For Valentine’s Day, a 1913 love story

For Valentine’s Day, a 1913 love story

Family photographs, 1913, New Zealand, by Leslie Adkin. Gift of Derek Noble, 1997. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Te Papa (AL.000132)

This summer, we ran a pilot project to transcribe the diaries of George Leslie Adkin, and put them online. Adkin wrote in his diary every day, and his 1913 diaries detail his courtship of Maud Herd, whom he later married.

Adkin was also a talented photographer, and took many photographs of Maud, and of them both together. He noted many of the photographs he took in his diary.  He printed the photographs himself, and created many beautiful albums over the years – one from 1913 contains numerous photographs of them both, meticulously mounted and inscribed.  To mark Valentine’s Day, here’s a small selection:


Leslie Adkin, 1913. ‘Sunday at Hastings, 28 December 1913: Till we meet again’. From AL.00132. Gift of Derek Noble, 1997. Te Papa

‘Till we meet again’ was taken while Maud and Leslie were staying with friends in Hastings. Adkin wrote on 29 December, the day he left ‘Dear little Maud – so sweet, loving + pretty. God keep her till we meet again. ‘

Detail of a page from AL.000132, photograph album by Leslie Adkin, 1913: ‘A vision in blue’ and ‘In the willow summerhouse’. Gift of Derek Noble, 1997. Te Papa

‘On way back home I could not hold out any longer + Maud + I exchanged our first kisses – it’s an amazing, wonderful thing that she should love me; God help me that I never hurt her or be cruel to her as long as I live, + that I may prosper for her sweet sake. ‘ (from diary entry dated 27 March 1913).

See more of the album here.  Read the diary transcripts here.

We’ll be photographing more of Adkin’s albums and continuing to transcribe his diaries over the next few months.  Curator Kirstie Ross is tweeting from the diaries here, as part of the ‘Life 100 Years Ago’ World War I centenary commemoration project, which shares history in “real time” via daily tweets.


  1. These are beautiful pictures, and quotes. Thanks to all volunteers and supporters of our pilot transcription project this summer – we’ll be posting an update about the project right here on the blog soon.

  2. Great to have this album available online now. A super adjunct to the diaries. Thanks to all who have been involved on some way with the leslie adkin diary project as transcribers and supporters.
    Kirstie Ross

  3. Anita
    So cool. Love your blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *