Posts categorized as Photography

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 »

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 »

Niue: the Rock of Polynesia

To celebrate Vagahau Niue: Niue Language Week (6-13 October 2012), the Pacific Cultures team are highlighting stories about Niue focusing on taoga (treasures) from Te Papa’s collection. Today, in this second blog post we offer a short environmental profile of the Niue, sometimes referred to by locals as “The Rock of Polynesia”. We finish with… 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 »

Celebrating Vagahau (Language) Niue

To celebrate Vagahau Niue: Niue Language Week (6-13 October 2012), the Pacific Cultures team are highligting stories about Niue focusing on taoga (treasures) from Te Papa’s collection. In 1972, over a few months, a group of scientists from Te Papa, then known as the Dominion Museum, made a visit to Niue as part of an expedition to survey the… Read more »

September 1907 – this month last century

105 years ago New Zealand becomes a Dominion (26 September 1907) At 11am, 26 September 1907, New Zealand officially moved up in the ranks in the British Empire. On that day it became a Dominion instead of a Colony. That night, electric illuminations on buildings in the capital proclaimed this auspicious and historical moment. Although public… 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 »

Lili’s gift

“Dear friends, may this beautiful instrument bring you happiness and inspiration. All my love, Lili Kraus, London, Christmas 1959.” So read the handwritten inscription in the piano Michael Parekowhai obtained for On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer currently on display at Te Papa. In the museum’s collection there are photographs of Lili taken around 1946/47 by two different… Read more »

August 1914: This month last century

98 years ago New Zealand troops land at Apia, German Samoa (29 August 1914) Ten days after New Zealand entered the war in Europe, it sent troops to occupy German Samoa. This force of almost 1400 men was specifically charged with seizing the colony’s wireless transmitter. The troops that landed at Apia experienced no resistance from… Read more »