The stories behind the Museum’s collections and exhibitions, and the work of our curators, scientists and staff.

Blog Posts

Museum curators, scientists and technicians share stories from the Museum’s collections and their internationally-recognised research. Sign up here and we’ll regularly deliver a blog post to your inbox.

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A Castaway's Salvation

Wed, 17 Jan 2018

The sub Antarctic islands, south of New Zealand, became the scene of a number of devastating shipwrecks during the 1880s with many lives lost at sea. To give survivors a better chance, the New Zealand Government established castaway depots on some of the islands.


Short stories from the collection and behind the scenes at the Museum. For easy access to our short stories, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or subscribe to our e newsletter.

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Researching Your Polish Heritage

Fri, 22 Dec 2017

Between the Waters: Canterbury’s First Polish Settlers highlights the experiences of four Polish families, the Kotlowskis, the Geirszewskis, the Szymanskis and the Watembachs, but of course there were many others who came on the same ship. Here are some resources to help you get started with researching your Polish heritage.

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The Art of Coaching

Fri, 24 Nov 2017

Christchurch artist Edgar Lovell-Smith was fascinated with stage coaches. Not only did he use a stage coach, he also painted and carried out research on them, wrote books about and donated two to the Museum.

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John Sinclair's Homemade Camera

Fri, 22 Sep 2017

Carpenter John Sinclair (1843–1925) was a man of many talents. Although initially employed as a carpenter on Cheviot Hills run in North Canterbury, Sinclair also proved to be a skilled draughtsman and surveyor. He designed and built cottages and other buildings in Cheviot Hills and the surrounding area, made some of his own tools and even his own camera.

Online Exhibitions

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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