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Seeing Red - Censored Letters of WW1

Seeing Red - Censored Letters of WW1

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  • Tue 28 Jul ’15, 12:10pm – 1:00pm


National Library of New Zealand, 70 Molesworth Street, Thorndon, Wellington


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission


National Library

Seeing Red: Censored Letters of the First World War

A lunchtime talk by Jared Davidson at the National Library corner Aitken and Molesworth Streets, Thorndon, Tuesday 28 July 12.10pm – 1.00pm.

From the outbreak of the First World War until November 1920, the private letters of mothers, lovers, internees and workmates were subject to a strict censorship. A team of diligent readers in post offices across the country poured over pounds and pounds of mail. Some were stamped and sent on; others made their way into the hands of Police Commissioners. In an era when post was paramount, the wartime censorship of correspondence heralded the largest state invasion of private life in New Zealand’s history.

Using a unique, little-used collection of censored letters at Archives New Zealand (the Army’s ‘Secret Registry’) this talk by Jared Davidson will offer a fascinating insight into postal censorship, state attitudes toward dissent, and the New Zealand home front during the First World War.

Jared Davidson is an archivist by day & labour historian by night. His works on the intersection of power, culture & class includes two books: Remains to Be Seen: Tracing Joe Hill's Ashes in New Zealand (2011), & Sewing Freedom: Philip Josephs, Transnationalism & Early New Zealand Anarchism (2013).

Please RSVP to events.natlib@dia.govt.nz with Seeing Red in the subject line.

We look forward to seeing you at the Library.

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