Dorothy Mary Neal White

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Dorothy Mary Neal White QSO (22 December 1915 – 12 February 1995) was a notable New Zealand librarian and writer. She was born in Christchurch, North Canterbury, New Zealand in 1915, and educated at Avonside Girls' High School.[1]

In 1933 Dorothy became a library assistant at the Canterbury Public Library.[1]

In 1936 Dorothy became Children's Librarian at the Dunedin Public Libraries. She later worked there again from 1957 as head of children's services until her retirement in 1974.[1]

When in 1939 Dorothy married a noted Dunedin second-hand-book seller, Richard (Dick) Desmond White, she continued to work under her maiden name as the City Council required women to resign on marriage.[1]

After the death of her first husband in 1967, Dorothy married Dunedin doctor Robert Edmund Ballantyne in 1968.[1]

In the 1994 Queen's Birthday Honours, she was appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for community service.[2]

The Dorothy Neal White Collection, held by the National Library of New Zealand contains over 8,000 titles of pre-1940s children's literature.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Atwool, M. E. "Dorothy Mary Neal White". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "No. 53697". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 1994. p. 34. 
  3. ^ National Library of New Zealand. "Dorothy Neal White Collection". Retrieved April 2012.