New Zealand’s weirdest mosquitoes: The impatient males

The fore tarsal claw of the adult male mosquito to grab onto the female pupa. Credit: Julia Kasper

Curator Terrestrial Invertebrates Julia Kasper looks at the reproductive lives of our local mosquitoes. The salt pool mosquito (Opifex fuscus) can just be found in New Zealand and it is our only rock pool mosquito. From an evolutionary perspective they show quite ancient mosquito characteristics. They look stout, have a short proboscis (snout), and short… Read more »

Fate of the Berry Boys and the ‘disastrous fiasco’ of Passchendaele

  • El Mariscal de Campo Sir Douglas Haig, circa 1918, Spain, by Francis Dodd. Te Papa (CA000316/001/0017/0001)
  • Three portraits each on one negative of William Horace James and Gertrude Miriam James., 1915, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.045525)
  • Portrait of Francis Edward Beaufort, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.045050)
  • Portrait of Harry Luckman with Ellen Luckman and baby Harry George Luckman, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.043586)

The death of over 840 troops over a single day during the Battle of Passchendaele, compounded by a further 1,860 wounded, was a low point in New Zealand’s military contribution to WWI, 100 years ago today. History curator Kirstie Ross outlines the impact of the battle on seven New Zealand soldiers, all of whom were photographed… Read more »

‘Please do not bite the books’ and other comical library rules

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Would you walk into a library with a dirty face? Take a bite out of one of the books? Or LIE to the librarian?  Librarian Martin Lewis (@rarebookguy) reveals comical library rules from history and shares his five commandments to ensure happy books and librarians.  No dirty faces and no lies in the library Libraries have funny… Read more »

In acknowledgement of of Tuvalu Language Week which ran from Sunday 1 October – Saturday 7 October 2017, Pacific curator Rachel Yates looks at daily life in Tuvalu through five photographs taken by New Zealand photographer Thomas Andrew (1855 – 1939), who spent a significant amount of time in the Pacific region. Nine islands Whilst on a tour… Read more »

Curator Photography Athol McCredie takes inspiration from a set of photographs in our collection to explore the idea that there may be another version of you, dear reader, out there. Most of us have had to choose a photograph of our self for a passport, Facebook page, dating site, or a CV. We might have a number… Read more »

For family or for Empire? The risks of staying home during war

  • 17 October 1915
  • 15 october 1915
  • British Menagerie. The Kaiser the Austrian Emporor
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This month we acknowledge the military service of the New Zealand troops who fought in and died during the devastating Battle of Passchendaele 100 years ago. However, in this blog, history curator Kirstie Ross considers other notions of duty and service that many men, like Levin farmer Leslie Adkin, had to weigh up in the face of… Read more »

Dr Mark Stocker, Curator Historical International Art, discusses his Collections Online summaries of Te Papa’s remarkable Rembrandt holdings. Sharing Rembrandt with the world Digital technology and art history scholarship/curation are a marriage made in heaven, believe me. Over the past few weeks, I’ve written database web summaries of every Rembrandt – and wannabe Rembrandt – in… Read more »

A grisly grizzly bear tale for World Animal Day

  • Jar, 1850-1860. England. Te Papa CG000578
  • Jane Dodd, A Jungle Incident, 2014. Photo Studio La Gonda.
  • Jane Dodd, Polar Pranks, 2012. Te Papa 2012-0022-1
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On World Animal Day, which aims to bring attention to the plight of animals worldwide, Claire Regnault, Senior Curator History, explores the work of Jane Dodd – a jeweller whose exquisitely rendered work draws on the cruel history of blood sports. Blood Sports Jane Dodd is a contemporary New Zealand jeweller, who throughout her career has… Read more »

The Fall of Singapore: New Zealand perspectives

Poster, 1942, Wellington. Gift of Mr C H Andrews, 1967. Te Papa (GH014048)

On 23 September an exciting new exhibition opened at the National Museum of Singapore called Witness to War: Remembering 1942. Ten objects from Te Papa were sent to Singapore to be featured in the exhibition. History curator Katie Cooper shares some of the stories from the exhibition and discusses the significance of the Fall of Singapore… Read more »