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Creating a National Spirit: Celebrating New Zealand's Centennial

14: 'Touching the Mind of the Country': J. C. Beaglehole and the Design of the Centennial Publications

page 193

14: 'Touching the Mind of the Country': J. C. Beaglehole and the Design of the Centennial Publications

After masterminding and orchestrating the 1940 centennial publications programme, Joe Heenan, Undersecretary for Internal Affairs, sat back and evaluated the contributions of his staff. For his Typographical Advisor, J. C. Beaglehole, he had unqualified praise:

In the pictorials as well as in the book survey and the Dictionary, Dr Beaglehole's genius for topography [sic] played a very large [role] in the success of the series. He emerged from the whole range of our work with results which will substantiate a claim for his being considered one of the greatest men New Zealand has produced in all matters relating to topography [sic] and book production.1

Other commentators echoed Heenan's sentiments. E. H. McCormick, editor of the Centennial publications, dubbed Beaglehole the organisation's 'oracle in all matters'2 and always spoke of his landmark contributions in the same breath as those of two other contemporary New Zealand typographic luminaries, Denis Glover of the Caxton Press, Christchurch and Robert W. Lowry of Auckland and Phoenix fame.3 Janet Paul, as Janet Wilkinson, joined the nascent Historical Branch in 1941, received her typographical training from J. C. Beaglehole, and collaborated with him on a number of government publications before marrying the bookseller Blackwood Paul and establishing their publishing house. She placed the Centennial publications programme and Beaglehole's role in it squarely at the centre of New Zealand's development of a cultural identity:

The 30s brought Glover and Lowry, Mason and Curnow and Fairburn, the Caxton Poets; and in 1939 and 1940, that watershed for New Zealand publishers, the government Centennial Publications. In them, John Beaglehole as historical advisor and typographer and Eric McCormick as general editor planned and edited and designed a group of books which showed New Zealanders that books written about their history and problems, and by their own writers, could be as well-produced and edited page 194 as the best from Britain. This helped to crack a barrier in the inverted snobbery of literate New Zealanders who denigrate the homegrown.4

Despite these encomiums, however, Beaglehole remains a shadowy figure on New Zealand's print culture horizon. Almost a decade after his untimely death in 1971, Dennis McEldowney remained puzzled: 'Where did his passion for it [typography], and his mastery of it, come from? I have no idea.'5 This essay examines the contributions of Beaglehole to the State publishing programme and in particular, his role in the design of the 1940 centennial publications, and suggests that he was a catalyst for the development of a new tradition of considered typography and design in the formative years of New Zealand's burgeoning domestic book printing industry.

J. C. Beaglehole was appointed to the standing committee of the National Historical Committee established in May 1937 to oversee the publication programme. This committee, chaired by James Thorn, included representatives of the history departments of all four universities, the Government Printer, and a number of others. A printing and production subcommittee was formally set up in March 1938 and charged with developing design specifications for all centennial publications sponsored by the committee. Oliver Duff began as editor of this subcommittee, bringing to the project his considerable background in newspaper layout and
John Cawte Beaglehole. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ, S. P. Andrew Collection, PAColl-3739, F-18598-1/1.

John Cawte Beaglehole. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ, S. P. Andrew Collection, PAColl-3739, F-18598-1/1.

page 195 magazine typography, but he left in December 1938 to take on the editorship of the New Zealand Listener, During his eight-month direct involvement with the project, Duff was 'the original designer and typographer for the two series of surveys. He selected the typeface, binding cloth and paper and also successfully recommended Whitcombe & Tombs of Christchurch as printers.'6 Thereafter, Duff was appointed advisory editor to the Publications Committee and was responsible for critiquing manuscripts submitted for publication. Although Beaglehole had been involved in printing and editorial decisions along with Scholefield and Beeby from June 1937, it was only when Duff left that he assumed the newly created position of typographical advisor, accountable only to Eric McCormick, the new editor, and J. W. Heenan, the impresario of the project.7

