Dr Elizabeth Nichol

PhD (Auck), MA (WAus), BMus(Hons) Otago, DipNZLS, DipRIM, DipMan, ALIANZA

Dr Elizabeth Nichol studied music at the Universities of Otago, Western Australia and Auckland. She worked as a professional librarian for many years, with a particular interest in music librarianship. Her research interests centre on music bibliography, music archives and music in the New Zealand settler colony from 1840 up to 1920.

Dr Nichol’s PhD examined New Zealand’s music published between 1850 and 1913. The research examined all music published in New Zealand or with a New Zealand connection and included music published in periodicals and newspapers as well as school and religious music. The experience of the New Zealand settler society in developing its own settler musical heritage was in many ways to parallel the experiences of Australia and Canada.  Outcomes of the research included the identification of a significant number of early New Zealand music publications and confirmation of a vibrant inter-connected musical life in early settler New Zealand.

Dr Nichol continues to explore aspects of New Zealand’s settler musical heritage at the same time as various archival projects.

Book chapters
“Treasured possessions: Pre-1920 New Zealand music in three Auckland historic houses”. In Rosemary Richards and Julia Szuster (eds) Memories of Musical Lives: Music and Dance in Personal Music Collections from Australia and New Zealand. Melbourne: Lyrebird Press, 2022.

“Transplanting traditions: immigrant colonial composers in New Zealand”. In M. Brown, S. Owens (Eds.) Searches for tradition: Essays on New Zealand music, past & present. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2017.

Articles (selected)
“Early New Zealand organists and their compositions”. New Zealand Organ News, 57(3), 2021.
“A plague and a violin: Government archives and constraints on musical activities in pre-1918 New Zealand”. Fontes Artis Musicae, 62 (3), 2015.
“Bookseller, circulating library owner, printer, publisher, agent, raconteur, freemason, volunteer soldier and cricket enthusiast—John Varty’s Auckland career, 1858–1868”. Script & Print: Bulletin of the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand, 38 (4), 2014.
“Charles, Baron de Thierry – sovereign chief and musician”. Crescendo, 88,Feb/Mar 2011.
“The music of the Regimental Bandmasters in New Zealand during the 1850s and 1860s and its publication”.  Crescendo, 84, Dec 2009.
“Dresden Pianoforte Manufacturing and Agency Company Limited – a pioneer of New Zealand music publishing”. Crescendo, 74, 2006.
 “In search of Eduard Bergman, regimental bandmaster in the 1860s Waikato land wars”. Crescendo, 71, 2005.
“New Zealand music registered for copyright, 1879-1900”. Turnbull Library Record, 17(2), October 1984.

Papers Presented
The music prizes. Auckland Society of Arts Music Competition 1884-1886.” Auckland Libraries Heritage talk, May 2020.
“Bankruptcy and business failures: some colonial musicians and their dealings with the bankruptcy courts in New Zealand 1865-1900” – paper presented at the New Zealand Musicological Society, Auckland, 2019.
“As a music supplement, a good song is given”: music published in New Zealand periodicals and newspapers 1880-1900” – paper presented at the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, Brighton, 2019.
To encourage New Zealand composers: the Festivals of New Zealand Music, Christchurch 1916 and 1918” – paper presented at the New Zealand Musicological Society, Christchurch, 2018.
“Includes music – sources of New Zealand published music other than sheet music” – paper presented to IAML(NZ), Auckland, 2017.
“Supporting New Zealand’s Early Composers: The Role of the Music Publisher Arthur Eady and Company, 1878–1913” –  paper presented at the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand, Canberra, Australia, 2014.

“Dedicated to the colonial music-loving public”: New Zealand’s published music 1850-1913. PhD thesis, University of Auckland. http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35499