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Auckland Museum Institute 150 Years

150 years on, we look at the key people and moments that made Auckland Museum what it is today.

Names in Stone

The museum approached sculptor Denis O’Connor, and gave him a simple brief: to design a cartouche which featured the list of 110 donors.

William Sanders, New Zealand's only naval VC

Takapuna boy Lieutenant-Commander William Sanders is New Zealand's only naval recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest British award bestowed for valour. On the centenary of his death, Associate History Curator Gail Romano reflects upon the local Auckland recognition of his actions.

Castle Collection Decant

The music collection from Wellington based siblings Zillah and Ronald Castle was collected over 50 years from the 1930’s, with many having both local and international significance from their unusual nature. Their collection comprises of 520 instruments; cases, sheet music and musical accessories.

"Wunderpus O Sea", Octavia Cook

Who owns an idea? When does a conventional form become a unique and distinctive design? Auckland Museum recently acquired a brooch by contemporary jeweller Octavia Cook which explores these concepts, and responds to a particular situation in which she found herself in last year.

Front page news: A mystery hui

A poster in te reo at the Auckland Museum library needed researching. What was the mystery event at Waihi Marae, Taupo on 18 April 1959?​

New Zealanders in Russia during the Revolution

At the time of the revolution Nursing Sister Ethel M. Strachan, and her friend and colleague Sister Sybil Kelly, were among the staff of the Anglo-Russian Hospital in Petrograd (St Petersburg), Russia.

Tonny Brinkman: Sand Collector

Sand collector Tonny Brinkman has generously donated 3500 sands to Auckland Museum - and her decades of collecting show that you can explore the world without going far from home.

Dunsterforce: Kiwi soldiers in the 'Hush-Hush Brigade'

Following an enquiry from Baku in Azerbaijan, a Museum Volunteer researched the New Zealanders involved in a secret British military mission into the Caucasus Mountains and Northern Iran. Who were the soldiers and what was their mission?