With the design and printing of the Making New Zealand series well under way, Beaglehole's typographical expertise was directed into a suite of subsequent publications, namely the dictionary, the historical surveys and the centennial atlas. Even so, in later life, McCormick recalled blazing rows between Duff and Beaglehole about the specificities of type, paper and binding cloth,8 suggesting Beaglehole's considerable direct involvement in design decisions from the early stages of the entire publication project. During the centennial year, Duff unabashedly used the columns of the New Zealand Listener to voice his difference of design opinion. When the third of the historical surveys, The Women of New Zealand by Helen M. Simpson, was published, Duff was quick to recognise the advent of a new set of standards in New Zealand; he praised the binding, printing and dust cover, and extended his congratulations both to Whitcombe and Tombs and to Beaglehole. He was, however, just as quick to critique some of the design decisions:

The title-page on all three volumes is so weak that it ought to be changed even at this late stage. It is, of course, as difficult for a typographer as for anyone else to make bricks without straw, but there are some good substitutes for straw available. Also, there is no justification for untrimmed edges on a machine-made book. To trim and stain the top end of a volume and leave the bottom just as it happens to fall is to forget that we are nearly half-way through the twentieth century.9

One can imagine these differences of opinion stemming from two contrasting backgrounds: the professional trained in the newspaper and magazine industry, confronted with the vicious economics of machine-driven commercial publishing in the fragile war period; the passionate autodidact of fine book typography and handcrafted design whose later Abel Janzoon Tasman and the Discovery of New Zealand (1942) designed in collaboration with Janet Paul (Wilkinson) was labelled an extravagant jeux d'esprit and a self-indulgent love affair with the private press movement and its rarefied processes of textual production.10 But Beaglehole was not averse to picking up Duffs gauntlet and justifying his design ethos. Flattered by page 196 the rare presence of a typographical critic, he reveals an intimate and sophisticated knowledge of the principles of design as well as a recognition of the realities of book publishing in New Zealand at this time.

Your reviewer deplores the title-page ... So do I. The difficulty here is one of balance. If the frontispiece is covered with a blank sheet, you will find that the title-page doesn't look so bad after — perhaps a little too restrained, but not so bad. Unfortunately the unit in book printing is not the single page but the two-page opening; and in these surveys the frontispiece badly overweights the title-page. The obvious remedy is to make the title-page heavier—i.e., to use bigger type on it. But at present we have no bigger type of the right sort—Monotype Aldine Bembo—to use on this page, though it has been on order for more than three months. Why not use a different sort of type then? Because a whole book should also be regarded as a typographical unity, and we have, I think, no type that would fit in well with Bembo. That remedy would be worse than the disease.

With respect to the more controversial issue of page trimming, Beaglehole good-humouredly suggests that just because a machine exists for the purpose described, that does not mean it should be used. On a more serious note, he explains the time-honoured relationship between type block and margins, noting that 'the dignity of a double-page of type' depends in particular upon the bottom margin, which creates a visual support upon which the type sits rather than slipping off the page under its own weight. He concludes with a plea for more such critical dialogue:

We are just beginning in New Zealand to produce books of tolerable appearance, and there is no reason why in a matter that demands craftsmanship and taste rather than genius we should not reach a high standard. But to become complacent at this stage, to lavish indiscriminate praise, would be disastrous. I hope therefore that those of your readers who are interested in typography will regard these Centennial books as a starting-point, not as a final achievement11

Through his book reviewing activities of the 40s and 50s, Beaglehole spread his design philosophy with greater assuredness, confirming his belief that 'the business of printing is to carry the message of its content in the clearest, most vivid, and most comely way possible . . . Ideally, type and picture and white space and colour, text and display and paper should all be of a certain quality, and should meet in a common harmony.'12 A concern with detail, with letterspacing, with stability and solidity rather than restlessness, discussions of grace and right proportion, a feeling for space, balance, tact and discrimination as well as 'poise, an elastic balance, [and an] escape from a too obvious labour'13 reveal the ongoing refinement of a critical vocabulary which became the measure against which he judged his own work.

page 197
The frontispiece and title page of J. C. Beaglehole's The Discovery of New Zealand. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ, C-27763-1/2, C-27764-1/2.

The frontispiece and title page of J. C. Beaglehole's The Discovery of New Zealand. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ, C-27763-1/2, C-27764-1/2.

