecture in Auckland in April.

John and Ruth McIntyre have organised for  Barbara to give her talk in Wellington at The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie. Finger food and drinks provided. Meet from 6.30pm for a 7pm start. This is an open invitation – no charge but please RSVP to for catering numbers.  Barbara and Chris have recently moved to Dunedin so this will be a chance to catch up with Barbara  on her  flying visit back.

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

2 thoughts on “About us”

  1. Rose Allan says:

    I am writing from Auckland Libraries serials department regarding the latest newsletter for June 2016 no.53. We should be on your mailing list to receive hard copies of the newsletter, but may have dropped off the list.
    Could you please send a hard copy of the newsletter for June 2016 to the following address:

    Serials department
    Auckland Libraries Central
    P.O. Box 4138
    Shortland Street
    Auckland 1140

    Thank you very much in advance,
    Rose Allan

  2. Hi Rose

    We will certainly amend this.

    Kind regards

    Corrina Gordon(FDNW President)

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