The Nelson Provincial Museum
Issue#27 May 2011
What's New

Photo News Project Goes Live

Nelson Photo News

The first run of the Nelson Photo News is a rare and unique photographic record of life in Nelson in the early 1960s and 1970s - a time of rapid social and cultural change. The serial captures personal and community events through photographs and lively commentary.

In response to community pressure to do something about preserving and making this valuable resource accessible The Friends of the Nelson Library Microfilm Committee embarked on a project to digitise the first 12 years of this publication. With funds left over from previous microfilming and digitisation projects and a $10,000 award from DigitalNZ the project began in early 2010.

The digitisation component of the project has taken around a year to complete and has been very much a collaborative effort, with the Nelson Library Microfilm Sub-committee composed of members from Nelson Public Libraries: nga whare matauranga o whakatu, the Nelson Provincial Museum: Pupuri Taonga o Te Tai Ao, the Nelson Historical Society, the Nelson Branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists and The Nelson Literary Scientific and Philosophical Institute.

The Nelson Photo News website was officially launched at Founders Heritage Park on Wednesday 18 May 2011. The website is a digital version of the Nelson Photo News magazine from the years 1960 to 1972

To read more about the project click here

To view the Nelson Photo News website click the link

Events and Visitor Programmes

Hard on the Heels Opening

Peter Bush and Keith Quinn at the opening of Hard on the Heels
Peter Bush and Keith Quinn at the opening of Hard on the Heels

On Friday May 13 at the launch of the Museum's latest exhibition, Hard on the Heels Peter Bush Capturing The All Blacks, guests were treated to a memorable evening as Peter Bush recounted the stories behind his iconic images of New Zealand rugby. Prompted by well known sports commentator Keith Quinn, Peter Bush captivated the audience with a fascinating insight into his life and times as one of New Zealand's most important sports photographers.

From the Collection

Collingwood fire, 1904
Collingwood fire, 1904, Tyree Studio Collection: 177092.

Collingwood Fire November 7 1904

November 7 1904 was a bleak day for the residents of Collingwood township. As this Tyree photograph illustrates, little was left after a disastrous fire swept through the heart of the settlement in the early hours of the morning. A strong Westerly wind aided the flames' journey as they leapt from Stallard's bakehouse to Rait's general store and the two adjoining houses of Mr G H Allan and Stallard's boarding house. The fire then spread across the street to the Post Office, Cottien's boot shop and on to Pinkerton's Hotel. Twenty businesses were destroyed that night and it was only the hard work of a large number of volunteers that prevented dwellings near the beach being added to the building loss.

The fire was bad enough but residents, who had worked through the night trying to save their property, were dealt another blow when teeming rain started just after 3am. With nowhere to immediately store their salvaged possessions it must have been heartbreaking to now find that water was the cause of further damage to their precious belongings.

As word of the disaster spread willing helpers arrived from Bainham, Rockville and Ferntown to lend a hand. Mr J C Burford, owner of the S.S. Lady Barkly, offered to take any large items from Nelson to Collingwood free of charge, and in Takaka and Nelson relief funds were established.


Destructive Fire at Collingwood. Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXIX, Issue 219, 7 November 1904, Page 2

Summary. Colonist, Volume XLVII, Issue 11189, 21 November 1904, Page 5

The Fire At Collingwood. Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXIX, Issue 219, 8 November 1904, Page 2


The Glass Plate Negative Project

How Can You Help?

The Nelson Provincial Museum has signed up with Fundraise Online, an exciting new website that allows people to raise funds for their favourite cause. Donations can be made from around New Zealand and overseas. The site is totally secure and accepts most credit cards. The Glass Plate Negative Project fundraising page has images from the project and includes a link to the Museum’s Collections Online site, where almost 2000 of the 20,000 plates processed so far are available for viewing and research. While you are on Fundraise Online you can email it to friends and family who you think might be willing to offer support for the project. Donations by New Zealand citizens are tax deductible, and a letter of thanks and a receipt is issued for every donation.

Donate online here:

Provincial Museum's Fundraiser
Download a Donation Form

You can also download a donation form here or collect one from the Museum in Nelson or the Research Facility in Isel Park, Stoke. All donations of $5 or more are tax deductable.


Hard on the Heels

NZ Juniors vs British Isles, Athletic Park, Wellington, 1977. Photograph by Peter Bush.

Hard on the Heels, an exhibition by acclaimed New Zealand photojournalist Peter Bush will be on display at Town Acre 445 from May 14 to July 17 2011.

Peter Bush started working on the sidelines as a young cadet for the New Zealand Herald in 1949, at a game between the All Blacks and the Wallabies. Since then, he has photographed hundreds of matches at home and overseas, enjoying privileged access to the All Black teams, both on and off the field.

To read more about this exciting exhibition click the link more >>

Special Rugby Memorabilia

Left: Belfast 1972/3, Right: NZ vs Scotland, Murrayfield, Edinburgh.
Photographs by Peter Bush, Left: Belfast 1972/3, Right: NZ vs Scotland, Murrayfield, Edinburgh.

As part of the Hard on the Heels exhibition we have a selection of 16 postcards available at $1.50 each. You can purchase the whole set for $20. The stories behind some of these images are really wonderful and we have a DVD which is an interview with Peter Bush in which he tells those stories. The DVD is available for $30. If you add $5 we will mail these to you.

Paul Wilding's impression of New Zealand's first rugby game played in Nelson in 1870
Paul Wilding's impression of New Zealand's first rugby game played in Nelson in 1870

We are also fortunate to have prints of Paul Wilding's impression of New Zealand's first rugby game played here in Nelson on 14th May 1870. Nelson claims to be the birthplace of New Zealand Rugby in a game played between Nelson College and the Nelson Rugby Club. A re-enactment of that game will be played on the same site during September. The art quality print is $10 and includes a mailing tube.

School Education Programme

School programme for 2011
Hard on the Heels

The rich visual imagery creates a wonderful opportunity to explore language related to our national sporting passion. The images record important pieces of social history alongside the sporting achievements of the All Blacks as captured by Peter Bush. The exhibition programme will be available from 14 May to 17 July 2011.

Maori programmes

These can be booked on Fridays.

Teachers with an interest in any of the above programmes are invited to contact

Education Resources Online

The Nelson Provincial Museum's Education Services team have a number of online resources available to the region's schools and educators. more

Other local events

Online Survey:
"What is quintessentially Kiwi?"

New Zealanders identify with our native species and special places in personal ways. The Department of Conservation would like to know about those species and those places that help tell the New Zealand story. If you would like to spend a few moments completing a questionnaire on the subject please follow this link and contribute.

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