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 itsRead more

In my last post I touched on the shipwreck of the Dundonald on Disappointment Island in 1907, and the rescue of its survivors by the Hinemoa when she was taking scientists to the Auckland Islands.  The Auckland Islands were on a major shipping route, but the available charts were not always accurate,Read more

 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,Read more

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, soilsRead more

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

When we were developing the Collecting Contemporary exhibition, I unconsciously developed a secret soundtrack – a mix-tape, if you like – of music that came to mind as I thought about the various works in the show. It was Jason Greig who, quite unknowingly, got me started on this track.Read more

Te Papa Research Fellow Patrick Brownsey and I have just described a new species of fern, Lastreopsis kermadecensis.  It only occurs on Raoul Island, which is the largest island in the Kermadec Islands group.  Hence, the second part of the new species name! The Kermadec Islands are the most northernRead more

In an effort to bolster our ability to identify some of New Zealand’s most widespread and commonly cultivated trees, Leon Perrie, Curator of Botany and I attended a workshop for identifying Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Pinus species this month. The workshop was presented by Chris Ecroyd, a long standing member ofRead more

A highlight of our Fijian expedition was a trip to Kadavu, a medium-sized island south of Viti Levu. Kadavu is a priority for Conservation International.  Four species of bird occur there and nowhere else in the world.  However, little is known of Kadavu’s bryophytes, lichens, and ferns, and it was ourRead more

I’m lucky to have escaped the end of the New Zealand winter with a work trip to Fiji. This was as part of a Conservation International-funded, international expedition. The trip was led by Matt von Konrat of Chicago’s Field Museum, with local logistics coordinated by Marika Tuiwawa and Alivereti NaikatiniRead more

This coming Saturday, 6 August 2011 is the opening of the combined Oceania exhibition between Te Papa and Wellington City Gallery. Te Papa’s exhibition titled Early Encounters will showcase a range of taonga and objects from History, Maori, Pacific Cultures, Art and Natural Environment collections. The three month long showRead more

2011 Māori and Pacific Textile Symposium The beating of aute, or tapa, is a heartbeat that resounds across the ocean of Kiwa. The harakeke of Aotearoa, symbolising family, acknowledges the relationship of the Pacific people as one, through weaving. These genealogical and material connections will be explored at the inauguralRead more