History curator Stephanie Gibson has a particular interest in how tiny things can have big impacts – especially in protest movements. She talks through some of these objects which feature in Te Papa’s collection, but also her personal one. You don’t have to carry a big banner down the street to make your point – sometimes something tiny… Read more »

1,500 mud pools: Theo Schoon’s geothermal photographs

Pebble pool at Whakarewarewa, circa 1966, by Theo Schoon. Purchased 2001 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (CA000812/001/0017/0001)

Last year, a four-year project to digitise nearly 1,500 Theo Schoon photographs of bubbling mud and thermal landscapes came to an end. Thanks to the hard work of Image Coordinator Lucy Jackson and Archivist Jennifer Twist all of these images can now be viewed on Collections Online. Jennifer and Lucy share some details of this monumental project… Read more »

Shades of blue: Mode & Methodology takes inspiration from the national art collection

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In celebration of Toi Art’s opening on 17 March, we asked Megan from Mode & Methodology to come up with looks inspired by works in the national art collection. Here is the first, inspired by Sing Tai Wong’s Man in the mountains.  “This work jumped out of the collection for two reasons – the use of various shades… Read more »

What happens when you ask ornithologists to do botany

  • Myosotis capitata from Adams Island. WELT SP106541. Photo by Nicki Atkinson.
  • Myosotis rakiura from Curio Bay, South Island, New Zealand. WELT SP105593. Photo by Heidi Meudt @ Te Papa. https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/1591954
  • Watercolour painting of Myosotis capitata by Nancy Adams. https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/835481
  • Myosotis capitata on Ewing Island. WELT SP106542. Photo by Colin Miskelly @ Te Papa.

Bird experts Colin Miskelly and Alan Tennyson recently returned from a research trip to the subantarctic Auckland Islands. Although their main aim was to study birds, Botany Researcher Heidi Meudt sent them on a separate mission – to collect a rare flower. An elusive forget-me-not Myosotis capitata is a species of forget-me-not that is known only from Campbell Island… Read more »

Playing Sherlock: How a chair unlocked the story behind a portrait of a New Zealand wars soldier

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Summer scholar Caitlin Lynch has taken a particular interest in a 19th-century portrait of New Zealand wars soldier Frederick Rowan that we knew very little about. Caitlin describes how a breakthrough clue, in the form of an ornate chair, led to the intriguing story of the solider’s facial injury and reconstruction. The Gordon Collection The Gordon… Read more »

Furtive fauna of the Auckland Islands

  • White-headed petrel chick, Disappointment Island. Photo by Colin Miskelly. Te Papa
  • An endemic Auckland Island weta (Dendroplectron aucklandense) on Ewing Island. Photo by Colin Miskelly. Te Papa
  • A pair of weevil Oclandius laeviusculus weevils mating on an Anisotome latifolia flower head at night on Disappointment Island. Photo by Colin Miskelly. Te Papa
  • A lesser fulmar prion fledgling prepares for its first flight at night on Disappointment Island. Photo by Colin Miskelly. Te Papa

Sea lions, albatrosses, and penguins usually grab the attention of visitors to the remote Auckland Islands south of New Zealand. But when Te Papa curators Colin Miskelly and Alan Tennyson explored the islands recently, they were focussed on species that are easily overlooked, and particularly those that come out after dark… The night shift The… Read more »

Three species of forget-me-nots new to science have just been formally described by Te Papa Botany Researcher Heidi Meudt and colleagues. Heidi introduces us to their names, what they look like, and describes what makes them unique. In the latest volume of Australian Systematic Botany, Heidi Meudt (Te Papa) and Jessie Prebble (Manaaki Whenua –Landcare Research) have published… Read more »

Last week, a new Assassin’s Creed game mode was released which vividly brings ancient Egypt to our living rooms. Science researcher Rodrigo Salvador explains how this game can educate as well as entertain, and dives into our own Ancient Egyptian collections. Egyptomania No ancient civilization has captured the public’s imagination more than Egypt. The pyramids, sphinxes, animal-headed deities, hieroglyphs, and the… Read more »