The exhibition 'Our Will & Pleasure: Royal Autographs, Letters and Memorabilia of the British Monarchy' opened last night in the Reed Gallery, Heritage Collections, Dunedin City Library. This is the first exhibition where items from the Reed Autograph Letters & Manuscripts Collection have taken centre stage, and it is timed to coincide with the wider events celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
On display are more than twenty manuscripts with a royal connection ranging in date from a 1704 document signed by Queen Anne, to the signatures of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, from their visit to the Dunedin Public Library in 1954. Some of the items are accompanied by cartes de visite and printed ephemera. Three cases are dedicated to royal tours of New Zealand, from the 1901 visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, to the 1980 visit by the Duke and Duchess of Kent.
Supporting material includes letters and documents by six Prime Ministers from Sir Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, to W. E. Gladstone (writing to Sir Anthony Panizzi). Three early histories of Britain and its monarchs round out the exhibition.
A digital version is available:
In many instances just one page of a letter is shown. Should anyone wish to read a letter or other document in full, please contact me off list. Feedback on how the site can be improved is also welcome.
'Our Will & Pleasure: Royal Autographs, Letters and Memorabilia of the British Monarchy' runs until 19 August.