Adding value to old nests

  • South Island kokako. From ‘Extinct birds of New Zealand’. Painting by Paul Martinson (original held by Te Papa)
  • A South Island piopio nest in the Te Papa collection (OR.027634). The only information on the label is “Cleddau River, Milford Sound”.
  • Thomas Potts, c.1875, alongside the type specimen of the great spotted kiwi (Apteryx haastii), which Potts named in 1872. Image 1/2-005225-F, National Library of New Zealand
  • South Island kokako. From ‘Extinct birds of New Zealand’. Painting by Paul Martinson (original held by Te Papa)

An enduring frustration for museum curators is being aware of objects or specimens that have little or no acquisition or collection data. This, sadly, is often the case with our oldest natural history specimens. A specimen without data is almost worthless – while an old specimen with good data is almost priceless. It is an… Read more »

Leaning churches & busy crowds: recently digitised cartes-de-visite photographs of early Christchurch

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This is a wonderful early photograph of a crowd watching what appears to be a sporting event on the grounds of the old Normal School (later Cranmer Court apartments, now demolished). At the time the photograph was taken some of the people were moving, making some of the figures appear blurry (see especially the person walking along behind… Read more »

Pukehinahina / Gate Pā flag in front of Te Papa

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Yesterday marked a huge day of commemorative activity in Tauranga to signify the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Pukehinahina /Gate Pā, and here in Wellington, Te Papa also contributed to the commemorations. The museum flew a replica of the Gate Pa flag from its main flagpoles to acknowledge the 150th anniversary. It was flown… Read more »

Find ferns and win!

Piripiri, Hymenophyllum demissum, Wellington.  A filmy fern that is common in New Zealand.  Photo (c) Leon Perrie.

The next Science Live @ Te Papa event on Friday 16 May reveals the secret world of ferns. Join botany curator Leon Perrie live online to find out what makes these Kiwi emblems special. Plus, can you help to make a scientific discovery? Tune into Science Live: Secret World of Ferns  As part of this… Read more »

Science Live: Secret World of Ferns

Asplenium lamprophyllum, a relative of the hen & chickens fern.  No living populations were known from the Wellington region, until recently rediscovered by the Wellington Botanical Society.

Ferns are an integral part of New Zealand’s environment and culture. Tune in to our Science Live broadcast on Friday 16 May to learn about what makes these Kiwi emblems special. Plus, can you help to make a scientific discovery? Find out about ferns live online with curator Leon Perrie Get involved! find ferns and… Read more »

Getting to know Van der Velden

Over the summer, Sharon Taylor-Offord completed an internship at Te Papa cataloguing the drawings in a number of sketchbooks of the Dutch-New Zealand artist, Petrus van der Velden.  This was undertaken as part of a new internship course for Bachelor of Arts students run by the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences (FHSS), Te Wāhanga… Read more »

Teacher Professional Development: Visual Culture and Visual Arts in ECE (Mark II)

  • The inhabitants of Saga, Photographer: Te Papa, © Te Papa
  • The inhabitants of Saga, Photographer: Te Papa, © Te Papa
  • The inhabitants of Saga, Photographer: Te Papa, © Te Papa
  • The inhabitants of Saga, Photographer: Te Papa, © Te Papa

Due to the  interest in our first Visual Culture and Visual Arts PD, we offered another session to Early Childhood Teachers this past weekend (Saturday, 26th April).  While the content of the programme differed from the first (due to maintenance occurring in the Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa gallery space), we maintained the same goal – to build teacher knowledge,… Read more »

Berry and Co’s proxy portraits

Copy of a portrait of two unidentified soldiers [inscribed Johnson]; 1914-1920; Berry & Co

At Te Papa, photos of 30 unidentified World War soldiers are on display in The Berry Boys: Naming the Kiwi faces of War. These men had their photographs taken at the Berry & Co studio sometime during the war, but we no longer know who they are. The soldier subjects in another 30 ‘Berry Boys’… Read more »