McKay Collection - Macmillan Brown Library - University of Canterbury

McKay Collection

William McKay was a medical practitioner who bequeathed his library to Canterbury College in 1944. The 74 items in the collection are either on West Coast history, or the natural history of New Zealand. Each item is numbered in the original sequence designated by McKay.

To see items in this collection, please ask at the Macmillan Brown Library Service Desk.

The collection is split into three categories:

  • Items concerning the West Coast (including newspapers).
  • Items relating to the natural history of New Zealand.
  • Other items including McKay's manuscripts and a list of his complete Library before his death.

Items in the McKay Collection

West Coast

Acts of the general assembly respecting Gold Fields et., 1865, printed under the authority of the Provincial government by James Edward Fitzgerald, official printer, Christchurch. Contains the Gold Fields Act 1862 and amendments. (No. 10)

Bell, James Mackintosh. 1914, The wilds of Maoriland, Macmillan and Co., London. (No. 36)

Booklet relating to travel on West Coast. (No. 6. Item never received)

Buller, James., 1878. Forty years in New Zealand : including a personal narrative, an account of Maoridom, and of the Christianization and colonization of the country, Hodder and Stoughton, London. (No. 37)

Chapman's New Zealand almanac and directory, 1867/68. (No. 15)

Chevalier, Caroline. 1866, A short description of a journey across the southern island of New Zealand from east coast to west coast and back from west to east coast. (No. 24)

Church of the Province of New Zealand. Diocese of Nelson. Synod. , Report of the proceedings of the Synod of the Diocese of Nelson, New Zealand., Nelson. McKay's collection contains ten reports of the proceedings of the Synod of Nelson. The date range is from 1860-69. (No. 69)

Cobden Railway and Coal Company limited description of the company's property and conditions and terms of lease, c.1890. (No. 38)

Cyclopedia of New Zealand : industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations., 1987-1908 Wellington. (No. 27. Item never received, but copy in Macmillan Brown Library main collection)

Dilke, Charles Wentworth. 1868, Greater Britain : A record of travel in English-speaking countries during 1866 and 1867, vol.1 & 2, Macmillan and Co., London. (No. 40.)

Dobson, Arthur Dudley. 1930, Reminiscences of Arthur Dudley Dobson Engineer 1841-1930, Whitcombe and Tombs limited, Auckland. (No. 41)

Dunbabin, Thomas, 1931, Sailing the world's edge: sea stories from old Sydney, Jonathan Cape, London. (No. 56)

Elder, John Rawson, 1929, The pioneer explorers of New Zealand, Blackie & Son ltd., Glasgow. (No. 19)

Exhibition of colonial products, Christchurch, Inangahua and Lyell. Historical narrative and catalogue of exhibits: with particulars of the several gold mining claims represented, 1872, "Inangahua Herald", Reefton. (No. 8)

Fildes, Horace, 1936, The last of the Ngati Mamoe :The wild people of the New Zealand mountain and bush, A.H and A.W. Reed, Dunedin. (No. 42)

Geographical Journal, vol. xxx. no.2, August 1907, The Royal Geographic Society, London.
The article McKay was interested in this journal was "The heart of the Southern Alps, New Zealand", by James Mackintosh Bell, the director of Geological Survey, New Zealand. (No. 35)

Hamilton, Capt. G.D., 1904, Trout-fishing and sport in Maoriland, New Zealand Government Printing Office, Wellington. (No. 1)

Handbook of New Zealand Mines, 1887. (No. 50. Item missing)

Harper, Arthur Paul, 1896, Pioneer work in the Alps of New Zealand : A record of the first exploration of the chief glaciers and ranges of the Southern Alps, T. Fisher Unwin, London. (No. 46)

Harper, Henry W., 1914, Letters from New Zealand 1857-1911 being some account of life and work in the province of Canterbury, South Island, Hugh Rees, London. (No. 4)

Harris, George, The New Zealand midland railway company limited in the matter of the arbitration under clause 47 of the contract dated 3rd August 1888. Evidence gold mining reserves. (No. 49)

Harrop, A.J., 1923, The romance of Westland : The story of New Zealand 's golden coast, Whitcomb & Tombs Limited, Auckland. (No. 13)

Haast, Julius von, 1861, Western Districts of Nelson Province. (No. 25. Item missing)

