Choose your favourite World War I objects from Te Papa Press’s new book Holding on to Home

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One designer, two authors, nine chapters, 28 library, archive and museum collections, and more than 300 illustrations: these are some of the ingredients that have gone into Holding on to Home: New Zealand Stories and Objects for the First World War which was launched by Te Papa Press last night. When the First World War began,… Read more »

Tū whitia te hopo | Feel the fear and pronounce it anyway! Tip 1

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Having trouble pronouncing kupu Māori? Many people are so afraid of giving it a go, they would much rather just give it a miss. Believe me I understand. There are words in other languages I avoid using for that very reason! For example, the scientific name for the manu  below is Himantopus leucocephalus…?! Or try saying “superfluous”… Read more »

No photographers in Revell Street?

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The novel The Luminaries is set in Hokitika in 1866 with most of the story taking place amongst a selection of businesses in Revell Street. The mystery is relayed, distorted and formed through different conservations and social interactions between the characters. However missing from the numerous businesses portrayed in the book is a photographic studio, and… Read more »

Highly sensitive – 19th August 175 years ago

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At 3pm on the 19th August 1839, a joint meeting of the Academie des Sciences and the Academie des Beaux-Arts, heard from the politician and scientist, François Arago, about the details of a process that produced unbelievably fine detail and extraordinarily subtle tonality. Louis Daguerre, who had been working on a light-sensitive process for about… Read more »

Māori at Gallipoli – TedX talk “Forgotten grandfathers: Maori men of WW1″

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Kia ora koutou Last month I gave a talk at a TedX conference in Tauranga where I discussed some of the research I’ve undertaken as part of our exhibition development project here for an exhibition about Gallipoli (due to open April next year at Te Papa). I’ve been very busy assembling potential Māori content for that… Read more »

Delving into the household accounts of James Hector

  • Mrs Hector paid a Mrs Fahy to do her laundry. Photo: Simon Nathan.
  • Bundles of James Hector's bills are held in Te Papa's archive. Photo: Simon Nathan.
  • A tally of purchases from I & H Barber - Butchers.
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Dr Simon Nathan is an Honorary Research Associate at Te Papa. During his research towards a biography on James Hector, the founder of the Colonial Museum, he has delved into the household accounts of the Hector family, which are held in Te Papa’s Archive. In this guest blog post, he shares some of his findings on the the lifestyle of a… Read more »

Tū whitia te hopo | Feel the fear and pronounce it anyway! Tip 2

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Having trouble pronouncing kupu Māori? Here our next tip from kaiako Joan Costello. Tip 2 Split syllables after vowels and before consonants. Mo/ko/we/ri                            Dinosaur (mo, ko = Or    we = There   ri = Three) Mo/ko/hi/ku/roa                    Tyrannosaur (mo, ko = Or     hi = Three     ku = Two   ro = Or     a = Are) Remember to use Tip 1 ‘Are There Three Or Two’ This anga pōhatu is not a mokohikuroa, but… Read more »

An evening with Sir Hew Strachan, Britain’s leading First World War historian

Monday, 25 August, 6-7pm, Soundings Theatre, Te Papa In New Zealand, as elsewhere in the world, the debate is hotting up about how communities, and most specifically governments, should commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War. With millions being spent world-wide, the question is certainly being debated by many, with votes being passionately… Read more »

Berry Cover Boys

 Gerald Gower (left) and Alfred Featherston Gower (right) are the two brothers who grace rather strikingly the cover of Berry Boys: Portraits of First World War Soldiers and Families by Michael Fitzgerald and Claire Regnault. The studio paraphernalia you see in the image above would have been cropped out in prints made from the original… Read more »

Goblins in the gallery

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We have been busy installing Season 3 of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa on Level 5 of Te Papa, which will open to the public on August 23rd. But the exhibitions team haven’t been alone during the installation…there are also goblins in the gallery. Luckily, these mischievous goblins haven’t been running through the galleries… Read more »