• One woman’s legacy – the amazing Norma Evans Clothing Collection

    Monday, 8 June 2020

    The Norma and Bob Evans Family Clothing Collection spans a period from about 1910 to the 1980s and consists of about 2000 items. It is a rich resource for researchers into the social history and technology behind clothes and clothing in the 20th century. The collection includes clothes that had…

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  • Somerset Playne

    Somerset Playne, adventurer and author

    Tuesday, 12 May 2020

    Going through the archives researching the early years of the Rotorua Museum, I came across an offer of a number of “stuffed and mounted heads” for the collection. It was 1942 and the offer came from Somerset Playne; the offer was turned down due to space. The list of animals…

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  • The Jaycee Movement

    Thursday, 9 April 2020

    Henry Giessenbier founded the Jaycees in 1920, with 3,000 members, in St. Louis, Missouri. It was Henry’s vision to provide young people with opportunities which they had little or no access to otherwise attain. He believed that young people could change the world. https://www.bemidjijaycees.com/jaycees-history.html The Jaycee movement was introduced to…

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  • The Season’s Greetings – Christmas Cards, Postcards and Archie & Ruby

    Monday, 9 December 2019

    Do you still send Christmas cards in the post? Or do you send a mass Christmas greeting to all of your friends on social media? I have to admit that I don’t do either. I used to send cards and letters to one or two pen pals when I was…

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  • Norma Evans’ bottom drawer

    Monday, 4 November 2019

    Bottom drawer – a young woman’s collection of clothes, linen, cutlery, etc, in anticipation of marriage [1] Through 21st century eyes this seems like a quaint and old fashioned practice but in the mid-20th century, life was different and this type of collecting made very practical sense. Gathering items for…

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  • Stewart Brown provides an update on the Rotorua Museum Project

    Monday, 21 October 2019

    Rotorua Lakes Council Arts & Culture Manager, Stewart Brown, give his monthly update on the Rotorua Museum strengthening and redevelopment project. He talks about the current contractor tender, recruiting for a Museum Director and the upcoming Rotorua Museum Art Awards 2019.

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  • The History of the Rotorua Museum Art Awards

    Thursday, 22 August 2019

    The Rotorua Art Awards as we know them were started by the Friends of the Rotorua Art Gallery in 1983. Before this there had been an annual exhibition award that was run by the Rotorua Society of Arts. The Arts Society evolved from a sketching group which was set up…

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  • Rotorua Museum invites you to write a short story about some of the items from the collection

    Thursday, 8 August 2019

    Rotorua Museum cares for more than 55,000 objects and photographs. Some of these have fantastic stories behind them and some of them have no information whatsoever. A third group have scattered tempting nuggets of information which make the staff wonder “What’s the story?” The team selected some of these items…

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  • Swimming in wool

    Friday, 21 June 2019

    In the 1930s Professor D. B. Anderson of Auckland (“leading swimming instructor in the Dominion”) wrote a booklet on how to swim that contained written instructions for all the strokes.   All about swimming, ca1933. By D. B. Anderson. Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (2008.85) It was…

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  • World Environment Day

    Wednesday, 5 June 2019

    For World Environment Day we will consider the possum, introduced to New Zealand for its fur in 1837. Possums really took to New Zealand conditions and have caused serious damage to both plants and birds in New Zealand since that time. We recently unearthed an interesting letter concerning a possum…

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