About Nina


In my role as Curator Manuscripts I am responsible for helping to care for, develop and research Tāmaki Paenga Hira’s manuscript, ephemera and oral history collections. This collection is extensive – the manuscript collection alone consisting of an estimated 3 million documents. These collections are nationally significant and reflect the diversity of the Museum’s wider collections, spanning social history, Maori and Pasifika taonga, war and conflict, and natural sciences. 

Research Interests and Projects


My interests are grounded in museology – the melding of theory and practice within the museum context. In my acquisition work, I am interested in the complexities of selection and identifying historical ‘silences’ and biases within collections. 

My current research is concerned with understanding and interrogating notions of power within ‘the museum’ – how is power created both within and by our collections, our histories and practices? What do these questions reveal about wider society and our understandings of value?  These concerns are premised by an understanding that museums, their collections and histories are not neutral but inherently political.

This reflects my broader interest in the concept of ‘activist’ museums and developing frameworks that highlight the agency of museums/archives and their potential to influence positive social change from the inside out. 

Selected Research Publications, Exhibitions and Conferences 


Finigan, Nina. ‘Turning the Lens Inward: Power and Intersectionality in the Archive’ in the New Zealand Journal of Public History, Volume 6, No.1, December 2018.

Groufsky, Jane and Finigan, Nina. 'Craft and Protest: Collecting the Women's March', Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira, Published: 17 09 2018.

Finigan, Nina. 'Choice - Women in 19th Century Aotearoa’, Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira, Published: 19 09 2018.

Are We There Yet? Women and equality in Aotearoa (Exhibition). 6 July 2018 – 20 January 2019, Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira. 

Finigan, Nina. (2012) Environmental Sustainability in New Zealand Museums: A Case Study of Te Manawa Museum, Gallery and Science Centre. (Master’s Thesis,). Wellington: Victoria University.