Haast, Julius von, 1879, Geology of the provinces of Canterbury and Westland. New Zealand. A report comprising the results of official explorations, the "Times", Christchurch. (No. 28)

Helms, Richard
This material was in a bundle marked "Photographs of Richard Helms, together with a short biography by his daughter, and some articles by Helms extracted from various journals".(No. 33). Articles include: "Anthropological Notes" , in Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, vol. x, series 2nd , 1895.
"Australian Alps, or Snowy Mountains", in the Journal of the Royal Geographical society of Australasia, vol. VI, no.4, 1896.
"Notes and observations on nitrifying bacteria" , Agricultural gazette of New South Wales , Department of Agriculture, Sydney, Miscellaneous publication no.555, 1902.
"Notes on Emex Australis, 1898, read before the Australian Association for the advancement of science.
"Soil bacteria", in Agricultural gazette of New South Wales, Department of Agriculture, Sydney, Miscellaneous publication no.395, 1900.

Henry, Richard, 1903, The habits of the flightless birds of New Zealand with notes on other New Zealand birds, John Mackay, Government Printer, Wellington. (No. 21)

Hochstetter, Ferdinand von, 1867, New Zealand its physical geography, geology and natural history with special reference to the results of government expeditions in the provinces of Auckland and Nelson, J.G Cotta, Stuttgart. (No. 29)

Howitt, William, 1865, The history of discovery in Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand, from the earliest date to the present day, Vol 1-2, Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts and Green, London. (No. 30)

Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, vol. 32, 1862, London.
The article marked by McKay in this journal was "Journal of two expeditions to the West Coast of the Middle Island of New Zealand in the year 1859" by the surveyor for the Nelson Provincial Government, John Rochfort. (No. 32)

Lantern, 1870, Hokitika.
The Lantern was a short lived Hokitika newspaper that ran from July 9th 1870 to September 24th 1870. (No. 26)

Linn, Richard, 1897, Pedigree of the Magennis (Guinness Family) of New Zealand, and of Dublin, Ireland, Caygill and MacLaren, Christchurch. (No. 45)

Lord, E. Ivagh, 1889, Report on the proposed harbour at Point Elizabeth Grey District , New Zealand , " Evening Star" printing and publishing company, limited, Greymouth. (No. 47)

Lord, E. Ivagh, 1928, Greymouth District Diamond Jubilee 1868-1928, Diamond Jubilee Committee, Greymouth. (No. 39)

Lord, E. Iveagh, 1940, Westland To-day Land of natural wealth and opportunity a handbook of information for investors, settlers, tourists and traders, Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, Auckland. (No. 18)

Loughnan, Robert Andrew, 1906, "The first gold discoveries in New Zealand ", reprinted from The New Zealand Mines Record, John MacKay, Government Printer, Wellington. (No. 43)

Lyttelton Times
The Mckay collection contains issues of the Lyttelton Times from January 3rd 1863 to September 30th 1863, and complete sets from 1864 and 1865. (No. 53)

Mackay, Alexander, 1873, A compendium of official documents relative to Native Affairs in the South Island Vol. 1 & 2, G. Didsbury, Government Printer, Wellington. (No. 52)

McKay, Alexander, 1897, Report on the geology of the south-west part of Nelson and the northern part of Westland, 2nd ed., John MacKay, Government Printer, Wellington. (No. 48)

Mannering, George Edward, 1931, The Franz Josef Glacier New Zealand, Whitcombe and Tombs, Christchurch. (No. 44)

Moloney, Dan, 1923, The history of Addison's flat gold fields, "Westport News", Westport. (No. 11)

Money, Charles L., 1871, Knocking about in New Zealand, Samuel Mullins, Melbourne. (No. 16)

Moreland, A. Maud, Through South Westland : A journey to the Haast and Mount Aspiring New Zealand, 2nd ed., Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, London. (No. 12)

Moriarty, E.O., 1874, Report on the proposed improvement of the Grey River, S.T. Leigh & Co., Sydney. (No. 9)

Moriarty, Timothy, 1925, A short history of the struggles of the workers, past and present, and their remedy, Deslandes, Lewis & Patterson, Wellington. (No. 51)

