The tragic news from the Pike River mine has put me in mind of another mining disaster on the West Coast.  In 1896 sixty-five workers were killed at the Brunner mine after a methane-gas explosion. It was New Zealand’s worst industrial accident. On the morning of 26th March, 1896, anRead more

Normally fossils are found in the field but in this case Te Papa technicians and I have been rediscovering an early accumulation of fossil reptiles and fish held in Te Papa’s collections that have not been examined for decades. When the Colonial Museum opened in 1865, the Director James Hector,Read more

Collections Online mapping

Mapping the collections This week we added a new feature to Collections Online, our first efforts to map our collection objects, specimens and other resources.  As you browse the collection, the Related Places section at the right of the page will generate a map of the places related to the collection itemRead more

Aptenodytes forsteri

Since we released the new version of Collections Online  in July last year we’ve made the odd fix, or a new feature here and there. You probably don’t notice them but hopefully they’ve made your browsing experience a bit easier.  However recently we’ve done a couple of things we thought wereRead more

Fans of art and TV on demand may already know about the great series New Artland hosted by musician Chris Knox on freeview TVNZ 7, and available online. The programme invites artists to make a new work involving a community. Series two has recently been uploaded, and they are alreadyRead more

I had a call yesterday from Wellington’s Dominion Post newspaper needing an expert to identify some fish found washed up on the Petone foreshore.  Andrew Stewart, Te Papa’s fishes collection manager, identified them as porcupine fish. Andrew says that the porcupine fish lives around in-shore reefs, especially along our northern coastsRead more

In developing our new Collections Online site we wanted people to: get accurate, meaningful search results … and not have to wade through irrelevant content be able to browse freely and widely through the collections, following their own path of enquiry read narrative topics that help put the collections inRead more

Te Papa’s collections have been built over nearly 150 years and range from miniscule lice and molluscs through to caravans, 22m long artworks and colossal squid.   The collection is estimated to be approximately 2 million artworks, photographs, objects and specimens. Headaches A collection this diverse can create a number ofRead more

Collections Online now features more images of artworks from Te Papa’s Collection. In the past six weeks over 200 more images have been uploaded for you to view. But have you ever wondered about how we get these images online? One of the main challenges for Te Papa is copyright.Read more