Posts categorized as Museums

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 »

Delighted to have two finalists in New Zealand Post Book Awards

Te Papa Press, New Zealand’s unique museum publisher, are delighted to advise that two of its books are finalists in the prestigious annual New Zealand Post Book Awards. The finalists, announced last week, were selected from 160 entries and are described by the judges as “diverse and exciting”. Whatu Kākahu: Māori Cloaks edited by Awhina… Read more »

Brian Brake: Lens on the world opens at the Tauranga Art Gallery

Te Papa’s touring exhibition Brian Brake: Lens on the world opens on the 1st June at the Tauranga Art Gallery, the exhibition runs until the 15th September 2012 . The exhibition features more than 170 superb photographic reproductions from Te Papa’s permanent art collection, and is the first comprehensive retrospective exhibition of this notable Magnum… Read more »

20 millionth visitor to Te Papa

Eliza Jost with Michael Houlihan and Michelle Hippolite. Te Papa

Yesterday morning at around 10.45am, Te Papa reached a milestone achievement of 20 million visitors since opening in 1998. Congratulations to Eliza Jost, the 20,000,000th visitor to Te Papa. Eliza, originally from Sydney, has been in Wellington for six years and performing as a ballerina with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. “I’m overwhelmed!” beamed Eliza, “Thank you… Read more »

Caring for museum collections in a molecular world

Leon and Lara in the Te Papa's collections. Photo Carlos Lehnebach.Te Papa

Museums are embracing technologies, such as DNA sequencing, to both enhance understanding of their collections and showcase scientific research to the public.  Many museums around the world now have molecular laboratories.  DNA sequencing has many useful applications for museum research; for example, it can be used to distinguish new species, determine the evolutionary relationships between… Read more »

Te Papa researcher’s major contribution to NZ biodiversity inventory

Te Papa taxonomists whos work was instrumental in describing over 80% of the animal groups for New Zealand

Te Papa scientists figure prominently among the 238 researchers who have contributed to a major new publication: The Inventory of New Zealand Biodiversity.  The third and final volume of this 12-year project was launched at Te Papa yesterday, and celebrated the work of scientists from 19 countries, cataloguing over 56,000 species. The work was brought… Read more »

W F Gordon’s Taranaki land war photographs

Early last century, New Plymouth man William Gordon assembled a photographic record of people (both Māori and European) who served in the New Zealand Wars of the 1860s. The Dominion Museum (Te Papa’s second predecessor) purchased the photographs in 1916 as part of the Gordon Collection. Recently, I have been working on improving the documentation… Read more »