The Nelson Provincial Museum is proud to bring you Collections Online the Museum's
new online public access catalogue. Funded by grants from Canterbury Community Trust
and the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board, this online catalogue lets you search
over some of the many collections held by the Museum.
We currently have only a small percentage of our collections online but check back
regularly as we are always adding to the catalogue. more >>
As well as Collections Online we have made a number of other changes to our website;
We have added a new Governance page to our website detailing the role of the Museum's
governing body the Tasman Bays Heritage Trust. This page includes profiles of Trust
Board members, governance policies, documents and annual reports. more >>
Royal Visit 1974, Geoffrey C Wood Collection, 9721 fr 5 (part of)
We have added a page dedicated to the Enewsletter where you can view archived copies
of previous issues as well as view the current issue online. We have also added
a new sign up form to become a subscriber to the enewsletter so please let your
friends, family and colleagues know.
Nelson Evening Mail Office, Tyree Studio Collection, 32964/3 (part of)
We recently introduced a family membership scheme which provides families with
a number of benefits such as unlimited free entry to all exhibitions at TA445 and
discounted entry to a number of other attractions.
Dron Family, Tyree Studio Collection, 180298/3 (part of)
Selecon Award - Melbourne
In July Paula Haines-Bellamy (Manager, Collection Services) had the opportunity
to spend some time in Melbourne. The prize package, sponsored by Selecon New Zealand
Limited, was presented to the Nelson Provincial Museum as the recipient of the 2009
Museums Aotearoa Award for Exhibition Excellence for the exhibition Unpicking the
Past: revealing our dress collection held between April and July last year. The
trip gave Paula the opportunity to visit designers and exhibition experts in Melbourne.
Paula spent 10 days in Melbourne visiting a staggering 16 museums, galleries, libraries,
and many historic buildings, looking at aspects of exhibition and lighting design,
object display and storage, and public access. The Nelson Provincial Museum would
like to thank Selecon New Zealand Limited for their generous support.
View of Melbourne from the William Barak Bridge
An image from the exhibition Persuasion: Fashion
in the Age of Jane Austen at the National Gallery of Victoria
New Staff Member - Helen Pannett
My name is Helen Pannett and I am the new Manager of the Library and Archives Collection
at the Museum's Research Facility at Isel Park in Stoke.
I moved to Nelson from Invercargill last month after spending the past 29 years
in library work in public, academic and corporate libraries.
Te Tau Ihu O Te Waka a Maui is an exciting region and I am learning much about the
history and opportunities available here.
I am enjoying the changes and challenges of a sole-charge position and becoming
familiar with the resources and taonga held by the Museum.
I look forward to helping you with your enquiries in the future.
Manager, Library & Archives Collection, Helen Pannett
Dr Seddon Bennington
The staff and Trust Board of The Nelson Provincial Museum note with sadness the
death of Dr Seddon Bennington, the Director of our national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa.
He and a close friend Rosie Jackson died in the Tararua Ranges during a tramping
trip. Seddon’s contribution to the museum sector in New Zealand has been significant
as has his support for the national role of Te Papa. Internationally in both Australia
and the US he advanced the contributions made by the science centre movement and
that work was appreciated here in New Zealand during the early days of the first
science centres in this country.
You can visit Te Papa's online memorial to Dr Bennington here or by clicking on the image.
Dr Seddon Bennington, 2003.
NZ Fossils - Dead Precious!
Nearly a hundred people a day have taken the opportunity to view this unique collection
of objects. The reactions of more than 7000 visitors suggest that all the hard work
of mounting the exhibition and arranging for the display of additional items such
as the Giant Eagle and the Plesiosaur was worthwhile.
These fossils are the remains and evidence of things that lived in or near the land,
we now call New Zealand, millions of years ago. The stories of how they were discovered
in road cuttings and buried in rocks are well told and you can bet there will be
another crop of children wanting to be palaeontologists when they grow up. We have
some great programme ideas lined up; some for parents, some for families and some
especially for children.
Eagle model sponsored by The Lion Foundation
Psittacosaurus on Display in the Nelson Building Society Window
Literally a "parrot-beaked lizard" this small dinosaur wandered the earth in China
and Asia about 100 million years ago. They seem to have occupied a similar place
in the food chain to modern gazelles, munching on cycads and other tough plant material
and being hunted by dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus Rex or other meat-eaters. Look closely and
you may well see why biologists think it was probably bipedal, using its front limbs
This specimen belongs to James Brewer who has set up a fossil shop in our foyer.
The Psittacosaurus skeleton is on display in the Nelson Building Society window
in Trafalgar Street and is well worth a visit while you are in town.
