Posts written by anitahogan

For Valentine’s Day, a 1913 love story

Leslie Adkin, 1913. A return performance.  Photographic print from album AL.000132.  Gift of Derek Noble, 1997. Te Papa

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…. Read more »

Movember memories

Movember is drawing to a close, and thousands of men in New Zealand and around the world are sporting moustaches for a good cause.  In New Zealand, the funds raised are being used for research, advocacy and survivor support around men’s cancer and mental health.  Here’s a small selection of moustachioed men, drawn from our… Read more »

Climb every mountain

Brian Brake grew up in Arthur’s Pass and retained a love of New Zealand’s mountains all his life.  He took hundreds of photographs of South Island peaks, lakes and rivers.   If you’re an alpine enthusiast, a keen tramper, or you know the South Island well, please take a look and let us know if you can name any… Read more »

A slice of Wellington life: the Berry & Co collection

  • Photographing a Berry & Co glass plate negative.  We use a Phase I P40 camera and Schneider 110 lens, used with extension tube, with a 40MB back.  This gives us a 38MB digital image, which is our ‘access master’ size.  Photograph Michael Hall, copyright Te Papa.
  • One of the transport chilly bins.  The negatives are stored in archival paper sleeves, to protect the surface of the image.  Photograph Anita Hogan, copyright Te Papa.
  • One of the transport chilly bins.  The negatives are stored in archival paper sleeves, to protect the surface of the image.  Photograph Anita Hogan, copyright Te Papa.
  • Negatives can be difficult to ‘read’, so creating a positive digital image makes it easier for us to improve our catalogue data, for example by using clothing details to estimate the date the photograph was taken.

Te Papa has a collection of nearly 4,000 glass plate and film negatives taken by the Wellington photography studio Berry & Co.  The studio was founded by William Berry in 1897, and operated in Cuba St until 1931.  The negatives are mainly portraits – of families, children, men and women, soldiers in uniform, the occasional… Read more »

Do you know this building?

 Te Papa has an enormous collection of photographs, negatives and transparencies by Brian Brake (1927 – 88), one of New Zealand’s best known photographers.  Brake became famous while working overseas as a photojournalist – one of his best known works is the Monsoon photo essay, which he took in 1960.  He also photographed extensively in… Read more »

Fieldwork in the Subantarctic Islands, a hundred years ago

I’ve been enjoying our scientist’s fieldwork posts.  We have scientist’s photographs from several historic field trips in the photography collection.  My favourites are in this photo album from the 1907 Expedition to the Subantarctic Islands.  The Expedition was initiated by the Canterbury Philosophical Institute with support from the Government, and studied plants, animals, soils and marine life on the Auckland… Read more »

Caring for our photographic negatives

  • Cellulose acetate film was used for negatives from the 1920s.  It tends to break down to acetic acid, causing the film to shrink.  This makes the binder layer form channels and spots, and the image becomes difficult to read.
  • Steve McStay and Paul Simpson sliding an empty drawer into the plan chest unit.
  • Steve McStay and Paul Simpson sliding an empty plan drawer into the unit.
  • An acetate negative with 'vinegar syndrome'

We have an enormous collection of photographic negatives and transparencies on glass and film, going back to the 1870s. They include all sorts of images from studio portraits to holiday snaps, landscapes, photographs of sports teams, and artists’ negatives and transparencies. Many negatives are chemically unstable and, if left in an uncontrolled environment, will deteriorate to… Read more »