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From Geraldine to Jericho

As we commemorate the centenary of the First World War - the Great War - a new book 'From Geraldine to Jericho' provides a fitting tribute to the New Zealand men and their horses who served in the Middle East. The book can be downloaded here.

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Dead as a Dodo?

The Dodo was a flightless pigeon endemic to Mauritius in the western Indian Ocean. It became extinct within 100 years of the island's discovery, hunted by sailors and invasive animal species. The last widely accepted sighting of a Dodo was in 1662.

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Handmade in Papua New Guinea

Visit any marketplace in Papua New Guinea and your eye will immediately be drawn to brightly-coloured string bags, locally referred to as bilums.


Selling the Dream

Selling the Dream is a collection of world-class tourism posters promoting New Zealand’s unique attractions in an age before television and the Internet. Created by some of the country’s finest commercial artists, the themes promoted through the posters reveal New Zealand’s developing national identity in the early twentieth century.

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Māori at Tuahiwi

Check out the He Waka Eke Noa exhibition at Christchurch Art Gallery which includes objects on loan from Canterbury Museum.

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Fishy Tale

In 1926 the Canterbury Club on Oxford Terrace had a visitor turn up who was definitely not on the members list. 

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Musical Instrument?

We're trying find out more about this plosive aerophone, or slap tube, which was picked up in Central Africa during the 1869 expedition to find British explorer Livingstone who'd disappeared while searching for the source of the Nile. Can you help?

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1970s Chic

This colourful coat was worn by Mrs Felicity Aitken at a garden party in Christchurch in 1970. The garden party was in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Princess Anne. The royal visitors were in New Zealand to mark the bicentenary of the discovery of New Zealand by Captain James Cook. 

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Polar Flag

Brown and threadbare, this fragment is from a flag erected at the South Pole on 17 January 1912. A poignant keepsake from Scott's ill-fated British Antarctic Expedition (1910–1913) it is part of the Museum’s world-renowned collection from the heroic age of Antarctic exploration and discovery. 

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Special Exhibition

Pioneering Aviator

Tourism and aviation pioneer Rodolph ('Wigs') Wigley wore a long leather flying coat with a fur-lined flying helmet to keep warm in unheated aircraft. Wigley, founder of Mt Cook Airlines, was a passenger on many pioneering flights including the first flight from Invercargill to Christchurch. 

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Fancy Dress?

This magnificent Elizabethan-style fancy dress was worn by Mrs Lucy Ellen Sykes Studholme to a ball at Government House in the 1870s. 

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Ed Hillary's sunhat

This simple cotton sunhat has quite a story. It has been to the top of the world’s highest mountain and is now cared for by Canterbury Museum.

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Back on top

The statue of William Rolleston (1831-1903) has been returned to its rightful place outside the Museum after falling off its plinth in the February 2011 earthquake.

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Special Exhibition

Concord & Industry

Concord and Industry, two terracotta statues which graced Our City O-Tautahi from 1887, can now be seen at the Museum's special exhibition Quake City in Re:START Mall, 99 Cashel Street.