Expedition and Rescue: Te Papa’s Medals

  • Hooker medal reverse
  • Hooker medal obverse
  • R & A Medal reverse
  • R & A Medal obverse

A relatively little known but fascinating area of Te Papa’s vast collection is its coins and medals. Medals are not only used to recognise military achievements – many of the medals in the collection, and those that I have been looking at, commemorate other events and achievements. Some medals were made to honour a person’s life,… Read more »

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science…” – Edwin Powell Hubble. The natural world is full of amazing opportunities for exploration and creativity, and therefore an excellent platform on which to build and grow the scientific thinking, knowledge and confidence of young children! In 2015, Te… Read more »

Botany Collection Narratives – (Part 1) Recent Botany Donations

Clematis marmoraria Sneddon, collected Dec 1973, N.W Nelson, Arthur Range, Hoary Head., New Zealand. Gift of Victoria University of Wellington, 2011. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (SP091616)

As the Science Collection Manager responsible for managing the botany collection, part of my job is to increase public access to the collection. One way to achieve this is through online narratives. This blog series will highlight some recent botany narratives. In this blog we introduce narrative topics of some recent, very significant, donations to the Te… Read more »

New research on New Zealand forget-me-nots published

A native cushion forget-me-not (Mysootis pulvinaris) from Central Otago, New Zealand, photo by Heidi Meudt © Te Papa. http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/Object/1467719

Te Papa Botany researchers Heidi Meudt, Jessie Prebble and Carlos Lehnebach have recently published a new paper in the scientific journal Plant Systematics and Evolution on New Zealand forget-me-nots (genus Myosotis). There are approximately 100 species of forget-me-not species in the genus Myosotis, about half of which are only found in New Zealand. In the… Read more »

Call for papers: FIHRM 2015 Access is a Human Right

In September of this year, Te Papa is hosting the Federation of International Human Rights Museums (FIHRM) conference. The theme of the conference is ‘access is a human right’. In conjunction with our colleagues at FIHRM we are now calling for papers. Beyond the new museology? Taking stock of inclusion, access and decolonisation Social inclusion reshaped… Read more »

Memories are made of this: recycling Christchurch

Rekindle table

Remembering comes in many different forms. In Te Papa’s commemorative display Remember: the Canterbury Earthquakes, we feature a number of beautiful objects made from materials salvaged from the quake damaged city – they are ‘material memories’. As people rebuild their lives, homes and businesses, many are seeking to incorporate elements of ‘old Christchurch’ into their… Read more »

The DeCLASSIFIED! citizen science projects have been running for nearly three months. These projects are an opportunity to learn spiders and ferns with Te Papa’s experts, and to help us with our research. The Ferns with Te Papa project has gathered up more than 920 observations from 59 contributors. 365 of these observations have been… Read more »

A museum exhibition? In our school? Not quite! But what about a museum case? For around 50 years in the 20th century, Te Papa’s predecessors delivered important, informational, and sometimes downright kooky exhibition suitcases to schools around the country. How do I know? My research project has had me rummaging through the Archives, discovering interesting… Read more »

A new bird for New Zealand – dusky woodswallow

  • New Zealand's first (and only) confirmed dusky woodswallow flies off with an earthworm near Traill Park, Stewart Island. Image: Tomoe Morimoto
  • A dusky woodswallow photographed in South Australia. Image: Craig Greer, NZ Birds Online
  • New Zealand's first (and only) confirmed dusky woodswallow perched on a flax flower stalk near Traill Park, Stewart Island. Image: Tomoe Morimoto
  • New Zealand's first (and only) confirmed dusky woodswallow perched on a wire above Traill Park, Stewart Island. Image: Tomoe Morimoto

New bird species are added to the New Zealand list at a rate of at least five per decade. In most cases these are lone individuals that have blown off course (mainly across the Tasman Sea), or migratory species that have apparently ‘got in with the wrong crowd’, and ended up in our corner of… Read more »

Kia ora – I’m Louisa Hormann and I am a History Honours graduate of Victoria University. With the 100 year anniversary of the First World War upon us, it has been my job this summer to research and update Te Papa’s First World War Collections Online. I have discovered that doing museum research is a… Read more »