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 anRead more

Perhaps you know where some of the photographs below were taken and what they are of?  If you can help, please note the number related to each image with your comment below. 1) What building is this Burton Brothers stereoscopic image taken from and where is it?  2) Is itRead more

Early last century, New Plymouth man William Gordon assembled a photographic record of people (both Māori and European) who served in the New Zealand Wars of the 1860s. The Dominion Museum (Te Papa’s second predecessor) purchased the photographs in 1916 as part of the Gordon Collection. Recently, I have beenRead more

Hollowed out and painted birds eggs were the first Easter eggs and, in Christian tradition, they symbolise new life. Te Papa’s photography collection holds a large number of prints and negatives taken by naturalists and bird watchers with an enviable amount of enthusiasm and perseverance. These images show a varietyRead more

Photographer Andrew Ross has said that ‘frontier societies like New Zealand [lack] the visible evidence of our history. It gets nipped in the bud…[and] you hardly get any sense of what has happened more than ten years ago.’ You only have to look at his work in the Collecting ContemporaryRead more

Former home of Roy Houchen and his mother, 94 Constable Street, as it looks today. Photo: Kiera Gould, 2011.

During my internship with the Te Papa History Team, I have been working to try to identify the sitters who appear in a number of photographic portraits which are held in the museum’s collection.  Using military personnel files, databases and online resources I have tried to discover more information aboutRead more

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All we know about him is a name written on a glass negative: ‘Hart’.  Ever since I first saw him I have kept his photograph on my wall.  He has been the inspiration for many hours of image research for the World War I film that screens in Te Papa’s C20th history exhibition, Slice of Heaven.   Using silent archiveRead more

Crowd-pulling Exhibition The exhibition Brian Brake: Lens on the World is now touring New Zealand and recently opened at Auckland Art Gallery, where it drew large crowds on its first weekend. This followed phenomenal attendances at its inaugural showing at Te Papa. An estimated 191,000 people visited the exhibition overRead more

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This week Faraway Places: 19th century travel photography in Te Papa’s Ilott Gallery has had all its photographs replaced with 22 new ones. This is because nineteenth century photographs are vulnerable to damage by light, so the six-month exhibition has been divided into two halves, each with a different, though similar, selectionRead more