How and where did Beaglehole learn the principles of typography and the just disposition of space? Books in the Beaglehole household were far more than literary wallpaper. The extensive library was populated with 'English classics in fine editions, masses of poetry, biography, books about literature and a lot of improving Victorian volumes'14 reflecting the family's Unitarian bent, a belief in the virtue of self-help, and a commitment to progressive ideology. These volumes, representing no more than the common printing and typographical standards of the nineteenth century against which William Morris rebelled, boasted nothing out of the ordinary. The family library contained no expensive, colour-plate art books or architectural monographs; nor did it include any design primers for coaching the young John, who exhibited an early interest in both the written and printed word.

Recognised as a 'Beaglehole trait', the love of books was instilled from an early age.15 Beaglehole's mother, for example, would push a book in front of her while polishing the floor, and leave marked volumes in prominent locations in order to encourage reading amongst the children. It is quite likely too that it was her love of literature and appreciation of its visual presentation which rubbed off on her son. For a young man passionate about books, his first full-time job between high school and university was, not surprisingly, that of a shop assistant at the Whitcombe and Tombs bookstore on Lambton Quay. During his employment, he managed to persuade the company's book buyer to include some private press works from the Shakespeare's Head Press and the Cuala Press run by W. B. Yeats' sisters, as well as page 198 works on lettering and wood engraving by Eric Gill.16 In 1918, at the age of seventeen, Beaglehole wrote, 'privately printed' and handbound a volume of commemorative verses to his father Ernest on the occasion of his birthday. Not only does this early manuscript work foreshadow a lifetime dedicated to book-related activities, but it exhibits a clearly articulated design sensibility shaped by the ethics and aesthetics of the arts and crafts movement.

The ironically titled 'Doggerel' paints a picture of the writer's ambition to keep a bookshop complete with leaded windows—'no common banal one'—in which poetry, essays, chapbooks, first editions, rare books, prints, and broadsides will be his stock in trade. The emergent businessman already demonstrates a keen understanding of the psychology of the market: rare books cannot be too rare, otherwise people will not buy them; books with illustrations by famous artists will be attractive to consumers; broadsides with fancy borders will sell the best. This market realism is counterpointed by the dream of selling 'books with good wide margins in / And finely printed, too', as well as establishing a small artisanal studio. Some two decades later, both these dreams were realised, not in a bookshop, but in the workshop of a state-funded cultural project.

I'll have a staff of craftsmen—
Perhaps just one would do,
Who'll execute fine bindings
Very reasonably for you,
In crushed Levant morocco
And gold tooling very fine,
And, nearly needless to remark,
All done from my design.
Upstairs I'll have a printing press
A hard worked one, or two
For printing fine editions
Of books both old and new.17

In this remarkable twenty-four page, handstitched pamphlet, Beaglehole already demonstrates a seasoned design eye. He is conversant with the conventions of traditional book layout, including the use of half-title, flyleaves, and a two-colour title page with ruled border; he also makes a considered and assured use of fleurons. Somewhere in his visual education, he has been exposed to the Glasgow School, particularly the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his famous rosebud design, which he includes on the title page and as the volume's tailpiece. Remaining coolly classical and neither ostentatious nor pretentious, this slim volume carries the germ of future aesthetic decisions and exemplifies Beaglehole's personal design ethos.

Beaglehole continued his literary activities while at Victoria University College and cut his teeth in the publishing world as editor, contributor and designer of the student magazine, Spike. While writing his Master's thesis, he had open access to the page 199 Alexander Turnbull Library and its 'collection of rare and beautiful things'18 including an extensive range of British private press books. It is doubtful whether at this early period he had first-hand contact with the influential typographic design aesthetics of Beatrice Warde, Jan Tchichold, Oliver Simon, Daniel Updike, A. F. Johnson or Stanley Morison, but they were all figures who were to play a significant role in his post-centennial design education. It is also unlikely that Beaglehole had any early exposure to New Zealand's forgotten typographer and printer of the late nineteenth century, Robert Coupland Harding.19

Once Beaglehole arrived in England in 1926 to further his postgraduate education at the London School of Economics, he was exposed to a wide range of British and American fine printing through local booksellers such as John & Edward Bumpus of Oxford Street. He gazed longingly, but his slender budget meant that he was often unable to purchase the works of his bibliographical heroes, such as Francis Meynell's Nonesuch Press Milton, although book purchases as gifts to family members back home remained a common practice. He probably read book design manuals given that his three years in London 'coincided with a remarkable efflorescence of published work on the history of printing',20 but he did not visit any of the private presses, typefounders or manufacturing centres until his second trip to the UK in 1949 when he was explicitly commissioned to 'make a close study of the latest developments in printing and book production'.21 Judging from the inscription dates on many of the typographically related books in his library, personal acquisition postdated his centennial publication activity.

