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Michaela O'Donovan

Position title:
Head of Information, Library and Enquiry Services
Documentary Heritage
Contact Michaela

About Michaela

I am an information professional with experience in memory institutions in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Currently, I am responsible for managing the Museum’s documentary heritage collections and making them available for researchers, as well as leading the Museum-wide approach for customer information enquiries.

Research interests and projects

The Museum's Documentary Heritage collections are nationally significant with particular strengths in photography, manuscripts, maps, ephemera, Auckland history, war history, exploration and natural sciences. Access to these collections and knowledge about them and their connections with the object collections are among the essential raw material for exhibitions, programmes and events for family, formal education and tourist audiences.

My particular interest is in effective services which seamlessly utilise physical, digital and social media tools. I led the development of Online Cenotaph which signals a sea change in heritage collection development by harvesting and publishing citizen researcher information alongside museum collections.

I’m also focusing on developing collections for future generations – as Documentary Heritage is now largely created in digital format, it could readily be lost if we don't have proactive relationships in place with creators and agile ways of collecting and curating this material. I would welcome opportunities to share ideas with those working on similar strategies.

Selected research publications


  • Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) New Zealand Post Management Excellence Award for Process Management
  • Government Information System Managers' Forum (GOVIS) Buzzie Award for Technology and Society
  • Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) 3M Award for Innovation in Libraries
  • Finalist: Technology Users' Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) Education Innovation Award 2005
  • Yankee Book Pedlar Award for Collection Management 2003