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Hanging Out : preserving an ephemeral print culture in Dunedin


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This paper was delivered on 1/12/10 at the LIANZA 2010 conference in Dunedin New Zealand. It outlines the research I'm engaged in concerning the social history of the named student flats of Dunedin.

Published in: Design, Travel, Education
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Hanging Out : preserving an ephemeral print culture in Dunedin

  1. 1. Hanging out : preserving an ephemeral print culture in Dunedin Sarah Gallagher @sarahlibrarina [email_address]
  2. 2. Yellow Submarine - 2000s <ul><li>Typical workers cottage, now a student flat
  3. 3. Sign hangs above the door
  4. 4. Paint on board
  5. 5. Name refers to size and colour of the flat </li></ul>
  6. 6. Today I'll be talking about <ul><li>1. How this unique ephemeral phenomenon that is worth preserving
  7. 7. 2. How material from libraries / archives / museums have helped provided a cultural context for the stories behind named flats in Dunedin
  8. 8. 3. How communities want to tell their stories
  9. 9. 4. How social media helps create communities and provides an excellent means of gathering primary research data </li></ul>
  10. 10. Named flats are an expression of Dunedin's student (scarfie) culture
  11. 11. Named flats are an example of an ephemeral print culture
  12. 12. My first flat - 1991 <ul><li>Spray paint and vivid pen on chip board
  13. 13. Named because the house was infested with mice
  14. 14. Landlord wanted the sign removed at the end of the year </li></ul>
  15. 15. &quot;Dunedin has a unique student culture which is a big part of why it's such a great place to have gone to university. These signs are part of the colour of Dunedin.&quot; ~ Vanessa Fergusson
  16. 16. Ephemera is part of everyone's everday experience
  17. 17. Leaving a legacy - The Bach - 1930s
  18. 18. I correspondend with a couple of the orginal members of The Bach, the first known flat from the 1930s. They are now in their 90s, and still friends.
  19. 19. Flats had letterhead
  20. 20. Smersh HQ - 1960s
  21. 21. Pooh Corner - 1960s
  22. 22. Pooh Corner sign made from this Collection – Morrin Museum
  23. 23. Department of Slavonic Studies - 1970s
  24. 24. Identity Naming flats is about projecting an identity to the wider community It's about fitting in It's about creating a sense of place Names can be aspirational, reflective of popular culture, the inhabitance or the dwelling Signs can be made of a variety of media: old boxes, whiteboard, headboards, surfboards, doors, beer boxes ...
  25. 25. The Cock and Swallow - 2000
  26. 26. How do they get away with it? <ul><li>Scott Eady's Francis Hodgkins Fellowship (2002) was inspired by the student flat names. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Putting stories in context <ul><li>Ephermeral materials found in collections of libraries, archives, and museum have been invaluable.
  28. 28. Digitisation of collections has added enormous value to my research.
  29. 29. This was the favourite pub of James K. Baxter. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Mixed Flatting <ul><li>Baxter wrote this inflammatory broadsheet against the University's stance on mixed flatting (1967)
  31. 31. Printed at the Caxton Press, it sold on campus for 15c a copy. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Hyde Street – party street <ul><li>Hyde Street has an annual keg party
  33. 33. Flats are named and students dress in theme.
  34. 34. There's a high turn over of names
  35. 35. Hyde St RSA (7 Hyde St) has endured </li></ul>
  36. 36. Handprinted party invitation
  37. 37. Creating a sense of place <ul><li>Clyde St has a high population of named flats
  38. 38. Tui's Tavern was named for the flat cat
  39. 39. The cat was named for Tui's Takeaway </li></ul>
  40. 40. A Greasy History <ul><li>Tui's Takeaway on Malcolm St was previously Tui's cafe.