In essence, Beaglehole was an autodidact with an eye for type who honed his skill and developed a quiet assurance through a string of remarkable jobs once he returned to New Zealand. Having not yet found his footing in the city of his birth from which he had been absent almost seven years, Beaglehole was ready and willing to take on a range of work: research advisor to the Alexander Turnbull Library (a job which, he complained, seemed to have no real work, though it gave him unrestricted access to the stacks); government functionary responsible for publication design; freelance designer of ephemera for local commercial publishers and volunteer arts organisations. He began his typographical apprenticeship in earnest at the New Zealand Council for Educational Research in 1934 where he was commissioned by Dr C.E. Beeby to execute designs for all their publications. Once he returned to Victoria University College as history lecturer in 1936, he again contributed to the graphic output of his alma mater. Beaglehole was on the lookout for any work after the council of Auckland University College terminated his temporary lectureship in history for expressing supposedly radical views on academic freedom. He was also swept up in the progressive politics of the thirties and forties which found their cultural expression in a number of literary organisations with which he was involved either as president or member of the executive: Progressive Book Society (1937) and Wellington Co-operative Book Society (1938), and later the Progressive Publishing page 200 Society (1941) and the University of New Zealand Press (1946).22 In each instance, Beaglehole was intimately involved with design decisions as he single-handedly invented the profession of the New Zealand typographer and shaped the terrain of domestic book production.23

At the NZ Council for Educational Research, Beeby gave Beaglehole free rein when it came to the covers of the Annual Reports (1937-48). Playing with typefaces, rules, and layout, Beaglehole was learning his craft in considered instalments; each cover represents a series of typographical experiments addressing quite different design challenges. Echoing the advice of another of his bibliographic heroes, Daniel Updike of The Merrymount Press in New York, he affirmed that 'the problem is what interests all but beginners in typography. Its solution may be, and often is, moderately exciting; although if the problem is successfully solved no one perceives it has existed/24 He was to take the same approach with his first forays into designing the Pictorial Surveys—much to the chagrin of his colleagues at the newly dubbed 'Centennial House'. Thinking to treat each of the thirty parts separately in order to reflect individual content and relationship between text and image, it was not long before he learnt the unifying merit and commercial reality of retaining a standardised format and design.25 In addition to his design training at the NZCER, Beaglehole also established contacts within the printing industry and learnt the process of give and take between design ideals and the practicalities of their technological production. One of his significant contributions was persuading Whitcombe and Tombs to order in Monotype fonts never before seen in New Zealand and consequently to reconsider the use of linotype for quality book work.

By the time he was appointed typographical advisor for the centennial publications, Beaglehole took seriously the task of producing 'works of national importance'.26 His damning expose of the Government Printing Office reveals the extent to which he was consciously creating a fresh, new identity in contrast to existing design styles and publication industry standards. Ordinarily, the Government Printing Office had sole right to design and publish all government publications. However, thanks to Duff's foresight and some clever negotiating on the part of Heenan, cabinet approved opening up the centennial project to tender. Wilson and Horton of Auckland won the contract for the pictorial surveys and Whitcombe and Tombs for the historical surveys. This effectively enabled the publications team to bypass a printer which, in Beaglehole's estimation, represented the worst in New Zealand design and printing at the time. Belonging to the 1880s rather than the 1930s, the Government Printing Office had no claim whatsoever to call itself a modern printing office, Beaglehole was particularly irked that it was more willing to spend £500,000 on a new building, than a paltry £2-3000 on replacing its outmoded, 'poverty-stricken and ugly'27 types. He also sincerely doubted that it had equipment modern enough to execute the quantity and quality of work required, particularly as the history of printing in New Zealand was primarily jobbing, advertising and page 201 newspaper printing rather than book production. In two scathing reports submitted to Heenan in early 1939, Beaglehole noted that 'the printing practice of the Government Printing Office is so deplorably old-fashioned and its equipment in type so entirely inadequate (judged by contemporary standards) that there is some question how far it is competent to print a book at all'.28

