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.

ronaYou are invited to the
Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection
End-of-the-year event 2016
Please join us for festive drinks and nibbles
followed by our special guest, Chris Szekely, who will discuss his latest book,
Rona, a chapter book for 7-9 year-olds, published by Huia Publishers – and getting excellent reviews!

Wednesday 7 December 2016 at 5:30pm

New Room Venue

Due to the recent earthquake we have had a slight change of venue for our Christmas event on Wednesday December 7th.
It will now be held on the Ground floor of the National Library in the programme rooms to the right of the foyer as you come in the front doors (Molesworth Street entrance).
All other details remain the same. We look forward to seeing you.

Note that we will NOT be in: Tiakiwai Conference Centre, Lower Ground Floor, National Library of NZ

The Current Display Cabinet

May Gibbs and Avis Acres: Flower Fairies in Australia and New Zealand

Turnbull Librarian Mary Skarott has gathered together some fabulous works by May Gibbs and Avis Acres. These titles were taken from the Dorothy Neal White Collection and the National Children’s Collection and can be viewed outside the Turnbull Library reading rooms. Mary writes– Cecilia May Gibbs, (1877-1969), is one of Australia’s best loved authors and illustrators, famous for her fantasy stories featuring native plants and animals. She was born to English parents and her family emigrated to Australia in 1881, settling first in Adelaide and later moving to Perth. May became a proficient botanical artist while still a teenager, and later studied at several art schools in London. She settled in Sydney in 1913, where she worked on a range of illustrative assignments and developed her ideas for characters based on Australia’s native flora. These appeared on bookmarks, greetings cards and in her wild-flower baby booklets, the first of which was ‘The Gum-nut babies’. Her first major book, ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’, was published in 1918 to great success, and the rest of her career was devoted to writing and illustrating children’s books. She also produced the long-running cartoon strip, ‘Bib and Bub’, which ran in the ‘Sydney Sunday News’ from 1924-1967. Avis Acres (1910-1994) was born in Wellington, but her family moved to Auckland before Avis started school. She was a student at St Cuthbert’s College, and then worked in a variety of jobs which utilised her artistic talents, including drawing a cartoon, ‘The Adventures of Twink and Wink, the Twinkle Twins’, for the ‘Auckland Star’ children’s page. She moved to Taupo in 1950, with her husband Bob, and shortly afterwards she was inspired by May Gibbs’ book, ‘The Gum-nut babies’, to create Hutu and Kawa, two little pohutukawa fairies. Her ‘Hutu and Kawa’ cartoon strip ran in the ‘New Zealand Herald’ from 1950-1960. Between 1955 and 1957 three picture books featuring Hutu and Kawa and their friends were published by A.W. & A.H. Reed. Like May Gibbs, Avis had a great love of the natural world, and her artwork is notable for its accurate depiction of New Zealand’s plants, birds and animals. The Alexander Turnbull Library holds a number of original artworks by Avis Acres, and some personal papers. -Mary Skarott, Research Librarian, Children’s Literature

boo d e f g kang tua

These can also be viewed at:

The New Zealand Book Council invites you to join us for the 2016 NZ Book Council Lecture:

Tala Tusi: The Teller is the Tale in 4 Tales. Delivered by Selina Tusitala Marsh.
Where: National Library of New Zealand, 70 Molesworth St, Thorndon, Wellington
When: Friday 11 November, 6pm
RSVP: This is a free event, but spaces are limited. Please email to secure your seat
This event is brought to you in partnership with the National Library of New Zealand.


Collectors and Hoarders of Old Fashioned Children’s Stories
One Day Conference and Book Sale
Saturday 21 January 2017
Venue: Wainuiomata Gospel Church, Wellington
Cost $45 pp
Read the pdf

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.

Links to this site

Index to Newsletters
AGM 2016 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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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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