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1869: The Year That Was


Fri 24 Jan 2020, 8:30am–5:00pm
Mon 27 Jan 2020, 8:30am–5:00pm
Tue 28 Jan 2020, 8:30am–5:00pm
Wed 29 Jan 2020, 8:30am–5:00pm
Thu 30 Jan 2020, 8:30am–5:00pm
Fri 31 Jan 2020, 8:30am–5:00pm

Where: University of Otago Library, 65 Albany St, Dunedin, Otago

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: specialnhr

On 3 June 1869, the University of Otago Ordinance 1869 became law. This meant that the newly established University became a corporate body with power to grant degrees. This was a significant first for New Zealand.

Two years later, with a building secured and three professors appointed, classes began. The first class was on 10 July 1871, with 81 students enrolled. The University of Otago’s rich history continues today. Its establishment and legacy form part of the current exhibition 1869 The Year That Was, which is housed at the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, 1st floor, Central University Library.

Of course, other events occurred in 1869. While the University Council were debating the administrative matters necessary to make the newly formed educational institution work, events were occurring on a local and international level. Each had their own particular impact.

Some of the events of 1869 that feature in the exhibition include the formation of the Otago Institute; the first Fine Arts Exhibition in New Zealand; the first ‘Royal’ visit to New Zealand; the introduction of the New Zealand Cross; the births of Rasputin, Emma Goldman, and Gandhi; the opening of the Suez Canal; and the formation of Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev’s periodic table. Tolstoy’s 'War and Peace' was published in 1869, as was Louisa May Alcott’s 'Little Women'.

Everyone is welcome to attend the exhibition, from Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm. This exhibition is free!

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