Books from Plunket Society founder Sir Truby King's massive book collection are being used to highlight the health campaigner's life and personality. This includes his early years, his education, his work at Seacliff Lunatic Asylum, and his pioneering work in child and infant care.
Curator Dr Donald Kerr has accessed The Melrose Library which includes around 1000 volumes which were collected by Sir Truby King in his lifetime. Many are revealingly annotated. Two-thirds of the books deal with the health of women and children, consisting of both professional and popular texts. The remainder is non-medical, comprising works of general reference and some fiction. Subjects covered include child health, nutrition, paediatrics, child diseases, psychology, horticulture and animal husbandry, gardens, especially rose and rhododendron books, and social issues such as race theory and education.
An exhibition: 'The Melrose Library: Reflecting the Life and Works of Sir F. Truby King' is on at the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, University of Otago.
Dr Donald Kerr talks about the collection.