Library Citation - Colin Gibson

The 2010 Dunedin Public Libraries Citation recipient was Professor Colin Gibson.

The award was presented at the library's annual Christmas morning tea for volunteers and others who had assisted the library during the year.

2010 Citation Details

Professor Gibson has been a long-time supporter of the Dunedin Public Libraries, not only as a patron but as a major donor.

Since 1981, his steady donations of hymn books and reference works have built a fine hymnology collection - the only one of its kind held by an institution in New Zealand.

Professor Gibson’s interest in collecting hymn books and scholarly studies of this genre grew out of his writing and publishing activities, sharpened by an awareness that, apart from a few private collections, there were no major national archives of the hundreds of different hymnbooks used in New Zealand churches or of the significant work of New Zealand writers and composers in this field.

Therefore, the collection's special strength lies in its New Zealand material, while providing an international and complementary context of hymnbooks and studies for the use of scholars and the general public.

Today the Colin Gibson Hymnology Collection contains over 2,200 books and growing, thanks to further donation from Professor Gibson and the Reverend Ross Wards of Wellington, along with archival material relating to the New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.

In addition to his long-standing relationship with the Dunedin Public Libraries as a donor, Professor Gibson serves as an informal ambassador for the collection while attending hymnology conferences in the United States, Europe and the UK.

He is also highly active in the Dunedin community, serving, for example, as chair of the Really Authentic Gilbert & Sullivan Trust, organist at Mornington Methodist Church (for over 50 years!) and member of the Dunedin City Choir, not to mention remaining involved with the University of Otago's English Department (Professor Gibson is an Emeritus Professor).

In 2002, Professor Gibson was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to music in New Zealand.