The Government Printing Office also epitomised for Beaglehole the poor typographical standards, lack of typographical training, and absence of taste in the skilful and effective disposition of type endemic in an industry which was fifty to sixty years behind the times and, moreover, didn't even know it. 'Printing has been deplorable, and except where the printer's every page, line and word is supervised and virtually designed for him, still is.'29 Two 1940 publications outside the official centennial publications programme dramatically illustrate the struggle between the industrial inertia Beaglehole was combatting and the new typography with which he identified. Both are, in their own way, specimen books asserting their makers' typographical philosophy.

Richard Alexander McKay and the Wellington Club of Printing House Craftsmen contributed to the centennial celebrations with a volume of thirteen essays charting the rise and progress of their industry. Leading figures in the New Zealand printing and bibliophilic world wrote on a range of topics: Johannes Anderson on early New Zealand printing including Maori printers and translators, and the Maori alphabet; Sir Apirana Ngata on Maori and the printed word; McKay himself on the process of engraving and a review of the industry; Kenneth McLean Baxter on the newspaper press; W. B. Sutch an economic survey. A History of Printing in New Zealand 1830-1940 was a limited-edition work of five hundred copies copiously illustrated with the most modern colour and photographic printing methods available in New Zealand at the time. Like the Penrose Annual, it was a homegrown version of a promotional tool advertising to a fairly limited clientele the current state of the typographic and printing arts. The volume was, however, roundly condemned, perhaps unfairly, by a number of critics. Eric McCormick considered it a well-intentioned but unfortunate misapplication of the immense technical resources of the New Zealand printing trade; for him, it represented the culmination of decades of provincial, amateurish, stale and self-gratulatory printing out of touch with traditions of craftsmanship and taste.30 Modern book historians generally pillage its intellectual content and dismiss its contribution, albeit conservative, to New Zealand's technological development.

Conversely, Denis Glover's 1940 first specimen book boldly inserts itself into a British typographical heritage identified with the modern practice of his bookend heroes, Stanley Morison and Eric Gill. In a series of short quotations each treated separately as exercises in typographic architecture, Glover showcases the various typefaces, design styles, and printing resources available at the Caxton Press. He demonstrates his firm's commitment to excellence, promotes the considered craft of the hand and eye in contrast to the mechanistic world of commercial printing, and page 202 provides a fresh, clean, and witty approach to the disposition of the printed page. He also foregrounds two precepts which were at the heart of the contemporary-British typographical revival: the typographer arranges type to facilitate comprehension, and the printer is best viewed through work which serves his client not himself. Beaglehole was in complete agreement as he too endeavoured to put into practice Beatrice Warde's famous dictum that the printed page should be treated as a 'crystal goblet' where the disposition of letterforms creates an elegant yet transparent vessel for the colour and flavour of fine, vintage, intellectual wine.

In Glover and Glover's mentor Bob Lowry, Beaglehole saw the development of a new, if 'inherited', typographic tradition which broke away from the uninspired work symptomatic of the outdated New Zealand printing industry. McEldowney would call the advent of these three players on the cultural scene a 'typographical renaissance',31 and even suggest that such a rebirth could have occurred simply with the arrival of Beaglehole. Whereas Glover and Lowry created works with often extremely limited runs, Beaglehole was designing and publishing a range of works in far larger edition sizes, with greater impact and ability to penetrate the marketplace of print, given their breadth of target audience, wider distribution networks, and fair price. This opportunity to 'touch the mind of the country'32 was a significant challenge. Typographic skill and modern equipment were, for Beaglehole, much more than tools for making an aesthetic statement: 'Good type properly used is part of a decent and rational civilisation. It is a part that we in New Zealand ought to have here and now. The Government Printing Office is not doing its job if it is contented with anything less. Nor is the State.'35

Part-way through the centennial publications project, Beaglehole looked both forward and backward. From the sceptic who, as McCormick recalled, initially treated the centennial as 'a series of fatuities, all of them depraved',34 he became the state culture convert won over by Heenan:

