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Last updated: 28 March 2015

John Cowie Reid papers

Collection | Ref # MSS & Archives 89/14 | Held by Special Collections Te Tumu Herenga - Libraries and Learning Services

What is it?


John Cowie Reid papers


Reid, John Cowie, 1916-1972

Level of description:



3 m.

Reference number:

MSS & Archives 89/14


The papers are unique as being the only papers of a university teacher of English that have survived more or less intact and are in a public institution. The largest series consists of Reid's handwritten lecture notes on English literature from Chaucer to the 1960s, delivered mainly to university classes, but also on a variety of extra-mural occasions at summer schools and the like. His literary efforts occupy two series that consist of research notes and manuscripts of 10 of the twenty-seven published works listed in the inventory, upon Charles Dickens, Pierce Egan, and other writers as well as anthologies of New Zealand writing. Also included are a series of book reviews prepared for regular radio broadcasts, book reports for Collins Publishers in his capacity as their literary adviser, files relating to sixteen or more organisations, his university office files, broadcasting scripts for radio and television, film reviews and film stills, speech notes for a variety of religious and secular occasions, photographs, the texts of a variety of productions for university revues and the like.
Reid, a Professor of English, University of Auckland, enjoyed an international reputation as a specialist in Victorian literature. He was one of the first New Zealand academics to be appointed to a senior position in an English department of a New Zealand university. Possessed of great talents as a teacher, lecturer and publicist, he was active in many fields - the Catholic church, education, broadcasting, literature, the theatre, film, music, cookery and food, and publishing. A founder of the Mercury Theatre in Auckland, he was also an executive member of many organisations.

English literature--Study and teaching (Higher)--New Zealand--Auckland.

Literature teachers--New Zealand--Auckland

English literature--19th century--History and criticism.

College teachers--New Zealand--Auckland.

University of Auckland--Faculty.

Auckland University College--Faculty.


Dates covered:

1916 - 1972

Access conditions:

Not restricted

Finding aids:

Unpublished inventory, indexes of correspondents and film stills compiled by Frank Rogers.

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