The Will Kennedy / Andy Anderson Alpine Scrapbook 1925-1952

As far as we can be sure, Will Kennedy (1865-1950), an early Canterbury Mountaineering Club and New Zealand Alpine Club stalwart, collected these clippings relating to New Zealand mountains, from the mid-1920s. His sources were daily newspapers and national magazines such as The New Zealand Listener and The Weekly News. This was consistent with Will’s wider activities in active climbing, as well as helping lubricate interest in the alpine scene through lectures, slide shows, introductory tramps, etc. As a school teacher he introduced many groups to the mountains.

Over many years, Will mounted his clippings into this large-format (50 x 34 cm) scrapbook, amounting to 305 pages by the time he ceased in mid-1938. He continued to collect, trim, date and store material until he died in 1950. When the scrapbook was rediscovered in recent years, un-attached clippings extended into 1951, with one special collection relating to an expedition to Mt Everest in 1952.

Warwick Anderson delivered the scrapbook to the NZ Alpine Club early in 2022. He had discovered it some years earlier when clearing the estate of his late father, Andy Anderson. Andy (1908-2002) was a younger peer climber friend of Will, both were school teachers and members of the CMC and NZAC. Andy would have taken over custodianship of the scrapbook at some stage, and added at least the 1951/52 clippings after his elder friend’s death.

Geographical coverage tends to be Canterbury-centric, but there much coverage of Otago/Fiordland and Westland, and some of general New Zealand, as well as Kiwi endeavours in the Himalayas and beyond.

Richly illustrated topics range over these, and more:

  • Alpine ascents (including firsts), transalpine traverses;
  • Mapping and exploration;
  • Hut building;
  • Mountain club activities;
  • Scenic southern South Island, and alpine pictorials, including glaciation;
  • Accidents and tragedies; air crashes;
  • Guiding - politics and more;
  • Himalayan climbs/explorations, European alps and elsewhere;
  • Identities;
  • Nature.

Although this is not ‘new’ material, it’s a rich and concentrated collection, much of which never made it to the (now) more widely accessible alpine journals, or books.

Recently, Grant Hunter compiled the unmounted material (1938-52) and Ian Gardiner scanned all c. 380 pages to digital format. We anticipate the original scrapbook will be archived in the ‘Kennedy Collection’ at Canterbury Museum.

A copy of the scrapbook, either on a flash drive or emailed, is available from the NZAC (n[email protected]) or CMC, for a fee of $25.