You yourself are largely responsible for this, dragging me into the Centennial organisation at the start against my will. I thought it was all hooey, but I turned out to have been wrong. I can detect in myself the workings of a culturally national spirit which I never could have expected.35

Beaglehole's 'new nationalism' led him to an amazing vision of the role of the state in increasing 'our self-knowledge and our power of self-criticism, which will be as much part of our self-respect, as Social Security or the Government Houses'.36 This vision embraced more than art and culture, more than nationalism and sensibility; at its heart was a call to education. Inspired by the effect of the centennial programme, Beaglehole dreamed of a superbranch in Internal Affairs comprising archives, historical publications, and a historical manuscripts and monuments commission. Safeguarding the country's heritage and disseminating it through popular and accessible publications, Beaglehole's new agency was fancifully termed a 'Tolerable- page 203 Printing-and-Graphic-Art-Education-Department'.37 It was later called 'Historical Branch' and remains today a unique entity in the western world.

Beaglehole may have been led kicking and screaming to the culture business, but he soon recognised the importance of his stable of print products. As international ambassadors as well as residents in every school and many homes, they were more lasting memorials than any such temporary structures as the 1940 Exhibition. They would also have greater long-term social and cultural impact on the country as New Zealand took stock of it roots, its first one hundred years, and its transition from colony to dominion to nation. The day-to-day business of publishing was, however, not always easy. In his extensive correspondence with Australian-based Norman Richmond, (brother of Helen Simpson), a colleague at Auckland University College who was also ostracised in the academic freedom debate of the early thirties, Beaglehole voiced his frustrations: 'I've turned into a sort of printing hack; with jurisdiction over all govt, historical publications, & a sort of supplementary editor to be consulted on spelling, punctuation, copyright, treatment of authors, treatment of Under-Secretaries, price of fish, & other details impossible to reduce to classification/38 His description of the 'soul-wearying business' of print management which requires 'dint of application beneath unceasing orders'39 characterises vividly the working habits of printers at the time.

Well, Tve got an advance copy of my book & it doesn't look too bad, barring some type the wrong size that I never noticed before, so I have to blame myself for that—you can't blame a printer for a little thing like putting in the wrong-sized type, it's the sort of thing he does by instinct. .. I like the blokes who do the actual work at Whitcombe's, works-managers & machine-men & comps. & so forth, but I dislike having to associate with the firm.40

This book was Beaglehole's own scholarly contribution to the historical surveys, the first in the series, his Discovery of New Zealand. Although it already shows some of the typographical trademarks which he would flourish through the next decade—classic typefaces such as Monotype Aldine Bembo and Baskerville, swelling rules, centred title pages, meticulously letter-spaced titles, the use of a fixed grid, and insistence on wide margins; and the colophon exemplifies his humble relationship to the printed word: 'the typography was arranged [my emphasis] by J. C. Beaglehole.'

Throughout the 1940s, Beaglehole was acutely aware that his was a modest contribution to the ongoing development of a domestic book publishing industry. Looking back on the centennial project in 1948, he contrasted its goal of producing 'a good article in the orthodox tradition of bookwork, a reasonable marriage of type and margin and binding, without extravagance and without meanness' with the earlier Victorian 'semblance of dignity in setting and press-work'41 and the inter-war slump into embarrassing provincialism of the worst order.

page 204

I don't think the jobs are by any means perfect, but taking all the circumstances into account, perhaps they may be called quite reasonably good. We have got on good terms with the printers anyhow, and I even think convinced them that we are not mad. At least we have set up a standard, and the Government work has knocked anything ever done in NZ in the commercial line into a cocked hat (not that that would be difficult anyway). It seems to me important that the Government standard shouldn't be lowered, it seems important that it should even be raised,42

