Get HSTS headerGet HSTS header REED, Alfred Hamish (1875-1975) | The Community Archive
Last updated: 4 March 2014

REED, Alfred Hamish (1875-1975)

Collection | Ref # ZARCH 203 | Held by Heritage Collections, Dunedin Public Library

What is it?


REED, Alfred Hamish (1875-1975)


Reed, Alfred Hamish (1875-1975)

Level of description:



1 large folder

Reference number:



Alfred Hamish Reed Kt. CBE was a New Zealand publisher, author and entrepreneur. He was born at Hayes, Middlesex, England, on 30 December 1875. After his father’s business failed Reed migrated to New Zealand with his parents in 1887, and settled at Parahaki, near Whangarei, on the Northland gumfields. Reed attended a half-time school and, while working with his father as a gumdigger during his teens, taught himself shorthand. The A. H. Reed Memorial Kauri Park Scenic Reserve, near Whangarei, commemorates his association with the district.

At nineteen, Reed went to Auckland where he learned to type and, at twenty was hired by the New Zealand Typewriter Company. In 1897 he was sent to Dunedin to open a branch of the business, which he later acquired in 1902. A childhood leg problem prevented him going on active duty during World War I so, due to his shorthand skills, he was retained at an army base as a clerk.

Reed entered the bookselling trade in 1907 when he founded the business that eventually expanded into the publishing house of A. H. and A. W. Reed. The firm became a leading publisher of New Zealand-related non-fiction and reference works. Reed’s nephew, Alexander 'Clif' Reed, joined the company in 1925 and started a new branch of the business in Wellington in 1932.

From 1907 Reed collected books, autographs and medieval manuscripts which were given to Dunedin Public Libraries in 1948. He remained actively involved with the Library for the remainder of his life. The Reed collection includes one of the most comprehensive collections of manuscripts and early printed Bibles in the Southern Hemisphere.

Many of the books Reed wrote were about his walking and mountain-climbing expeditions for which he became well known throughout New Zealand. These included walking the length of New Zealand at the age of 85, from East Cape to Cape Egmont at 86, and from Sydney to Melbourne at 90.

In 1948 Reed received an MBE for services in connection with the publication of historical and other New Zealand works, and in 1974 he was appointed as a Knight Bachelor for services to literature and culture. Reed died peacefully in his sleep on 15 January 1975, two months after receiving his knighthood.

Scope & Content:
Legal documents securing loans against land includes: Document containing two indentures between William Henry Cutten and James Adam regarding the loan of 1500 pounds plus interest, by Adam to Cutten. The first indenture agrees to the loan with Cutten putting up ten plots of land in Andersons Bay as security against the land, in effect a mortgage over the property, dated 10 June 1861. The second indenture discharges the mortgage debt, 28 October 1862; Conveyance of part of Section 54, BlockIX, Princes Street Dunedin, Gilbert Burnes to the Bank of New South Wales who have lent Burns 2400 pounds; the document is signed by Thomas Burns who had power of attorney for Gilbert Burns of Dublin; the solicitors were Howorth and Graham, Otago; 1863; Conveyance of allotments 8 and 9 Block VI, Richmond Hill, Anderson subdivision between James McIndoe of Dunedin and Charles Henry Attwood of Richmond Hill, Dunedin; the land was security for a 50 pound loan made by Attwood to McIndoe; 1864

Dates covered:

1861 - 1864

Access conditions:

No restrictions.

Tell us more

If you have additional information about this Collection please tell us about it by adding comments on the summary tab.

0 comments have been added so far.

Associated with:


Andersons Bay · Dunedin

People & organisations:


We welcome suggestions from the public on these keywords / tags. If you feel some are incorrect or missing please make suggestions here.

Login or register to tag items