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Victoria University of Wellington, 1899-1999
Rachel Barrowman

Victoria University Press, 1999 hardcover, 192mm x 268mm, 432pp. B/w photos, notes, bibliography, index.

Founded on the occasion of the 60th jubilee of Queen Victoria, Wellington's was the last of New Zealand's big four universities to be established, and the poorest. It was a 'people's university' in more ways than one. Its founder, Robert Stout, envisaged clerks, working men, mechanics perhaps, 'going to evening classes, and thereby attaining a university education'. Its high proportion of part-time students - civil servants and clerks - quickly earned it 'that damnosa hereditas' of a glorified nightschool, and its six-and-a-half acre, near vertical site the affectionate epithet 'the old clay patch'. In many ways Victoria's history is one of triumph against odds. That site, after all, commands one of the best views in Wellington.

This is a history of Victoria's 100 years. It considers what makes Victoria distinctive: its early claims to specialisation in law, commerce and political science; its strength in social science pioneered by professors of the 1930s and 1940s like Tommy Hunter and Ernest Beaglehole; Antarctic research, tuatara, linguistics, creative writing. And of course, the implications of living in the capital city, from the often tense negotiations over the building programme to productive town-gown relationships in academic fields as diverse as policy studies, maths and music. It takes a thematic rather than strictly chronological approach, with chapters on the buildings and site, administration and finance, the faculties and departments - successes, and some failures. The students are here too: Extravs and procesh, their clubs and their clothes, where they lived and what they studied.

Very good condition.
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