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Last week the Tairāwhiti Museum launched their collection online. 

At any one time, only about one percent of a museum’s collection can be on physical display for the public to access. Creating an online portal to the collection enables people to access more of the collection and from the comfort of their own home or device, where ever they might be.

The museum team have been working toward the launch for a number of years and over 6000 objects of the more than 40,000 physical items in the museum to the website are now available to view online.

Museum Director Eloise Wallace is quick to point out that the museum collection is our community’s collection. Many of the items are family taonga and treasures that have been donated by people in our community.

Bringing these objects onto a public platform will likewise allow for our community to have input on what is known about the pieces in the collection. If you recognise a person or location in a photograph for example, you can add these details into the comments section for that object.

Mr Silk – a black and white photograph from the Tairāwhiti Museum’s collection

Museum staff are also looking forward to seeing how the community uses the resource and in particular which areas people are most interested in, which will help them prioritise which areas of the collection to focus on uploading.

The collection includes fine art, archives, taonga Māori, photography, and social and natural history. It’s a pretty exciting new research resource for our community so check it out and don’t forget to keep doing so as they continue to add to it!

Story by Sarah Cleave

Images from the Museum’s online Portal

Find the online portal here: https://collection.tairawhitimuseum.org.nz

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