Morris, J.G., 1893, The Westland Minstrel original songs and poems, "Guardian" steam printing works, Hokitika. (No. 5.1)

O'Regan, Cornelius, J., 1894, Voices of wave and tree, Greymouth Evening Star, Greymouth. (No. 5.3)

O'Regan, Cornelius, J., 1896, Poems, Whitcombe & Tombs, Wellington. (No. 5.2)

Parliamentary Papers
This series contains 8 bound volumes of parliamentary papers concerning the West Coast. They are grouped into the subjects listed below: (No. 59)
a. West Coast Roads & Explorations
b. West Coast Goldfields
c. West Coast Railways
d. West Coast Coalmines
e. West Coast Special Settlements
f. West Coast Harbours
g. West Coast Native Reserves
h. West Coast- Miscellaneous

Paulin, Robert, 1889, The wild West Coast of New Zealand : a summer cruise in the "Rosa", Thoburn & Co., London. (No. 3)

Pfaff, Carl J., 1914, The digger's story or tales and reminiscences of the golden coast, from Westland 's earliest pioneers, West Coasters Association, Wellington. (No. 7)

Potts, Thomas Henry, 1882, Out in the open : A budget of scraps of natural history gathered in New Zealand, Lyttelton Times, Christchurch. (No. 20)

Preshaw, G.O., 1888, Banking under difficulties or life on the goldfields of Victoria, New South Wales & New Zealand, Edwards, Dunlop & Co., Melbourne. (No. 14)

Rae, H. Richardson, 1887, Pencillings by land and sea, Reid & Co., Hokitika. (No. 2)

Reid, R.C., 1884, Rambles on the golden coast of the South Island of New Zealand, Reid & Co., Hokitika. (No. 22a)

Reid, R.C., 1886, Rambles on the golden coast of the South Island of New Zealand , 2nd ed., Colonial Printing and publishing company, London. (No. 22b)

Reischek, Andreas, 1930, Yesterdays in Maoriland : New Zealand in the 'eighties, Jonathan Cape, London. (No. 55)

Ross, Malcolm, 1892, Aorangi; or the heart of the southern alps of New Zealand, George Didsbury, Government Printer, Wellington. (No. 34)

"The Press", 1901, Investors' guide to West Coast gold dredging also to Otago and Southland dredging companies, "The Press", Christchurch. (No. 31)

Waite, Reuben, 1869, A narrative of the discovery of the West Coast gold-fields, J. Hounsell bookseller and stationer, Nelson. (No. 23)

"Waratah", 1906, Tales of the Golden West being reminiscences of Westland from its settlement by gold-seekers and traders, Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, Christchurch. (No. 17)

West Coast Notes
This is a bound manuscript containing typed copies of accounts of explorations and letters relating to the West Coast. It is not clear who has compiled the notes. (No. 60)

West Coast Times
The McKay collection contains 9 volumes of the West Coast Times ranging in dates from August 12th to December 38th, 1865 and complete sets of 1866 and 1867. (No. 54)

Westland Provincial Council
The 7 items were relevant to the general business and activities of the Westland Provincial Council in the 1870s. Note that numbers 1, 3, and 4 are in the same series just a slightly different title. (No. 57)

  1. County of Westland Gazette , New Zealand , vol. VI., 1873, Hokitika.
  2. Journal of proceedings of the County Council, session I. , 1874, Hokitika.
  3. Province of Westland Gazette , vol I. , 1874, Hokitika
  4. Province of Westland Gazette , vol III., 1876, Hokitika
  5. Journal of proceedings of the County Council, session V., 1869, Hokitika.
  6. Journal of proceedings of the County Council, session IX., 1871, Hokitika.
  7. Journal of proceedings of the County Council, session X., 1872, Hokitika.

