Part of our recent move into our new facilities involved the clearing out of many forgotten or neglected corners of the Archives. A closer examination of a large and jumbled collection of very outdated Mission, Maori Synod, Presbyterian Social Service and New Life Movement related filmstrips brought forth an interesting and unexpected discovery. Not only were many never before seen images taken up to 60 years ago identified but also many of the original inter-negatives used to create the filmstrips. While unfortunately not of the quality of the original negatives, these still unique and valuable images are now being progressively scanned and will form a useful addition to our significant photographic resource. The use of modern technology, in this case a scanner capable of converting negatives to positive images, has been the key to unlocking this hidden resource. The only major disappointment has been the lack of many of the original filmstrip scripts as an aid to identification. This work will be on-going but already some progress has been made. A discovery such as this again proves that, with the passing of time, something neglected and considered of no further use, may yet yield an unexpected and valued treasure.
by Donald Cochrane, Curator of Photographs.