World War One exhibition gives insight into war and conflict

  • Peter Dunne
Internal Affairs

The commitment and sacrifice of thousands of New Zealanders in the war to end all wars is brought to life in a compelling new exhibition at the National Library, Internal Affairs Minister Hon Peter Dunne announced today.

World War One – A Contemporary Conversation marks the centenary of World War One and explores the relevance of war and conflict in today’s world,” says Mr Dunne.

“Unfortunately, war and conflict are still with us and the exhibition and ensuing programme of public events serve as salient reminders of this. All wars have context and consequences – the context that gave rise to World War One includes some of the origins of today’s conflict in Syria. 

“Supported by official records from Archives New Zealand the exhibition helps us to have a greater understanding of the reality of war. The exhibition also provides an insight into the Alexander Turnbull Library collection, enriched by donors’ gifts. Donors share their valuable inheritance with us through their donations including for this exhibition diaries, letters, medals, music and photographs.

“Visitors can browse digitised first-hand accounts of the war on the iPads provided in the gallery or check out the transcribed diary of Arthur Carbines who served in Gallipoli.

“Other highlights include the pen William Massey, Prime Minister from 1912 to 1925, used to sign the Treaty of Versailles and from official letters from Sir James Allen, Minister of Defence and General Sir Alexander Godley, Commander of the New Zealand and Australian Division in Gallipoli.”

“World War One – A Contemporary Conversation is part of a wider Government programme to mark the First World War centenary from 2014 to 2018, namely WW100,” says Mr Dunne.

The exhibition and programme continue until October next year. Further information is available on the National Library website at:


The Archives New Zealand and National Library of New Zealand Resources can be found at: