Kylie Thomson, Blind Foundation’s Archivist, sent the following details about Revisionary, their online heritage repository which was recently launched: http://revisionary.recollect.co.nz.
The Blind Foundation’s Archive preserves the unique history of the blind and low vision community in New Zealand. It holds over 125 years’ worth of archives, such as minutes, reports, brochures, posters, photographs and videos (some of which have been digitised), and a small but growing collection of born-digital archives. Revisionary is our way of making our Archive more accessible to all of the Foundation’s clients and staff, as well as to students, professional researchers and the general public. The name ‘Revisionary’ combines the twin themes of vision and reflecting on history, and the site will allow users to explore our rich collection of resources, with topics including guide dogs, braille, leisure and recreation, education, and much more.
There is nothing else in New Zealand that represents the history of blind and low vision people and gives such detailed information about what their life was/is like. This collection is therefore of particular value to researchers in history and sociology, and it should cast a very telling light on New Zealand’s changing attitudes towards disability over the years.
Highlights among the content include:
–A recommended reading list. This includes links to downloadable copies of our major history books, ‘Pioneering a Vision’ (1990) and ‘Living a Vision’ (2015).
–The documentary ‘A part of our world’ (c.1967), which looks at Homai College in its early years.
–The short film ‘Dot’s dog’ (1978), which showcases the training of Dot Beard, the first person to be trained to handle a guide dog in New Zealand.