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Blog

The blog is where we'll post news, updates, information about objects in our collection, #betterworkstories, profiles of staff members and visitors, pictures and videos, and really anything we think you'd find interesting. We hope you enjoy. 

If there's a topic you'd like us to do a post about, or a post that you think needs a sequel, just let us know!

Milestone met for moth project at Otago Museum

The Otago Museum, in collaboration with Landcare Research, is in the middle of a significant moth data collection project, working towards painting a broad picture of its expansive moth collection. The Museum holds one of New Zealand’s most accurately documented and regionally comprehensive collections of moths, assembled by former Otago Museum Collections and Research Manager Brian Patrick. Each moth within this collection has been named, and each record includes data on where it was collected, when and by whom. The project will capture and digitise the data of over 23,000 specimens including three families of moth – Ghost moths (Hepialidae), Geometer moths (Geometridae) and Owlet moths (Noctuidae). Late last month, the project team celebrated...

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Climate workshops in Dunedin

This weekend we started a series of community workshops at Otago Museum. Yesterday we kicked off discussing and mapping the various climate resources and threats in the Dunedin area. We learned a lot from the community about the harbour, its estuaries, and mining history as we located areas of preservation and vulnerability.

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Glaciers, Fault Lines, and Climate Mapping: Fieldwork on The South Island

We are excited to be kicking off our work with ZERO1. The American Arts Incubator is an opportunity to work with international artists, designers, and scientists on global and local climate change issues, digital tech, and forms of civic engagement. This involves a lot of interdependent parts, and we will be pulling apart this constellation of components through these posts. The starting point for us is the City of Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand. Our residency in Dunedin coincides with The New Zealand International Science Festival in July, creating an amazing springboard for this cultural incubator.  

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Cultural Incubator to call Otago Museum Home

Climate Kit, a project by international artists Sara Dean and Beth Ferguson, will call the Otago Museum home for the next month. It has been produced in partnership with ZERO1 American Arts Incubator, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Embassy in Wellington

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Dunedin set to welcome 2018 SPNHC Conference

The Otago Museum, in partnership with the University of Otago, has been successful in its bid to host the inaugural 2018 conference for the Society of the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) together with the Taxonomic Database Working Group (TDWG).

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Pokémon Go fever hits Dunedin – What is all the fuss about?

By now you may have heard about the latest digital craze, Pokémon Go, taking the world by storm, and it hasn’t taken long for Dunedin-ites to jump on board.  

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HE TAOKA O TE RĀ (OBJECT OF THE DAY)

When many of us think of taoka, or treasures, we think of culturally valuable items people have made. Natural taoka are plants, birds and other animals that are important to Māori and have a cultural significance that is sometimes – but not always – related to traditional use of their parts, or to their presence in the local area. 

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HE TAOKA O TE RĀ (OBJECT OF THE DAY)

In Māori mythology, hue (or gourds) are personified by the deity Hinepūtēhue, the youngest daughter of Tāne and Hinerauāmoa. It is said after the separation of Ranginui and Papatuanuku there was terrific fighting amongst their children. 

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HE TAOKA O TE RĀ (OBJECT OF THE DAY)

My mahi in the Museum is financial accounting. Each day as I walk through the Nature gallery to my office I pass familiar taonga – kekeno (New Zealand fur seal), paikea (humpback whale) remains and kōura (crayfish) – that connect me back home to Kaikōura. Before moving to Dunedin I never lived more than a kilometre from the ocean and could either see it, hear it, was on it or in it.

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HE TAOKA O TE RĀ (OBJECT OF THE DAY)

The moa was a flightless bird similar to the emu of Australia and the rhea of South America. They lived exclusively in New Zealand and became extinct about 600 years ago.

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