  41. 41. The cafe was open from the 1950s on Albany St.
  42. 42. Jo Tui – proprietor was legendary.
  43. 43. Facebook memorials </li></ul>
  44. 44. Popular Culture
  45. 45. &quot;I remember when we named this flat ... back in '97 ... we always meant to put &quot;flaming&quot; above the left corner ... never did get around to that ...&quot; ~ Paul Thompson
  46. 46. 477 MOES
  47. 47. &quot;Quite a few tenants perspective/tenants refer to their flats by name and are not sure what there address is. I am quite comfortable with the naming of flats as long as they don't paint it on the flat it self, this has been going on for a long time before my entry into the student rental market. It's a bit of fun and shows imagination and gives some of these very well used flats some more personal appeal.&quot; ~ Gareth, Property Manager, Cutlers.
  48. 48. Creating a sense of community <ul><li>A digital landscape depicts a collection of named flats from different streets
  49. 49. Why???
  50. 50. Because this is an aspect of student culture that embodies the being part of a community </li></ul>
  51. 51. Community Building <ul><li>House and Garden or Best flat competitions
  52. 52. 2010 best flat was The Pikinic Table (Albany Street)
  53. 53. 2010 worst flat was Bonnie Doon (Union Street) </li></ul>
  54. 54. Pikinic Table 2000 – 40hr famine
  55. 55. But how to get more information?
  56. 56. Hello Facebook!
  57. 57. Facebook Group <ul><li>
  58. 58. Brought the community together
  59. 59. Used surveymonkey to survey (x2)
  60. 60. People more open in survey vs wall / discussion on FB </li></ul>
  61. 61. Do you think it's important that some kind of record is kept of flat names? <ul><li>&quot;Because there are interesting stories behind the names of the flats that most uni students can directly/indirectly relate to and its part of uni and also Dunedin's culture. Its important to document an area's heritage and these flats are very much part of Dunedins heritage.&quot; ~ Michelle Kevern </li></ul>
  62. 62. Do you think it's important that some kind of record is kept of flat names? <ul><li>&quot;Keeping a record is important as it allows the reasons for the creation of those signs to be preserved. They are landmarks, and all landmarks have a story behind them.&quot; ~ Sarah Ellis </li></ul>
  63. 63. Pink Flat the Door <ul><li>3 Clyde Street
  64. 64. Established 1988
  65. 65. Original door (left)
  66. 66. Door was restored by paintings conservator
  67. 67. Door was repainted on 20 th anniversay by orginal flatmates </li></ul>
  68. 68. Environment + Identity = Experience <ul><li>These banners entitled experience and environment hang in The Link at the Unviersity of Otago
  69. 69. University has used an image of Pink Flat the Door to advertise the scarfie experience </li></ul>
  70. 70. What do you think?
  71. 71. Collections consulted <ul><li>Alexander Turnbull Library
  72. 72. Dunedin Public Library
  73. 73. Hewitson Library
  74. 74. Hocken Library
  75. 75. Morrin Museum
  76. 76. Presbyterian Archive
  77. 77. University of Otago Library
  78. 78.
  79. 79.
  80. 80. </li></ul>
  81. 81. References <ul><li>Unless indicated below, all photos or images of artefacts are from the author's personal collection
  82. 82. Smersh HQ – collection of Patrick Alley
  83. 83. Pooh Corner – collection of Alan Edwards
  84. 84. Kahikatea butter box – collection of Morrin Museum
  85. 85. Department of Slavonic Studies – collection of Kasia Waldegrave
  86. 86. Cock & Swallow – collection of Scott Eady
  87. 87. Flake with a Friend - Bibliography Room Archive, Special Collections, University of Otago
  88. 88. Pikinic Table – collection of Livvy Bruce
  89. 89. The Palace on Ellis – collection of Stephen Jones </li></ul>
  90. 90. Resources <ul><li>Facebook Group!/group.php?gid=7181752690
  91. 91. Dunedin Student Flat Names Project Blog
  92. 92. Google Map
  93. 93. Online Exhibition </li></ul>