Wilson, Mrs Robert, 1894, In the land of the Tui my journal in New Zealand, Sampson Low, Marston & Company, London. (No. 58)


Natural history of New Zealand

Achille, Richard, 1832, Flore de la Nouvelle Zelande. (No. 69. Item missing)

Darbishire, Otto Vernon, 1923, Lichens, from British Antarctic ("Terra Nova") Expedition, 1910. Natural History Report, Botany part III, pp.29-76, Printed by order of the Trustees of the British Museum, London. (No. 74)

Forster, Georgio, 1786, Florulae insularum Australium prodromus, Joann. Christian Dieterich, Gottingae. (No. 68)

Forster, Johann Reinhold (Forster, Ioannes Reinoldus), 1776, Characteres generum plantarum, quas in itinere ad insulas Maris Australis, collegerunt, descripserunt, delinearunt, annis MDCCLXXII-MDCCLXXV, B. White, T. Cadell, & P. Elmsly, London. (No. 64)

Forster, Johann Reinhold (Forster, Ioannes Reinoldus), 1844, Descriptiones animalium : quae in itinere ad maris Australis terrras per annos 1772 1773 et 1774 suscepto collegit observavit et delineavit Ioannes Reinoldus Forster.. nunc demum editae auctoritate et impensis academiae litterarum regiae berolinae curante Henrico Lichtenstein academiae socio, ex officina academica, Berlin. (No. 66)

Foweraker, Charles Ethelbert, "The podocarp rain forests of Westland, New Zealand No.2 Kahikatea and Totara forests and their relationship to silting", reprinted from Te Kura Ngahere, vol. ii, no.4, December, 1929. (No. 70)

Holloway, Rev. John Earnest, 1923, "Studies in the New Zealand Hymenophyllaceae Part 1. The distribution of the species in Westland , and their growth-forms" from Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, vol. 54, pp.577-618. Part 2. The distribution of the species throughout the New Zealand biological region" from Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, vol. 55, pp.67-94. (No. 72)

Hooker, Joseph Dalton, The Botany of the Antarctic voyage of H.M. Discovery ships Erebus and Terror, in the years 1839-1843 under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. (No. 62)

Hooker, Joseph Dalton, 1867, Handbook of the New Zealand Flora : a systematic description of the native plants of New Zealand and the Chatham, Kermadec's, Lord Auckland's, Campbell's and Macquarie's Islands, Reeve & Co., London. (No. 71)

Jouan, Henri, 1869, Essai sur la Faune de la Nouvelle Zelande. (No. 67. Item missing)

Lindsay, W. Lauder, 1868, Contributions to New Zealand Botany, Williams and Norgate, London & Edinburgh. (No. 63)

Raoul, Etienne, 1846, Choix de plantes de la Nouvelle Zealande, Fortin, Masson, Paris. (No. 65)

Voyage au Pole Sud (durville) "Botanique" par. M. Jacquimot (Possibly: Voyage au Pole Sud et dans l'Océanie sur les corvettes l'Astrolabe et la Zélée pendant les années 1837-1838-1839-1840 sous le commandement de M. Dumont-d'Urville. Botanique. 1852, Paris [ France ] : Gide et J. Baudry.) (No. 73. Item missing)

Other items

McKay, William, Manuscripts.
Included in the collection are 2 hand written manuscripts by McKay. They are not listed in his bequest to the library and have not been classified.
The 2 vols contain an eclectic mix of information collected by McKay. He has recorded notes on items of interest featured in the Lyttelton Times and The Press from the 1860s, and has noted down information on place names, churches, hospitals, Maori, explorers and other individuals, and much more.

McKay, William, Library List.
This is a list of the book's contained in McKay's library. Not all of these were bequeathed to the University, as some were sold or kept by family members.

William McKay - Biographical Information

William McKay was born in 1876 at Black's Point, near Reefton. McKay began practising medicine in 1908. He was in England at the outbreak of World War One and served in France with the Medical Corps. He retired in 1925. McKay's obituary describes him as "one of Greymouth's best known and respected citizens". He certainly was very active as he had ties to many local sporting groups and committees; being one of the foremost members of the Grey District Acclimatisation Society, foundation member of the Greymouth Golf Club and Greymouth Men's club, former president of the Star Rugby Football Club (having been a prominent player in his youth), vice-president of the Greymouth Trotting Club, president of the Greymouth branch of the Canterbury Automobile Association, member of the Arthur's Pass National Park Committee, an inaugural member and chairman of the Municipal Baths Committee and member of the National Party.

McKay was also very interested in botany and birds, and during his retirement he took an active interest in the natural history and wild life of the West Coast. He had a substantial book collection, containing many rare and valuable items relating to the West Coast or containing considerable reference to it. McKay bequeathed these items to Canterbury College in 1944. McKay died on 22 August 1946, aged 70 years.