Posts tagged with collections

A slice of Wellington life: the Berry & Co collection

  • Photographing a Berry & Co glass plate negative.  We use a Phase I P40 camera and Schneider 110 lens, used with extension tube, with a 40MB back.  This gives us a 38MB digital image, which is our ‘access master’ size.  Photograph Michael Hall, copyright Te Papa.
  • One of the transport chilly bins.  The negatives are stored in archival paper sleeves, to protect the surface of the image.  Photograph Anita Hogan, copyright Te Papa.
  • One of the transport chilly bins.  The negatives are stored in archival paper sleeves, to protect the surface of the image.  Photograph Anita Hogan, copyright Te Papa.
  • Negatives can be difficult to ‘read’, so creating a positive digital image makes it easier for us to improve our catalogue data, for example by using clothing details to estimate the date the photograph was taken.

Te Papa has a collection of nearly 4,000 glass plate and film negatives taken by the Wellington photography studio Berry & Co.  The studio was founded by William Berry in 1897, and operated in Cuba St until 1931.  The negatives are mainly portraits – of families, children, men and women, soldiers in uniform, the occasional… Read more »

Behind the Scenes of Angels and Aristocrats

Mrs Humphrey Devereux; 1771; Copley, John Singleton.  After treatment, 2012, photograph by Kate Whitley

Te Papa’s latest art exhibition, Angels & Aristocrats, opens on the 20th October in the Level 5 galleries.  The exhibition draws on a number of collections from around New Zealand including artworks from Te Papa’s collection which you will see on display.  Some of these paintings required attention in the conservation lab before the exhibition began, to allow… Read more »

Do you know this building?

 Te Papa has an enormous collection of photographs, negatives and transparencies by Brian Brake (1927 – 88), one of New Zealand’s best known photographers.  Brake became famous while working overseas as a photojournalist – one of his best known works is the Monsoon photo essay, which he took in 1960.  He also photographed extensively in… Read more »

News from Loans: Masterton Museum Collection

Hardens Hand Grenade Fire Extinguisher. Photographer: Andrea Hearfield.Te Papa

A little while ago I told you about the return of the Masterton Museum collection to Aratoi, thereby honouring a 58 year-old agreement.  In that collection there were some really interesting items so I thought I would tell you about another one of them.  It is a very pretty blue glass orb with a neck,… Read more »

News from Loans: A Collection Returns Home

Ship's biscuit. Photographer: Robert Clendon.Te Papa

In any museum collection you will find items or entire collections that were lent at some point in the distant past, sometimes more than a hundred years ago.  It is always rewarding when a relationship is re-established with the owner and the items or collection can be returned to its rightful place.  This happened to… Read more »

The Amazon’s final home run

Amazon Softball Club 2012/2011.Te Papa

 The Amazon Softball Club, the first and last lesbian softball club in New Zealand, has kindly donated a selection of team uniforms and ephemera to Te Papa. The Amazon’s formed at the height of gay liberation in 1977. The Wellington based club provided a space for self-identified lesbians to socialise, find solidarity and develop confidence… Read more »

Fieldwork in the Subantarctic Islands, a hundred years ago

I’ve been enjoying our scientist’s fieldwork posts.  We have scientist’s photographs from several historic field trips in the photography collection.  My favourites are in this photo album from the 1907 Expedition to the Subantarctic Islands.  The Expedition was initiated by the Canterbury Philosophical Institute with support from the Government, and studied plants, animals, soils and marine life on the Auckland… Read more »

Caring for our photographic negatives

  • Cellulose acetate film was used for negatives from the 1920s.  It tends to break down to acetic acid, causing the film to shrink.  This makes the binder layer form channels and spots, and the image becomes difficult to read.
  • Steve McStay and Paul Simpson sliding an empty drawer into the plan chest unit.
  • Steve McStay and Paul Simpson sliding an empty plan drawer into the unit.
  • An acetate negative with 'vinegar syndrome'

We have an enormous collection of photographic negatives and transparencies on glass and film, going back to the 1870s. They include all sorts of images from studio portraits to holiday snaps, landscapes, photographs of sports teams, and artists’ negatives and transparencies. Many negatives are chemically unstable and, if left in an uncontrolled environment, will deteriorate to… Read more »