Beaglehole's contributions while generally conservative and in the British typographic tradition were, however, more than slight. He single-handedly proved in the public arena that book production was a considered art with design parameters and materials specifications different from the newspaper, jobbing, and ephemeral printing upon which New Zealand's printing and publishing industries were founded and remained reliant. He indented typefaces expressly suited for bookwork from overseas type foundries; in an industry where the most common faces were those of the commercial advertising world, he brought to New Zealand the grace and elegance of Aldine Bembo, Baskerville, Granjon, Polyphilus, Perpetua. He advocated the use of good book papers and flew in the face of wartime paper rationing by requesting and receiving supplies suitable for fine letterpress work, and in quantities which allowed him to insist on the generous margins required for good typographic balance. He ensured the longevity of his creations by specifying solid case bindings at a time when more ephemeral paperback perfect bindings were infiltrating the marketplace of print. His many printed products, his published contributions to the discussion of typography and design, and the training of a visual heir, Janet Paul, all attest to the impact Beaglehole made upon the book publishing industry in this country during its formative years. As Heenan acknowledged in the official record:

The measly £350 a year we pay him represents only a fraction of his worth to us over the past six years. He has placed New Zealand on the typographical map and our Departmental standard of book production has earned a mild form at least of world fame.43

Just as the Second World War demonstrated New Zealand's ability to determine its own future, so too could one argue that the final capture of its own 'sovereignity' was achieved in a state-orchestrated centennial publications programme which redefined the nation's history both textually and visually. J. C. Beaglehole's instrumental role in bringing the typographical expression of this new cultural nationalism into public view had a significant impact on the development of New Zealand's national identity.

1 J. W. Heenan to Minister of Internal Affairs, 14 February 1941, Ms-Papers 1132-295, Heenan Papers, Alexander Turnbull Library (ATL). With the permission of Professor Tim Beaglehole, his father is hereafter referred to as Beaglehole.

2 E. H. McCormick, An Absurd Ambition: Autobiographical Writings, Dennis McEldowney ed, (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1996), p.148.

3 E. H. McCormick, 'Pattern of Culture', Arts Year Book 6 (1950), pp.44-54.

4 Janet Paul, notes from talks in Hamilton and Wanganui on the growth and problems of New Zealand publishing, 1966, Ms-Papers 5640-100, Janet Paul Papers, ATL.

5 Dennis McEldowney, The Typographical Obsession', Islands 8:1 (1980), p.69.

6 Letter from E. H. McCormick, 28 November 1983, in Anthony James Booker, The Centennial Surveys of New Zealand 1936-1941', BA essay, Massey University, 1983, p.7 n.l.

7 In March 1938, McCormick reported that Arnold Goodman had been appointed as 'an expert on lay-out and typography'. E. H. McCormick to J. W. Heenan, 17 March 1938, excerpted by Janet Paul. What relationship Goodman had to Beaglehole and why his appointment was shortlived can only be speculated upon at this point.

8 Typescript of proposed contribution to E. H. McCormick's festschrift, later withdrawn, entitled 'JC Beaglehole as Typographer: A Background to the Design of the 1940 Centennial Publications', Ms-Papers 5640-100, Janet Paul Papers, ATL.

9 Unattributed review with footnote probably penned by Duff, 'Mothers, Sisters And Wives: The Work of Women During Our First Century', New Zealand Listener 21:42, 12 August 1940,34.

10 Denis Glover wrote to Leo Bensemann from England while on leave from the navy in 1943 and describes the frontispiece as a 'technical miracle' but then notes that 'Beaglehole has gone haywire if he thinks the Tasman effort is any good. Nor has anybody over here got any time or taste for that private style of printing.'

11 J. C. Beaglehole, 'Typography of Centennial Surveys', New Zealand Listener 21:44, 26 August 1940, p.34.

12 J. C. Beaglehole, 'A Small Bouquet for the Education Department', Arts Year Book 7 (1951), p.125.

13 J. C. Beaglehole, 'A Few Harsh Words on Areopagitica as Printed', Book: Number Four (September 1941); 'Art or Craft?' New Zealand Listener, 25 February 1949; 'A Second Book of Leo Bensemann's Work', Landfall (March 1953), p.81.

14 T. H. Beaglehole, '"Home"? J. C. Beaglehole in London, 1926-1929', The Turnbull Library Record 14:2 (October 1981), p.70.

15 Bridget Parrott, 'The Beaglehole Dynasty', in Victorious (Summer 1994-5), pp.18-19.

16 Janet Paul, 'John Cawte Beaglehole, OM. His influence on book-production in New Zealand 1936-1971', unpublished typescript.

17 J. C. Beaglehole, 'Verses for my father', (1918), 6-8, excerpts and colour reproduction courtesy of Professor Tim Beaglehole.

