History of the University of Otago


A sample of images relating to the history of the University of Otago. This project was the result of a collaboration among the University of Otago History Department, the Digitisation Taskforce and University of Otago Library Staff.


Various collectors

Collection Items

University of Otago graduates of 1887.
A photograph of the ten students who graduated from the University of Otago in 1887. Standing: M.I. Fraser, G.A. Simers, M.A. Ferguson, W.E. Spencer. Sitting: J.R. Montgomery, F.M. Allen, X. Forbes, F.B. Allen, J.R. Don, C. Little.

Letter to the Chancellor of the University of Otago.
A letter to the Chancellor of the University of Otago from Emily Siedeberg, dated March 10th 1891, York Place. 'To the Chancellor of the Otago University -- Sir -- Having passed the necessary preliminary examination, I desire to enter myself as a…

George Samuel Sale, M.A., professor of classics 1870-1907.
Lower right (l.r.) with brush: M.D. Sale 1902.

Capping parade montage.
A montage of early capping parade photographs. The title on the photograph reads "A snap of the procession of students in varied costumes as it passed through the Octagon".

Lochness Monster capping costume.
A photograph of a Lochness Monster costume taken during the 1933 capping parade.

Capping - Selwyn College.
Eleven male students from Selwyn College holding signs saying "Closed on account of fire" and "No license - a bar to progress". One student has his head through a large sign that has the word "Booth".

Selwyn Circus 'Boys', 1922.
An image glued into the Capping Carnival Magazine from July 1922, showing two Selwyn College students dressed in costume for the Selwyn Circus and capping celebrations of 1922.

Group of students and skeleton friend.
Six medical students and David Blacky, son of Professor Blacky, pose with a skeleton and anatomical dummy.

Students / technicians working in a medical laboratory, possibly Suva, Fiji.
Found in the University of Otago Medical Library Historical Collection this photograph is an example of Otago University's relationship with the Pacific.

Cover of the House & Garden capping magazine, 1987.
The OUSA capping magazine cover from 1987. The magazine is entitled "House & Garden" in jest and the cover depicts a burnt-out student flat.

Dunedin Exchange Building.
Elevated south-west view of the first building that housed the University of Otago between 1871 and 1878. The building was designed by the architects Mason and Wales and was originally intended to be Dunedin’s post office. Dominating the stock…

Rina Moore, 1923-1975.
Believed to be the first female of Maori descent to graduate in medicine in New Zealand, Rina Moore (nee Rohipa), of Ngati Kahungunu, Te Whanau-a-Apanui, and Rangitane, obtained her medical degree from Otago University in 1949.

Medical School staff.
A photograph of Medical School professors standing on the steps of the Otago Medical School Building - Sir Louis Barnett, Sir Lindo Ferguson, Dr Daniel Colquhoun (behind), Dr William John Mullin, Dr William Stewart Weeding Roberts (in front).

Medical school seniors.
Medical school seniors of 1934, including who is thought to be Jione Antonia Rabici Doviverata [Dovi], possibly the first Pacific student to graduate from the Otago Medical School in 1935.

Kathleen Annuei Pih-Chang, 1929-1991.
In 1929, Kathleen Chang became the first person of Chinese descent to graduate from the Otago Medical School.See Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (1941-1960), Volume 5, Wellington, 2000, and Eva Ng's biography of Kathleen Chang in D. Maxwell,…

Emily Siedeberg.
A photograph of Emily Siedeberg-McKinnon M.B, Ch. B (1873-1968). This image is included in a scrapbook alongside the letter she wrote to the Chancellor of the University of Otago in 1891. The letter was written as a request for entry into the…

Proposed Home Science Cottage for New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition (1925-1926), Logan Park, Dunedin.
Designed in conjunction with the Home Science Department, the blueprint of a proposed structure for display at the South Seas Exhibition (1925-1926) includes floor-plans, various elevations and some details of furnishings. The plan shows the…

Hocken Library.
The Hocken Library (now known as Hocken Collections) was first housed in a wing of the Otago Museum. The text on the back of the photo states that it is a - 'View of the Hocken Library from Great King Street'.

Speight’s advertisement, Capping Carnival Magazine.
An early advertisement for the Speight’s Brewery in Dunedin printed in the Capping Carnival Magazine from August 1919. The consumption of vast quantities of beer has always been an activity associated with student life.

Old Law Library.
Two students at work in the Law Library. Legal caricatures can be seen on the wall above. Before shifting to the Hocken Building (now known as the Richardson Building) in 1979, the first Law Library was housed in what is now known as the Staff Club.

Selwyn Circus 'Animals', 1922.
Images glued into the Capping Carnival Magazine from July 1922, show members of the Selwyn Circus "Animals". The animal costumes created by the students included a giraffe, rhinoceros, elephant, camel, and an ostrich.

Otago University Students' Capping Carnival.
A photograph of the crowd in the Octagon watching a capping parade. Male students dressed in women’s clothing can be seen at the bottom of the photo.
Photograph published in the Otago Witness, date currently unknown.

Capping band.
A photograph of the 1910 capping band members. Several of the male students are dressed in women’s clothing while another is dressed as a clown. It was not until 1947 that female students appeared in the capping show.

University Athletic Team, Easter Tournament.
A photograph of the Men’s Athletic Team for the Easter Tournament of 1910 or 1911. The students are wearing their uniforms which have a large O stitched onto the chest. They are also photographed with their awards and trophies.

Otago debating and tennis teams, New Zealand Inter-University Tournament.
Photograph of the Otago University debating and tennis teams in 1904. Back row, standing left to right, J. Miller, F. Borrie, W.A. Fairclough. Middle row, seated left to right, L.T. Burnard, Miss R. Utting, Dr Te Rangi Hiroa, T. Neave. Front row,…
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