Photograph Collection

MĀpihi Mauria

The Photograph Collection holds around 30,000 images. The Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust Photograph Collection is unique because it contains an almost complete representation of the Hawke’s Bay region since the beginning of European settlement.

The earliest photograph in the collection is the daguerreotype portrait of missionary and botanist, William Colenso by John Crombie. This is one of the earliest dated daguerreotypes in New Zealand. Also within the collection are a considerable number of portraits and group photographs of Māori and European. The New Zealand Wars are well represented by the Dr Spencer images of Rangiriri, Ngaruawahia and Whatawhata.

One of the major strengths of the collection is the representation of the Hawke’s Bay earthquake which occurred on 3 February 1931. This collection captures damage done to the landscape and buildings, the rebuilding of the town and how people were affected by the tragedy.

The Daily Telegraph collection contains contemporary photographs dated between 1960 -1996. These cover all aspects of Hawke’s Bay daily life. 

The Photograph Collection also holds numerous photograph albums. The photographer Russell Duncan’s albums contain images of flora and fauna taken during his travels around New Zealand and the adjacent Auckland and Campbell Islands.

Find out about the Bernard Chambers Reading Room where you can access the Photograph Collection.

Search some of the Photograph Collection online.

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