Posts written by Lissa Mitchell

Photography, chemistry and technology – 4 days peering below the surface

  • weaver course 001a
  • Silver halides turn to metal.
  • Comparing different finishes on a group of prints made with the same image and printed on the same paper. Proving how hard it can be to identify different types of toning in prints so similar let alone of different subjects, papers and eras.
  • Viewing print surface of a cabinet card under microscope.

Last week, along with 15 other people from museums and galleries around New Zealand who work with photographic collections, I attended a course on the care and identification of photographic prints and negatives. The course was taken by Gawain Weaver, a photographic conservator from San Francisco and he also gave another course in Auckland two weeks… Read more »

Still unsolved mysteries (part 3 of 3)

So here are the mysteries that remain unsolved – if you can help please use the comment section at the end of this post. 1) mystery beach…  2) we know that it is not Olveston, Bishop’s Court or Columba College… 3) North Island? 4) Small North Island town… 5) 19th century South Island factory… 6) Napier earthquake damage but which… Read more »

Unsolved mysteries – not quite solved (part 2 of 3)

Here are images we know more about but are yet to be positively identified. If you can confirm or deny any of these locations please use the comment section at the end of this post.  1)  Mangere Bridge, South Auckland? 2) Kaiteriteri area – Little Kaiteriteri? 3) Greytown? 4) ‘Elvington’, Oamaru. Residence of the Maude family the property… Read more »

Mysteries solved (part 1 of 3)

Many of you have been helping identify the locations and places in some of the mystery photographs in Te Papa’s collection. It has been very enjoyable hearing from people, checking the information offered and updating the results on the database. All the images in this post have been identified by the public via this blog site and… Read more »

Christmas card

Christmas marks that another year has just about gone. Another year of change, doubt, joy, laughter and sorrow. Another year that those who have passed don’t know about. If I made a Christmas card from a photograph in the collection I would probably choose the image above. The photograph, taken by Leslie Adkin on 25… Read more »

Giving matters – David Carson-Parker (1932-2012)

One of the most generous ways museums acquire items for their collections is from individuals donating things they have made for the benefit of others. This is one way that unique material becomes available to the public and especially to researchers. It is in this spirit that David Carson-Parker, who died 21 October, donated many… Read more »

Laughing boy

It is not often I come across early photographs that capture pure joy like this one does. Too young to find the serious appeals of the photographer’s command to “keep still” anything other than funny, this infant boy’s laughter dominates the image and projects a good sense of fun about the activity of having one’s… Read more »

Water towers

Sometimes when I look at photographs, I start imagining the past. Details in the images trigger memories of people and places lost to time. These images of water towers take me back to my childhood in Invercargill, where the sight and purpose of the large tower, visible from most parts of the city, used to… Read more »