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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!

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Recent Southern sunfish stranding on Aramoana salt marshes

On Wednesday 18 January Otago Museum was notified by the Department of Conservation about a dead Southern Ocean sunfish (Mola ramsayi) found on the Aramoana salt marshes...

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An Adam Smith skirt – bespoke fashion for a well-dressed 1950s working woman

The Museum has recently been given a skirt made by the well-known 20th century Dunedin tailor, Adam Smith. For about four decades Smith operated his business from premises in Moray Place; mostly from an address now occupied by another much-loved Dunedin institution: the Asian restaurant. 

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Tiny new type specimen added to collection

Otago Museum has recently received its first specimen classed as a new category of type specimen, called a hologenophore. The honour goes to a species of parasite collected near the Catlins! It was donated to us by Dr Bronwen Presswell, a parasitologist at the University of Otago.

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In the spotlight: Haast's Eagle and Upland Moa

Our Natural Science team recently removed two Museum icons, the Haast's eagle and Upland moa, from display in our Southern Land, Southern People gallery...

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Summer and ice creams... it's a classic picture

But imagine the moulded ice delicacies displayed and consumed a century or more ago, rather than today’s triple-scoop cone of assorted flavours...

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New Zealand’s oldest telescope discovered in Otago Museum collection

Otago Museum has discovered that it is home to what appears to be the oldest telescope in New Zealand.

Both the Otago Museum and Space Place in Wellington have telescopes within their collections made by James Short (1710–1768), a highly significant 18th century telescope maker, who studied classics, divinity and mathematics at Edinburgh University...

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Researcher Insights

Q & A with Henry Gard.

The Otago Museum is a busy place, with over 350,000 people through our doors in the last year. A number of these visitors are researchers who have requested access to our world-class collection of 1.5 million+ objects to support their studies.

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Mosgiel Medals

Preparing updates to our Southern Land Southern People gallery has proven to be a great stimulus to do extra research on the stories behind the items on display.   

This week I’ve been looking at the medals won by the Mosgiel Woollen Factory Company in 1879 and 1880. Two are from the Taieri Agricultural Society shows where it was estimated that over 1,400 adults attended. There’s a third from the Canterbury A & P Association.

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Great Crested Grebes of Lake Wanaka

Although the great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) is a cosmopolitan species, the subspecies found in New Zealand is rare and is confined to the inland lakes of Canterbury and Otago.

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NZ Chinese Language Week – two early 20th century translations

A number of Dunedin men and women served as Christian missionaries and teachers in China in the late 19th and early 20th centuries...

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