Report on Dino Nursery
As an example of live interpretation our Dinosaur Nursery show was quite modest
in what it sought to achieve. Over 900 people saw the show in its 2 week season
and the response was overwhelmingly positive. The two students from Nayland College
drama course, Kris and Zach, showed that with sensitivity and common sense it was
possible to engage with children as young as two on subjects that many adults find
hard to understand. Did some children think that dinosaurs still exist? Quite possibly
given the lifelike appearance of the 'puppet'. More than one adult was heard to
say "well I know its not a dinsosaur but what sort of animal is it?" Our thanks
to ERTH PHYSICAL & VISUAL in Sydney for the hire of their 'baby', special thanks
to Zach and Kris, and thanks too for the support of staff in making it happen.
Nearly half the visitors who attended the Fossils exhibition over the holidays came
to the Dinosaur Nursery as well.
We all love dinosaurs - well don't we? Certainly kids do and not only do they recognise
the different types, they can pronounce them before they can even read. Some people
never quite grow out of them. Our Director Peter Millward is one, but so too it
seems are Bernie and Miriam Crutchley from Mariri. Twenty years ago they decided
to build a full sized skeleton to graze on their front lawn. Quite what passing
traffic would have made of a large white skeleton the size of an African elephant
in front of their house stretches the imagination. In the event the skull was as
far as they got, completed and mounted and gifted to the Museum in time to add enormously
to our holiday programme and education classes. This is one of those gifts that
is hard to refuse and is certainly embued with the WOW factor.
Bernie and Miriam Crutchley with their Triceratops
Photo by Martin De Ruyter, The Nelson Mail
One of the most common questions asked by children especially when they see fossils
is "But what did it look like?" Lots of people like fossils but many of them forget
that every fossil is evidence of something that was once alive. Quite early on the
education staff at the Museum decided they wanted people to remember the living
past as well as the rocky reminders left behind. The Pterosaur is so big that the
original idea of having it mounted 'flying' in the gallery proved to be impossible.
The 13m wingspan was bigger than the space where it was meant to go. Woops. At ground
level the detail of the model and its size allows smaller people to make more sense
of it. We did have these ancient flying reptiles in New Zealand. Indeed New Zealand's
own Dinosaur Lady, the late Joan Wiffen discovered a partial wing bone and a cast
of this is displayed nearby. In New Zealand where so many early species were HUGE
like the moa, our Pterosaur was small by world standards at about 6m wingspan. In
Mexico one was discovered at nearly 18m tip to tip and that is bigger than a Spitfire
Ferdinand von Hochstetter
Father of New Zealand Geology
150th Anniversary of his survey of the Nelson Region
Described by many scientists as "the father of New Zealand geology" Ferdinand von
Hochstetter arrived in this country in 1858 as a member of an Austrian scientific
expedition and spent most of his time in this country describing and mapping newly
discovered mineral fields.
In 1859 The Nelson Provincial Government invited Hochstetter to investigate the
region's mineral deposits and report on their potential for commercial use.
The Hochstetter exhibition traces the work of this remarkable young scientist during
his visit to New Zealand. It includes reproductions of his watercolours and maps
and has some of the original specimens he arranged for the Nelson Institute on display.
Up and Coming Exhibition: Returning Butterflies
Returning in the spring, there are at least 15 species of native butterflies to
be found in our gardens, parks, and wild places. Like much of our wildlife their
numbers have, by all accounts, dwindled - so much so that many people are unaware
of the diversity or even existence of native species.
Returning butterflies to their former numbers is one focus of the exhibition, through
the simple, practical steps that gardeners and landowners can take. The exhibition
also explores: our butterfly biodiversity; how to recognise them; where they are
to be found in the Nelson region; features of their biology; and recent threats
to their survival.
Return visits are made by a handful of migrant species that cross the Tasman most
years and regularly appear in the Nelson region - an added bonus for butterfly watchers!
We show you what to look out for.
On view there will be live specimens, of some native species, in various life stages.
Red Admiral Butterfly
School Education Programme
New Zealand Fossils - Dead precious! Why do they call this exhibition Dead Precious?
Students from all over Nelson are discovering the reasons. We did have dinosaurs
and huge sea reptiles. We had gigantic sharks and tiny trilobites. In the school
programme students have a chance to explore the exhibition and to have hands on
experiences with real fossils and modelling exercises.
Senior students will also gain information about the work of Ferdinand Hochstetter
in this region back in 1859. He is known as the ‘father of NZ geology'.
There are lots of spaces available next term for classes. Book now to avoid disappointment.
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
In line with the privacy legislation Tasman Bays Heritage Trust only sends emails
to people who have indicated an interest in the Museum and its activities. You can
have your name removed from our newsletter at any time by clicking on this link