History & heritage  |  23 Mar 2023

On 20 October 1862, the Albion Cricket Club wrote to the Christchurch City Council expressing outrage for a young man who insisted on riding his horse through cricket games in Latimer Square.

Meanwhile on 5 July 1862, Officer of Customs W G Carver wrote to the Council wanting to step down from his responsibility from firing the signal gun every Saturday at 2pm for the regulation of time for the public.

These and many more of our most vulnerable, fragile and fascinating early records from the Christchurch City Council Archives collection are now being digitised. 

Archives being digitised.

“We have a very interesting collection that isn’t very well known and we’re slowly working on digitising some of these to make them more accessible to the public. They make for a wonderful  glimpse into what life must have been like in the very early days of Christchurch,” said the Christchurch City Council archivist Annabel Armstrong-Clarke .

The most recent digitised item from the collection to be published is the first volume of inward correspondence to the Council from May 1862 to March 1863.

“We’ve also recently digitised the Christchurch Municipal Council minutes and City Surveyor reports from 1862, as well as a very interesting set of reports and correspondence from the Inspector of Nuisances between 1862 and 1864,” said Ms Armstrong-Clarke.

“The Inspector was appointed by the Council Sanitary Committee in 1862 to report ‘nuisances’ relating to rubbish, sewerage, drainage, health, traffic and roads. It didn’t seem like a great job as in 1863 they went through three inspectors alone.”

The next five items to be published digitally will include the City Surveyor records from 1864 to 1865 and the Inspector of Nuisances from 1864.

The Christchurch City Council Archives collection is governed by the parameters of the Public Records Act 2005. Under the Act the Council is required to preserve corporate records deemed as having long term interest, to both aid accountability and enhance and promote the historical and cultural heritage of the city. Digitising frail archives that would not otherwise be publicly accessible fulfils part of those requirements.

Digitised items from the Christchurch City Council Archives collection can be viewed on Christchurch City Libraries’ Canterbury Stories website here.

For a more in depth look at what is available check out the Christchurch City Council Archives here.

And head along to Tūranga on Wednesday 29 March from 10-11am for a free event where Annabel Armstrong-Clarke will provide insight into the records. Bookings required.

Christchurch City Council archives