Nina Finigan

Curator Manuscripts

About Nina

In Nina’s role as Curator Manuscripts she is 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 consists of an estimated 3 million documents. These collections are nationally significant and reflect the diversity of the Museum’s wider collections, spanning social history, Māori 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. 

Representation, gender and power are the threads that weave through my work. These concerns surface in different ways in the projects that I undertake - from exploring emotion as a means to examine and critique power in the archive, to collecting recipes as a way to centre the experiences of women and stories of the domestic space. Always in the mix is the museum - as a construct, an idea and an emblem of power.

Selected Research Publications, Exhibitions and Conferences 

Finigan, Nina. Archives of Emotion. Auckland Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, 2021. 

Love & Loss (Exhibition). 28 July 2021 – 06 March 2022, Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira. 

National Treasures (TV series), season 1, TVNZ, aired March 2021. 

Finigan, Nina. ‘Feel Your Way: Emotion, Power and Empathy in the Archive’ in Museum ID, issue 25, 2021. 

Finigan, Nina. ‘Are Museums and Archives Irredeemable Colonial Projects?’ in Museum ID, Issue 24, 2019.  
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.
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. 

By Nina Finigan

From online exhibitions to interviews and blogs, explore some of Nina's mahi from around the Museum.