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 »

Stop, thief!

One of the stolen artworks. The Concert, Johannes Vermeer, c1664. Oil on canvas. Image source from Wikimedia Commons.

Theft is an oft-romanticised crime in folklore and popular culture – think Robin Hood, Dick Turpin, Maui stealing fiery fingernails from Mahuika, or Bonnie and Clyde. We have a fascination with stories about people who beat the system, ‘democratise’ income gaps, or simply break the rules. Favoured tales generally justify their criminality by serving popular… Read more »

Copyright and Creative Commons Road Trip in March 2015

CC Road Trip

I’m Victoria Leachman, Rights Adviser at Te Papa. Thanks to support from National Services Te Paerangi and Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand I’m going to be on the road around the country in March. I’ll be talking with staff from heritage institutions about copyright, collections, and Creative Commons. If you’re a staff member of a gallery,… Read more »

Remembering the Canterbury Earthquakes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This Sunday marks the fourth anniversary of the devastating earthquake that shook the city of Christchurch, claiming the lives of 185 people and changing those of thousands of residents in ways that it is often hard to conceive unless experienced. In Te Papa’s commemorative display (20 February to 22 March 2015), we remember those who passed… Read more »

Life through a burrowscope lens (Part 5) – subterranean Takapourewa / Stephens Island

  • A sooty shearwater broods its newly-hatched chick inside its burrow on Takapourewa, as viewed through a burrowscope, January 2015. Image: Colin Miskelly
  • A fairy prion on the colony surface at night on Takapourewa. Image: Colin Miskelly
  • A tuatara inside a burrow on Takapourewa, as viewed through a burrowscope, January 2015. Image: Colin Miskelly
  • A fully-grown fairy prion inside its burrow on Takapourewa, as viewed through a burrowscope, January 2015. Image: Colin Miskelly

Te Papa vertebrate curator Dr Colin Miskelly recently led a team that visited Takapourewa / Stephens Island Nature Reserve, to select and gather up 100 fairy prion chicks to move to Mana Island near Wellington. This is the sixth (and last) in a series of blogs about the project and the wildlife of Takapourewa. As… Read more »

You Can Play Photo-Detective #3

Chevrolet ad

I’ve written two blogs, Help Wanted and More Help Wanted, about photographs from Te Papa’s collection that need more information. Here are some more puzzlers you may be able to help with: Dream Car It would be good to pin down the year for this photograph by dating the cars. We think it is a Chevrolet… Read more »

Last week Te Papa Botany curator Leon Perrie and I attended the Uawa BioBlitz in Tolaga Bay. Organized by the Allan Wilson Centre and Groundtruth, the BioBlitz was an intense 24 hours of species discovery. Scientists from a variety of organisations were joined by members of the local community, including kids from the Tolaga Bay… Read more »