An Invitation to Contribute a Biographical Profile
As outlined in my Project Overview it is intended that my research project will cumulate in a specialised historical reference book.
Bearing this objective in mind I would like to extend an invitation to any interested individual or group to write an essay for possible inclusion in my proposed book. Compiling these profiles can be satisfying and rewarding experience. Over three or four years hopefully the biographical collection will grow numerically and become more varied in its content.
To assist prospective contributors, I have prepared an instruction guide and application form tailored to meet my project scope and objectives. The guide is entitled “Information for Contributors of Biographical Profiles”. Although this booklet is based upon the instructions issued by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage for the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography I have modified it to reflect my experiences to date. Instructions used for, and individual insertions contained in other Dictionaries of Biography, have also considered.
One of the principal reasons for preparing this guide and the associated application form is to ensure that interested individuals take ownership and are committed to producing a professional end result. Contributors should strive to compile accurate, objective and informative accounts. It is equally important that the life of your biographical subject be seen in the context of the era in which she lived and not through the “lens” of twenty-first century society.
I appreciate that some potential contributors might not be computer literate and may have heard about this project through someone else (perhaps a member of their whānau or a friend). My guide and application form, whilst accessed via the Internet, can also be printed off and mailed to these prospective contributors. I am quite prepared to type an essay from a legible hand written draft if the subject is interesting.
As the project facilitator, I am also prepared to give advice to and “coach” contributors individually, in respect of their chosen biographical topic. However, please appreciate that I also need to complete my own annual quota of interesting profiles.
Individual descendants or groups of descendants involved in genealogical research relating to a specific ancestor or tupuna. These people may have already written or written and published a family history. This particular source is likely to be the most “fertile” area for uncovering interesting details.
Historians with a particular interest in shore whaling that have either written a book or already compiled a biographical essay on a specific shore whaler.
Historians interested in the specific locality where a shore whaling station was situated.
Historians with an interest in specific Iwi or hapū.
Researchers that might view the shore whaling era as a precursor to the modern New Zealand society where increasingly it is flavoured by a mix of people from varying nationalities and cultures.
Academics and university students. The subject may be of these contributors’ choice or perhaps I could suggest a specific personality or personalities.
I will be contributing at least 35 biographical profiles personally. These will relate to the shore whalers’ partners that I have either researched or am in the process of researching. All known Moeraki wahine plus those essays that relate to my tūpuna, wahine from my extended whānau and others that have connections to my whānau by marriage will also be included.
Individual essays written by other contributors to be incorporated in the biographical section of my proposed book will be published under the contributor’s name or joint contributors’ names. Profiles might involve collaborations with myself or other interested individuals. I have acknowledged the input of any persons who have assisted me in my research in my existing essays and I suggest that others do the same.
Some contributors, for whatever reason, may wish to remain anonymous. Requests of this nature will be respected and accommodated.
Should interested persons be unwilling to contribute their profile or profiles to my collection then I would encourage them to consider contributing their work to the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography or some other regional Dictionary of Biography that may be published in the future. Alternatively, essays could be deposited with an Iwi organisation, the National or one of the University Libraries. It is important that descendants of these wahine/women record their knowledge in writing and then ensure their essays are archived with a reputable organisation where the information cannot be lost.
A current list of the proposed subjects (wahine/women) can be found elsewhere on this site (refer to Wahine Profiles section: Contributors page. Subjects are ordered according to the principal station that they were associated with. If this is not obvious I have made an educated guess which can be subject to later revision should this be necessary.