Te Papa’s new Collections site launches – get hunting

Te Papa’s new Collections site launches – get hunting

It’s hugely exciting to announce that Te Papa’s new Collections site launches today. Fiona Moorhead, Collections Information System Manager, introduces what’s new.

Collections Online
The new Collections Online homepage.

The new site is a complete replacement of the previous Collections site. It’s built using modern, sustainable technology which will allow us to keep building and developing the site in the months and years to come.

The design of the site is simple and clear, which will make it easier to browse and search to find what you’re looking for.

We’ve made some significant enhancements to image display and zoom, which means it’s now much easier to see the fascinating details of a mummified moa head, dodge a horse tram on Wellington’s Lambton Quay in 1877, see what’s happening on the street in 19th century Queenstown, or zoom into the detail of the French wallpaper that inspired New Zealand artist Lisa Reihana’s artwork exhibited at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

Queenstown, 1870-1880s, Queenstown, by Burton Brothers studio. Te Papa (O.026445)

This post provides more information about what’s new on Te Papa’s new Collections site.

What’s new?

Changes you’ll see on the new site include:

  • Search provides more relevant results
  • Search filters make it easy to refine search results to find what you’re looking for
  • Image zoom is a fast, immersive experience that allows you to get closer to Te Papa’s collections
  • Huge improvements to speed across all aspects of the site
  • Site design provides clear display of complex information about objects, specimens, taxonomies, categories, places, people
  • Support for macrons in display and search. For example, you can find kahu kurī (dog skin cloaks) by searching ‘kahu kurī’ or ‘kahu kuri’.
Collections Online
A search result for ‘kahu kuri’ will return results for both ‘kahu kuri’ and ‘kahu kurī’.

Building the new website has been a massive task, with the project team working for the past seven months to build a site that allows visitors to easily navigate a wide range of collection types, plus a vast network of connections of the people, places, categories and taxonomies that describe Te Papa’s collections.

In addition, over the past 18 months or so, members of the Collections site project team have also been working to create Te Papa’s Collections API, which allows us to present data sourced from our collections database in a standardised way for use by the Collections site and (eventually) a range of other applications.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how the new site is built, watch out for a follow-up post, which will describe more of the technical setup, including information about Te Papa’s new Collections API.

Feedback on how our visitors use the site

During the development process, we sought feedback on how people use Te Papa’s Collections site. These insights have informed our development, and we will be continuing to gather feedback from visitors who use the site. Thanks to all those who have provided this useful advice so far.

If you’d like to provide feedback on the new site, we’d love to hear your thoughts. There’s a link to a survey from any Collections page.

What’s next?

We have planned a number of further improvements to the Collections site in the short term and long term, so each time you visit over the coming months it’s likely that you’ll see more features and functionality available.

In the short term we’ll be releasing a number of features that didn’t make the cut for the first launch. For example, this includes the Google Maps view on Taxonomy and Place pages.

You’ll also see further design enhancements happening on the site in the next couple of weeks.

Te Papa’s collections: the numbers

On Te Papa’s Collections site, you can find information about nearly 800,000 artworks, objects, and specimens from our collection. Te Papa’s diverse range of collections are all presented here, from dinosaur teeth to contemporary art, buzzy bee to Xena. Collection areas cover Taonga Māori, Pacific Cultures, History, Photography, Art, Botany, and Zoology.

There are 190,000 images available, including more than 30,000 images available for high-resolution download. For more information about image downloads, check out our blogs Free, downloadable images from Te Papa’s collections and How people are using Te Papa’s collection images.

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