18 T. H. Beaglehole, '"Home"? J. C. Beaglehole in London, 1926-1929', The Turnbull Library Record 14:2 (October 1981), p.70.

19 Harding's monthly trade journal Typo (1887-1897) subtitled 'A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review' was actually a sophisticated primer teaching untrained Kiwi compositors good typesetting practice and introducing them to recent overseas developments in type styles and aesthetics. Harding's series of articles entitled 'Design in Typography' appeared in syndicated form in famous overseas journals such as The Inland Printer and The British Printer. Later, Beaglehole would subscribe to the Penrose Annual and Monotype Recorder which kept him up to date with European and American printing and design practice.

20 Janet Paul, (John Cawte Beaglehole, OM. His influence on book-production in New Zealand 1936-1971', unpublished typescript.

21 J. W. Heenan to A. G. Harper, 24 May 1949, box 1, Ms-Papers 73-4/75-235, J.C. Beaglehole Papers, ATL.

22 Rachel Barrowman has written extensively on the evolution of New Zealand national and cultural identity during this period, including the constant tension between left-wing politics and the ramifications of state intervention in the arts. She eloquently juxtaposes Morris and Marx as figures exemplifying the debate and clearly positions Beaglehole in the liberal intellectual camp of the former, see A Popular Vision. The Arts and the Left in New Zealand 1930-1950 (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1991).

23 Symptomatic of the printing industry's inability to understand the need for a typographer is clearly demonstrated in the correspondence for the Pictorial Surveys in which Beaglehole's inclusion of a 'layout person' in the tender specifications was not understood by most printing firms at all, John Pascoe later oversaw this side of Making New Zealand, much to the praise of his colleagues and, most importantly, to the printers.

24 Quoted in Janet Paul, 'John Cawte Beaglehole, OM. His influence on book-production in New Zealand 1936V197T, unpublished typescript.

25 E. H. McCormick, An Absurd Ambition: Autobiographical Writings, Dennis McEldowney ed, (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1996), p.140.

26 Beaglehole to J.W.H., 15 February 1939, box 1, Ms-Papers 73-004, Beaglehole Papers, ATL.

27 Beaglehole to J.W.H., 1 March 1939, box 1, Ms-Papers 73-004, Beaglehole Papers, ATL.

28 Beaglehole to J.W.H., 15 February 1939, box 1, Ms-Papers 73-004, Beaglehole Papers, ATL.

29 Beaglehole to J.W.H., 15 February 1939.

30 E. H. McCormick, 'Pattern of Culture', Arts Year Book 6 (1950), pp.51-2.

31 Dennis McEldowney, The Typographical Obsession', Islands 8:1 (1980), 59-70.

32 Beaglehole to E.H. (?) 30 July 1940, box 1, Ms-Papers 73-004, Beaglehole Papers, ATL.

35 Beaglehole to E.H. (?) 30 July 1940, box 1, Ms-Papers 73-004, Beaglehole Papers, ATL.

34 McCormick, 139.

35 Beaglehole to E.H. (?) 30 July 1940, box 1, Ms-Papers 73-004, Beaglehole Papers, ATL.

36 Beaglehole to E.H. (?) 30 July 1940, box 1, Ms-Papers 73-004, Beaglehole Papers, ATL.

37 Beaglehole to E.H. (?) 30 July 1940, box 1, Ms-Papers 73-004, Beaglehole Papers, ATL.

38 Beaglehole to Norman Richmond, 12 December 1939 (courtesy of Prof T. Beaglehole).

39 Beaglehole to Norman Richmond, 12 December 1939 (courtesy of Prof T. Beaglehole).

40 Beaglehole to Norman Richmond, 17 December 1939 (courtesy of Prof T. Beaglehole).

41 Beaglehole, 'Book Production in New Zealand', Studio (New Zealand issue) 135:661 (April 1948), p.131.

42 Beaglehole to E. H. McCormick, 30 July 1940, box 1, Ms-Papers 73-004, Beaglehole Papers, ATL.

43 J. W. Heenan to Dick Campbell, 6 April 1943. Ms-Papers 1132-30, Heenan Papers, ATL (excerpted by J.E.P).